Official Statement of Nicholas Alahverdian | October 31, 2018

About: Nicholas Alahverdian is a victim of torture perpetrated upon him by group homes and shelters who contracted with the Rhode Island State Government to provide services for children in the care of the Department of Children Youth and Families. Nicholas simultaneously worked for the Rhode Island General Assembly as a legislative aide.

After exposing widespread abuse and neglect within the DCYF night-to-night program, Alahverdian was sent hundreds of miles from home to two facilities in Nebraska and Florida that had records of torture where he was allowed to contact no one. The facilities were closed by their own states following Alahverdian’s discharge when the abuse was discovered. Nicholas later recovered from the abuse, sued his abusers in federal court, was admitted to and studied at Harvard University, and became a vocal critic of DCYF.


October 31, 2018

As a 14-year-old legislative aide, I was sodomized and raped by a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. That person now wields formidable power. In light of the recent facts illuminated by the sexual harassment perpetrated by Cale Keable upon Katie Kazarian, I felt prompted to do what I never thought I would: bring the facts of this vicious and embarrassing assault upon me to the public eye. 

I was degraded and humiliated by a person in power — and this culture of corruption in Rhode Island politics needs to stop. Katie Kazarian is leading the charge in exposing the moral attrition at the State House, and for that she deserves the utmost praise. But for myself, I go on and tell my story to those whom will listen. The most deplorable action we can take to address these endemic issues is none at all. I will be releasing details of the rape upon my person after the election. That way, no one can say ‘Nicholas Alahverdian did this for political advantage.’ 

Nicholas Alahverdian
nalahverdian@gmail.com | nicholasalahverdian.com

Gina Raimondo DCYF Death Infographic

Nicholas Alahverdian, Gina Raimondo, DCYF
Nicholas Alahverdian Slams Gina Raimondo for DCYF Deaths

The Election

In accordance with the election on November 6, 2018 between Allan Fung and Gina Raimondo, Nicholas Alahverdian is releasing an infographic detailing the number of Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) foster child deaths under each of the past four Rhode Island governors. Those governors include Lincoln Almond (Republican), Donald Carcieri (Republican), Lincoln Chafee (Independent-turned-Democrat), and current Governor Gina M. Raimondo.

Donald Carcieri, Nicholas Alahverdian
Former Governor Don Carcieri

Continue reading Gina Raimondo DCYF Death Infographic

Nicholas Alahverdian uncovers 1,450% increase in child deaths or near-deaths since Gina Raimondo elected

DCYF expert releases statement on foster child deaths during the first 3 years of the tenure of Governor Gina Raimondo

MORE CHILDREN IN DCYF CARE HAVE DIED UNDER SPEAKER MATTIELLO AND GOVERNOR RAIMONDO THAN ANY OTHER SPEAKER AND GOVERNOR COMBINED

Nicholas Alahverdian uncovers 1,450% increase in child deaths or near-deaths since Gina Raimondo was inaugurated

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 18, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (nicholasalahverdian.com) — Harvard scholar and DCYF reform activist Nicholas Alahverdian unleashed a fierce warning to the people of Rhode Island today after discovering that more children in the care of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) have been killed or nearly killed since Governor Gina Raimondo and Speaker Nicholas Mattiello have risen to power in state government. 

Gina Raimondo
Gov. Gina Raimondo has turned a blind eye to the chaos at DCYF

The report is released by the Office of Nicholas Alahverdian in conjunction with a video detailing the failures of Raimondo and Mattiello which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiM09Hic0RI

“What we have found,” said Nicholas Alahverdian, “Through diving into everything from Providence Journal archives to FOIA requests, is that children in DCYF care are more at risk than ever. This is an election year and I take no ignominy in stating the obvious: Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have not — though executive order or legislation — done anything to substantially curve this dangerous trend of dead or nearly-dead DCYF kids.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, Gina Raimondo
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo

