LEWISTON — A local man in federal prison in Pennsylvania has 14 days to respond to a court's recommendation to dismiss his civil suit against officers at the Androscoggin County Jail.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret J. Kravchuck filed her ruling Monday, recommending dismissal of the complaint against corrections officers Reggie Littlefield, Christine Samson and Jennifer Cutting.
The suit was filed by Kaya Simions, a 23-year-old Lewiston man who alleged that Littlefield, Samson and Cutting violated his Eighth Amendment right to be spared cruel and unusual punishment.
According to his lawsuit, Simions, who is representing himself, alleged that he was denied adequate bathroom facilities and running water while being held at the county jail between Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 , 2009, while awaiting a court appearance.
Kravchuck wrote in her summary that Simions was initially housed in a holding cell, but that he was moved to an observation cell shortly after arrival because he destroyed the mattress in the holding cell and took off his clothes.
"Generally, observation cells are used for short periods of time, when an inmate is uncooperative, destructive, and/or exhibiting self-harm behavior. Simions' behavior was bizarre," Kravchuck wrote.
Simions contended in his lawsuit that when he told officers he had to go to the bathroom, they told him to "go in the hole," which is a flushable floor-gate toilet not intended for defecation.
According to the summary judgment, had Simions told officers that he needed to defecate, they would have escorted him to a proper toilet.
In addition to $500,000 damages for mental and physical injuries, Simions also sought written letters of apology from the officers involved and an injunction against similar actions happening to future inmates.
In her summary judgment, Kravchuck said that Simions did not produce any evidence to dispute the facts brought by the defendants about his behavior, so there was no violation of his Eighth Amendment rights.
"The summary judgment record is that Simions was transferred to the cell in question because of his own behavior and that if he had made such a request, which he did not, he would have been escorted to bathroom facilities in order to defecate," she wrote.
Simions has two weeks to respond to the judgment. If he does not, the lawsuit will be dismissed.
In May, Simions was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Portland to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to court records, Simions was convicted of five felony crimes of violence between 2006 and 2008, including assault and battery on a police officer, breaking and entering and assault and battery on a public employee.
Simions made headlines in Lewiston last year when he led police on a chase through the downtown that ended with him stripping down to his underwear and running into the mosque on Lisbon Street, where he was found in the basement.