Kalican v. Dzurenda
In the 2nd Circuit, a prisoner possesses a protected liberty interest only if the deprivation is atypical and significant. On July 5, 2012, the plaintiff prisoner commenced a civil-rights suit against the defendant corrections officials. The District Court wrote to the plaintiff that the plaintiff's complaint appeared to have been filed after the expiration of the three-year statute of limitations for civil-rights suits. The plaintiff responded that he previously sent a complaint to the court in March 2012, and that the earlier complaint was returned to him, apparently because he did not include a signature. The plaintiff failed to adequately allege that he was entitled to equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, and the court dismissed the original complaint. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The statute of limitations barred the plaintiff's allegations about incidents that took place between August 2008 and July 1, 2009. The District Court dismissed the plaintiff's claim that he was unhappy about the way in which the prison resolved an internal disciplinary issue, which apparently resulted in segregated confinement. "Dissatisfaction with an appeal," wrote the District Court, "does not state a cognizable claim for violation of due process." In the 2nd Circuit, a prisoner possesses a protected liberty interest "only if the deprivation . . . is atypical and significant and the state has created the liberty interest by statute or regulation," pursuant to Tellier v. Fields, a 2000 decision of the 2nd Circuit. Here, the plaintiff's complaint did not indicate he experienced an atypical and significant hardship as a result of the discipline and segregated confinement. The plaintiff also alleged that a corrections official lost or destroyed the plaintiff's property. An adequate state remedy exists, because the Connecticut claims commissioner can approve the plaintiff's claim for monetary compensation for loss of property. "The state remedy is not rendered inadequate," wrote the District Court, "simply because the plaintiff anticipates a more favorable remedy under the federal system or because it may take a longer time under the state system before his case is resolved." The District Court dismissed the plaintiff's original and amended complaints.