“Gina Raimondo and Nicholas Mattiello have blood on their hands,” Nicholas Alahverdian continued. “One of the last times a child died in state care was the case of Thomas Wright, under the administration of former Governor Donald Carcieri. Coincidentally, I had the same social worker as little T.J. Wright — and while he was being killed in Woonsocket, I was being tortured and raped in Florida — all in the month of October 2004. Poor Patricia Chabot was so overburdened with a high rate of cases that she had one kid being tortured and raped and another ending up dead — all in one month. This practice continues unabated to this day under the Raimondo administration — except it is literally and exactly 1,450% worse.”

Nicholas Alahverdian, Nicholas Mattiello
Nicholas Mattiello, Speaker of the House

As the 2018 election draws near, it is important to highlight the records of the incumbents. “We have had over 30 deaths or near-deaths in the past 3 and a half years,” said Nicholas Alahverdian. “Gina Raimondo, in her ubiquitous blasé tone, has dismissed DCYF issues as ‘longstanding.’ While these issues are longstanding, these dead kids are 8 and 9 years old. They are not given a fair chance at life.”

Turning to the situation of Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, Alahverdian was considerably infuriated: “Over 50% of the House Chamber supported an omnibus bill and individual bills to overhaul DCYF. Not one bill — bills which were introduced year after year — made it out of committee. Not one. Nicholas Mattiello’s legal counsel and members of the Joint Committee on Legislative Services worked to actively inhibit any legislation that would improve or overhaul DCYF. Vicariously, Nicholas Mattiello is jointly responsible for the deaths and abuse suffered by children in DCYF care.” 

Nicholas Alahverdian, Harvard
Harvard scholar Nicholas Alahverdian

The study, conducted by Nicholas Alahverdian and his team of researchers, found that within the past three gubernatorial administrations, there has been a stark increase in DCYF child deaths since Raimondo became Governor. “In 2008, DCYF investigated reports of the death of a child in their care. In 2003, we saw the tragic death of T.J. Wright. Within a five year timespan, we had two investigations of DCYF-related deaths,” said Alahverdian. In the Chafee administration from 2011 to 2015, there were no child deaths. Yet under Gina Raimondo, we as a state have to take a seat and say to ourselves ‘within 4 years there have been over 30 deaths or near-deaths’” 

“It’s unconscionable,” said Alahverdian. “We have dead Rhode Island kids while Raimondo mingles in glitzy ballrooms raising funds for her campaign — policies which, by practice, include the disregard of DCYF-related killings.” 

Mike Chippendale, Nicholas Alahverdian, Doreen Costa, DCYF
Rep Michael Chippendale, Lobbyist Nicholas Alahverdian, and Rep. Doreen Costa at the Rhode Island State House Press Conference on DCYF

Nicholas Alahverdian, a former legislative aide for the Rhode Island House of Representatives hired at the age of 14, has been fighting for DCYF reform since 2002. Alahverdian suffered torture, abuse, and negligence in the infamous night-to-night program at the same time he worked for the state government. 

When legislators and the media began to act and report on the abuse Alahverdian was suffering, he was exiled by Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah and Governor Donald L. Carcieri to two facilities — Manatee Palms in Florida and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center in Nebraska — which were later closed by their own states for torture, abuse, and neglect. Thought that period of time, Alahverdian was allowed to contact no one at all — lawyers, the courts, DCYF social workers, the police.

Alahverdian later sued his abusers in federal court in Rhode Island, led an attempted state and federal legislative blitz to attempt to enhance DCYF policies and practices, and studied comparative literature at Harvard University. 

