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Chrisco v. Hayes

United States District Court, D. Colorado

November 13, 2017

CRAIG S. HAYES, Deputy, Boulder County Jail and Sheriff's Department, Defendant.


          Marcia S. Krieger, Chief United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff Luke Irvin Chrisco's Motion to Reconsider (#53) and Objection (#62) to the Magistrate Judge's July 20, 2017 Recommendation (#48) that the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (#28) be granted. Also at issue is Mr. Chrisco's Motion to Stay (#58).


         The Court offers a brief summary of the Complaint's allegations here and elaborates as necessary in its analysis.

         Mr. Chrisco, who appears pro se, [1] is currently incarcerated at the Centennial Correctional Facility in Cañon City, Colorado.

         The Complaint alleges that Mr. Chrisco was detained at the Boulder County Jail after probation revocation proceedings were initiated against him. He filed a motion to dismiss the probation revocation proceedings, arguing that the State of Colorado's Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation program (“SOISP program”) was unconstitutional. When he filed his reply brief (“Reply Brief”) with the Boulder County District Court, he kept a personal copy of the it with the intent of using it in order to pursue an independent civil action against the State of Colorado to prohibit imposition of the SOISP program against him. Ultimately, Mr. Chrisco's probation was revoked.

         The day before the sentencing hearing on the probation violation, Mr. Chrisco was in the jail library, when Deputy Hayes[2] instructed him to leave. Deputy Hayes prevented Mr. Chrisco from picking up his paperwork, which included his Reply Brief. After Mr. Chrisco left, Deputy Hayes placed a different inmate in the law library, and purportedly destroyed the Reply Brief. When Mr. Chrisco discovered that he did not have the Reply Brief, he returned to the library to retrieve it, but it was no longer there. He attempted to obtain an additional copy of it from Boulder County District Court, but was unable to do so. He contends that without the Reply Brief, he was unable to file a civil action seeking to enjoin the SOISP program.


         Mr. Chrisco filed his Complaint (#1), and upon initial review, the Court dismissed) all claims against Defendants other than Deputy Hayes (#5). Two claims against Deputy Hayes remain. One asserts that Deputy Hayes violated Mr. Chrisco's rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the other that Deputy Hayes violated his rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

         Asserting that he is entitled qualified immunity, Deputy Hayes filed a Motion to Dismiss (#28) Mr. Chrisco's remaining claims. The Court referred the Motion to the Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate Judge issued a Recommendation (#48) that the motion be granted. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that (1) the Complaint did not state a traditional equal protection claim because it failed to allege that Mr. Chrisco is a member of a protected class or that similarly situated individuals were treated more favorably; (2) the Complaint also failed to state a “class-of-one” equal protection claim because it did not identify other similarly situated individuals who were treated more favorably than Mr. Chrisco and its allegations were too conclusory to demonstrate that Deputy Hayes' actions were irrational, abusive, and wholly unrelated to any legitimate state activity; and (3) the Complaint failed to state a due process claim because Mr. Chrisco was not a pretrial detainee, Deputy Hayes' conduct was not sufficiently egregious so as to shock the conscience, and Mr. Chrisco had an alternate, adequate remedy under Colorado law. Finally, the Magistrate Judge sua sponte recommended that Mr. Chrisco not be granted leave to amend the Complaint.

         Mr. Chrisco filed a Motion to Reconsider (#53), in which he asked the Court to reconsider the recommendation that he not be granted leave to amend the Complaint. He then filed his Objection (#62) to the Recommendation. In the Objection, he does not challenge the Magistrate Judge's finding that the Complaint does not state a plausible, traditional equal protection claim or a substantive due process claim. Instead, he argues that the Complaint adequately pleads a class-of-one equal protection claim and asks for leave to amend the Complaint to correct the deficiencies in his due process claim.


         A. Standard of Review

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), the Court reviews the objected-to portions ...

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