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Brown v. Geo Group Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

June 21, 2017


          OPINION AND ORDER [1]


         This matter comes before the Court upon review of the Motion to Dismiss filed on behalf of Defendants William Price, Christopher Catron, Donald Sawyer, and Rebecca Jackson (Doc. #31). Plaintiff did not file a response to the Motion and the time to do so has long expired. See Doc. #14 (warning Plaintiff that when a defendant files a motion to dismiss, plaintiff shall have twenty-one days to file a response). This matter is ripe for review.


         As background, Plaintiff Kenyata Brown, who is civilly committed at the Florida Civil Commitment Center (“FCCC”) under Florida's Sexual Violent Predator's Act, Florida Statute §§ 394.910-.913, initiated this action as one of nineteen plaintiffs by filing a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 “sealed Class Action Complaint” (Doc. #1). On January 28, 2016, the Court entered an order (Doc. #2) dismissing the class action, without prejudice, under section 1915 and declining to certify a class. However, the Court allowed each plaintiff an opportunity to file an Amended Complaint on or before February 29, 2016.

         Plaintiff timely filed a motion for an enlargement of time, which the Court granted. Plaintiff then timely filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. #9). Prior to directing Plaintiff to complete service of process forms, the Court reviewed Plaintiff's Amended Complaint under section 1915 and entered an order of partial dismissal. In particular, the Court dismissed one of the named defendants, Brian Masony, because the Amended Complaint contained no factual allegations whatsoever as to Masony, and the First Amendment interference to access to court claim finding failure to state a claim. Doc. #13.

         Although far from the model of clarity, the Amended Complaint generally challenges Florida's Sexual Violent Predator's Act, Florida Statute §§ 394.910-.913 (hereinafter “SVP Act”) and argues that the SVP Act is unconstitutional and suggests ways the Florida legislators could improve the SVP Act. Plaintiff also makes vague and non-specific allegations regarding the treatment provided to various “class members” at the FCCC and avers that the named defendants are liable in their individual capacities for adhering to the unconstitutional statutes.

         The Amended Complaint alleges that Florida's SVP Act is “not narrowly tailored” because:

(1) it “indisputably [fails] to require periodic risk assessments”;
(2) it fails to provide a “judicial bypass mechanism” to challenge his ongoing commitment;
(3) “the statutory discharge criteria is more stringent than the statutory commitment criteria”;
(4) it authorizes “the burden to petition for a reduction in custody to impermissibly shift from the State” to Plaintiff;
(5) it requires civilly committed individuals to show by clear and convincing evidence that a less restrictive alternative is appropriate; and
(6) it does not require the defendants to take any affirmative action, such as petition for a reduction in custody when the resident no longer satisfies the criteria for continued commitment.

         Amended Complaint at 6-12. Plaintiff also urges that Florida's SVP Act is unconstitutional as-applied because:

(7) Defendants Kanner, Zoley, Carroll, Sawyer, and Jackson do not conduct periodic risk assessments of civilly committed people at the FCCC;
(8) the risk assessments that have been performed since the opening of the FCCC have not all been done in a constitutional manner;
(9) Plaintiff has remained confined at the FCCC even though he has completed treatment or sufficiently reduced his risk of reoffending;
(10) discharge procedures are not working properly at FCCC;
(11) although the SVP Act expressly allows the referral of committed individuals to less restrictive alternatives, this is not occurring in practice;
(12) although treatment has been made available, the treatment program's structure has been an institutional failure and there is no meaningful relationship between the treatment program and an end to indefinite detention;
(13) his due process rights were violated when the probable cause hearing was held outside of his or his attorney's presence; and
(14) Plaintiff's Equal Protection rights were violated “because his liberty has been implicated as a result of Fla. Stat. § 394 Part V being unconstitutional on its face because the defendants use “the statute to punishing and/or detain ‘Male' sex offenders after completion of their prison sentence and not applying [sic] the same standard to ‘Female' sex offenders for their past and present sexual violent offenses.”[2]

Id. at 17-28. In a requested relief section seven pages in length, Plaintiff requests in pertinent part that “substantial changes be made to Florida's sex offender civil commitment scheme, ” and two million dollars in ...

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