###

Contact: Nicholas Alahverdian
+1 401 472 4955
nalahverdian@gmail.com
nicholasalahverdian.com

Resources: 

T.J. Wright Killing: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/29263056/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/man-gets-life-fatal-beating-over-spilt-milk/#.W8fjzS2ZORs

Nicholas Alahverdian Biography: https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/nicholas-alahverdian-biography/

Brief Nicholas Alahverdian biographical video (2011): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnYCsZg-FdY

2011 WPRI 12 Story on Nicholas Alahverdian story and legislation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTufox9v7to

2002 Providence Journal Column by Bob Kerr- https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/posts/posts-14611102483-a-survivor-tells-the-story-of-kid-dumping/ 

2011 Providence Journal Column by Bob Kerr- https://www.nicholasalahverdian.com/nicholas-alahverdian/nicholas-alahverdian-he-knows-the-ri-system-inside-and-out/

Providence Journal op-ed 2017 – http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/20170407/nicholas-alahverdian-dcyf-workers-need-help-to-protect-children

The Nicholas Alahverdian Torture Case: Governor Chafee Meeting and Press Conference

Following a meeting with the Governor’s Office, Nicholas Alahverdian will hold a brief press conference on Friday, April 8, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the State House Rotunda to discuss the details of his federal lawsuit against DCYF and take questions about his experiences of abuse and negligence, substantiated by state and federal authorities (see links to news stories), in Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Florida group homes and treatment facilities.

Nicholas Alahverdian was exiled from the State of Rhode Island by the Department of Children, Youth and Families after illuminating the deficiencies at facilities monitored by them to legislators of the Rhode Island General Assembly. At the time, he was an employee of the Rhode Island House of Representatives. When Nicholas was exiled, he began to be tortured in both facilities which had long records of violence and maltreatment against patients, with both facilities undergoing significant state investigations with courts issuing grand jury indictments and orders to halt admissions. Nevertheless, Alahverdian was banished to these facilities.
Nicholas Alahverdian, RI, Lincoln Chafee
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas Alahverdian was sent to one facility in Nebraska, the Boys Town Residential Treatment Center; and one in Florida, Manatee Palms Youth Services (owned by Premier Behavioral Solutions, a subsidiary of the nationally troubled Psychiatric Solutions, recently purchased by Universal Health Services). Both were shut down by their respective state regulatory agencies for violations of federal and state regulations, including abuse and negligence.

In Florida, Nicholas Alahverdian was raped by a staff member who admitted to the crime and was later imprisoned (see attached documents). Also, the for-profit Florida facility has been shut down in recent years for hiring convicted felons and retaining them, not providing sufficient staff, and hiring abusive people, most of whom were directly out of high school.

Alahverdian will also discuss legislation going before the House Judiciary Committee on April 12, 2011 to end out-of-state placements and enhance the Rhode Island Children’s Bill of Rights, sponsored by Rep. Michael Marcello and Rep. Bob DaSilva. There will be a large rally on Tuesday the 12th at 3 p.m. (press advisory to be sent later today/Monday) before the bills go before the House Judiciary Committee at the rise of the House (typically around 4:30).

 

EVENT DETAILS
    WHO: NexusGovernment, Nicholas Alahverdian
    WHAT: Press Conference on lawsuit, DCYF reform legislation
    WHEN: Friday, April 8 at 3 p.m.
    WHERE: Rhode Island State House Rotunda
Nicholas Alahverdian in 2010

The Rhode Island Government could learn a thing or two from Penn State

By Nicholas Alahverdian

Originally published in November 2011

Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

Earlier this month, in a remarkable demonstration of accountability, the Penn State Board of Trustees dismissed a member of the coaching staff who committed sexual assault upon a child, as well as his colleagues who assisted in the subsequent coverup. Perhaps the most exalted figure in college football, head coach Joe Paterno, was ousted as a result of his failure to report the rape, which allegedly occurred in March of 2002.

Americans have long worshiped idols crafted of the Paterno personality. The fall of one of America’s great athletic icons angered many fans and students. However, this signified deliberate action taken by a nationally recognized university to attempt to right the wrongs of a dishonorable collegiate athletic administration.

