United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
J. McConnell, Jr. United States District Judge
Akinrinola filed a lawsuit against Ashbel T. Wall, the
Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, and
Sergio Desousarosa, Warden at the Medium Security prison
facility. The basis for the complaint is a 90-day sentence in
the Segregation Unit at Maximum Security that Mr. Akinrinola
received as discipline. ECF No. 1 at 2. In his complaint,
simply captioned "42 U.S.C. § 1983, " he
asserts that this discipline constitutes a "false
imprisonment, illegally abolishing the Morris v.
Travisono, 499 F.Supp. 149 (D.R.I. 1980)
rules which govern discipline and classification
at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections." ECF No.
1 at 1. He seeks an injunction "releasing him] from the
penalty, " an immediate transfer "back to regular
status, " restraining ACI personnel from sending him to
segregation, harassing him, searching his cell without
permission, and restoring his good time. Id. at 7.
move to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule
12(b)(1), alleging that this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction and under Rule 12(b)(6), arguing that Mr.
Akinrinola fails to state a claim because he did not allege a
liberty interest sufficient to support a constitutional
violation. ECF No. 10. Mr. Akinrinola opposed the motion to
dismiss, essentially re-asserting his complaint allegations.
ECF No. 11.
reviewing the memoranda, complaint, and applicable legal
precedent, the Court grants Defendants' motion. First,
Mr. Akinrinola has failed to set forth a justiciable federal
question to establish subject matter jurisdiction in this
Court. His claim is grounded in false imprisonment
allegations - a state law claim. Moreover, it is well
established that complaints rooted in violations of the
Morris Rules must be brought in state court.
Lother v. Vose, 89 F.3d 823 (Table) (1st Cir. 1996).
While the Morris Rules remain in effect, "those
Rules are state rules and regulations that govern
the conduct of classification and disciplinary proceedings at
the ACI, and are to be enforced, if at all, by state
machinery." Doctor v. Wall, 143 F.Supp.2d 203,
204 (D.R.I 2001).
Mr. Akinrinola seeks an injunction and declaration from this
Court finding that the state "illegally
abolish[ed]" the MorrisRules. "The Morris
Rules were promulgated in consequence of a consent decree
entered by the United States District Court for the District
of Rhode Island." Rodi> 941 F.2d at 23. The
First Circuit has definitively ruled that inmates may not
bring "individual section 1983 actions for injunctive or
declaratory relief which are based on consent decree
violations." Lother, 89 F.3d 823 (citing
Martel v. Fridovich, 14 F.3d 1, 3 n. 4 (1st Cir.
1993)). Because Mr. Akinrinola only seeks injunctive and
declaratory relief under the Morris Rules derived
from a consent decree, this Court does not have jurisdiction
to hear it and thus, the action is barred.
light of these jurisdictional rulings, the Court need go no
further. However, in light of the fact that Mr. Akinrinola
filed his complaint pro se, the Court will examine the
substance of his complaint, in which he couches his claim as
a § 1983 action and refers to violations of due process
with regard to his disciplinary segregation sentence.
defendant may state a viable claim for violation of the
Morris Rules in federal court, but he "must
make an allegation of a federal constitutional violation and
bring an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in order to be
heard in this Court." Doctor, 143 F.Supp.2d at
205. Principles of due process, however, will not be
implicated unless the punishment in segregation causes an
"atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life."
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995). Upon
review of his complaint, the Court finds that Mr. Akinrinola
fails to set forth any facts to show the basis for a federal
constitutional violation. Merely using constitutional words
in a complaint are not sufficient to state a claim. The fact
that Mr. Akinrinola was placed in disciplinary segregation
does not, without allegations that being in segregation
caused an "atypical and significant hardship"
beyond the daily realities of being incarcerated in a prison
environment, state a claim for relief under the Constitution,
Id. Therefore, the Court GRANTS Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 10.
Defendants assert that Mr.
Akinrinola's discipline related to "the unwanted
sexual touching of a female dental assistant." ECF No.
10-1 at 1.
 For a thorough discussion of the
Morris Rules see Rodi v. VentetuoJo, 941
F.2d 22 ...