Child abuse is, unfortunately, not a rare occurrence. However, because the abuse and subsequent coverup was perpetrated by individuals employed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the swift, conscious firings were imperative and justified. The abuse became international news overnight, which begs this question: is a public discussion of abuse and coverup by state employees only required when a nationally-ranked football team is involved?

In 2002, I was in the care and custody of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. At the same time, I was working at the Rhode Island House of Representatives as a legislative aide. I had daily contact with then-Speaker John Harwood, and many other representatives and senators. I also had daily contact with employees of group homes and shelters that assaulted and tortured me on a daily basis. I believe that working for the State of Rhode Island and simultaneously being in the care of the State is unprecedented in Rhode Island history.

As legislators listened to the horrors that plagued my existence on a daily basis, they began to interrogate the Department. State Rep. Brian Coogan went to the chambers of Family Court Chief Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah and volunteered to adopt me. Rep. Joanne Giannini pressured Department heads to allow me to be placed in a safe placement. Unfortunately, day after day, I was in the night-to-night program, life on the road, a purely jumbled existence, with no real home, being transferred from shelter to shelter and several public schools a week, and nightly beatings and even rapes from fellow foster children and the employees hired to take care of us. When Donald L. Carcieri was campaigning for Governor in 2001, I even confided to him the assaults, which he did not report.

So let’s see if I’ve got this straight: a coach on a state football team rich with legacy and tradition takes in foster children and is found to be raping them in his spare time. Penn State’s Board of Trustees steps in, takes action, the responsible individuals are prosecuted, an interim president is appointed, and the Governor apologizes to the family involved. I, and many other youth who grew up in state care, could only wish for such leadership.

When I decided to temporarily pause my studies in literature and go public in February 2011 with the abuse and negligence that I suffered until 2005 when I turned 18, I expected at the very least an apology. Perhaps a “we could have done better.” Ideally, Governor Chafee would endorse my proposed legislation that would enhance the children’s bill of rights and prohibit the shipment of children out of state if there was an appropriate placement in state. But none of that happened. Chafee didn’t meet with me, 2 or 3 committee members would be present at hearings, and the Rhode Island Attorney General is defending those (in a civil lawsuit) guilty of abuse instead of prosecuting them.

Furthermore, I was considered a burden to the legislative process that I had once seen as my only hope. Speaker Fox, the man who hired me even before he was Chair of the Finance Committee, never met with me. Rarely was I asked by representatives or senators what my experiences were. I was shutdown at a committee hearing by the chair for speaking for more than ten minutes, and my bills never made it out of committee. My decision to publicly expose the wrongs I suffered in order to right the future was largely ignored. Most discouraging, the Rhode Island Attorney General hasn’t even launched a criminal investigation into my suffering. Now, as a Harvard undergraduate, I pour my energy into scholarship, yet there is a ubiquitous, nagging feeling of dismay and distrust in a system that failed me and hundreds of other children.

In stark contrast to the current course of action taken by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Penn State Board of Trustees, the arrogant and provincial legislative, judicial, and executive bodies of Rhode Island government have turned a deaf ear to abuse that occurred a decade ago. The Penn State abuse scandal has proven that even the greatest of charming figures, athletic or political, can be held responsible. If only Rhode Island would be so courageous to take action and lead by example. Let us not be ungovernable.

Nicholas Alahverdian is a Harvard scholar with a primary research focus on the intersection of philology, rhetoric, and politics. 

Nicholas Alahverdian | A Victim of RI State-sponsored Torture

Nicholas Alahverdian was hired at the tender age of 14 as a legislative aide for the House of Representatives in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. He wanted nothing more than to go to school and work at his State House job. Nicholas loved working in the House Chamber and serving the members of the RI General Assembly.

A dysfunctional family

Alahverdian had a problem. His mother and stepfather drank heavily. This worsened after they split and Nicholas lived with his alcoholic mother. Her drinking became worse when Alahverdian’s grandfather died.

VIDEO: Nicholas Alahverdian – Tortured, Abused, and Exiled for Political Activism

She did not bring him to school. Instead, he spent his days at the library and then went to the Capitol in the afternoon. Nicholas Alavherdian made his way to the Rhode Island State House on the RIPTA bus. He traveled to downtown Providence on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays when the House and Senate met for legislative business and committee hearings.

Rhode Island State House
A Providence Journal photo essay from 2002

Life at the State House

Some people would find working in the labyrinth that is the Rhode Island State House to be daunting and harrowing. Ever the quick learner, Nicholas didn’t feel that way. He swiftly learned how a bill became a law, who the power players were, which clerk had the best chance of putting a bill first on the committee docket, and other details that most lobbyists take years to learn. Alahverdian learned from the best.

Nicholas Alahverdian

Alahverdian charmed the legislators he worked with. He was invited to fundraisers and the representatives and senators enjoyed his presence. Knowing that he was often left hungry because of his mother’s alcohol addiction, the state legislators even gave him money or invited him to their homes for meals. They wanted to make sure he would have the basic necessities of life.

Nicholas was being abused and neglected at home, and this was common knowledge. But what happened next would spark the most heinous case of torture and abuse that the child welfare system has ever seen. Alahverdian began to demand that he be given a normal and consistent school placement. This occurred after he was taken from his mother due to her parental incompetence.

Nicholas Alahverdian, Rhode Island

“A waste of taxpayer money”

The officials in charge of his case, among them a corrupt social worker named Ron Razza, called Nicholas Alahverdian a “waste of taxpayer money.” Other DCYF staff including Mike Burk (the same Michael S. Burk of the Tiverton, RI Democratic party and longtime assistant to the Executive Director of DCYF) even lobbied state representatives to get him fired from his job with the House of Representatives.

Ron Razza, Rhode Island, Nicholas Alahverdian
Ron Razza

Nicholas Alahverdian took matters into his own hands and left the Rhode Island House of Representatives Legislative Aide position on his own accord. He thought it would be a temporary leave of absence.

The youngest lobbyist in history

Nicholas became a registered lobbyist in 2002 and advocated for foster care reform and a permanent school placement. This was not just for him — it was a mission to improve care for all children and adolescents in DCYF care. When Alahverdian registered as a lobbyist, he became the youngest lobbyist in the history of the State of Rhode Island.

Nicholas Alahverdian, speech, RI, Harvard, DCYF, Ron Razza, Rhonda Smith
Nicholas Alahverdian

Nicholas testified before committees and commissions. He issued detailed briefs on the pitfalls and failures of the state agency charged with caring for neglected and abused children. Alahverdian exposed the wrongdoings of staff and the criminal records of employees and contractors. He made a concerted effort to illuminate the inconsistencies in providing education. This was mainly due to the inherent instability provided by the cruel and abhorrent practice of night-to-night placement.

Alahverdian continued his advocacy work while in the night-to-night program where he was denied a permanent home and academic placement. Nicholas began to draw attention from more representatives and senators who demanded that Judge Jeremiah order a permanent home to be found for him. But Judge Jeremiah and Governor Carcieri had other plans for Alahverdian.

Nicholas Alahverdian began to get more and more attention. His case was covered by The Providence Journal, NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, and Cumulus Broadcasting, among others. Nicholas was even scheduled to appear on The O’Reilly Factor and the Today show on NBC.

Enough is enough

However, Rhode Island officials had enough of the embarrassment. The corrupt officials, namely Judge Jeremiah, Governor Donald L. Carcieri, DCYF Director Jay Lindgren, and others worked to snuff Alahverdian and his story out of the press to protect their reputation.

Jeremiah S. Jeremiah
Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah

Alahverdian was sent far from home where he was allowed to contact no one at all. He was refused communication with the legislators who had fought on his behalf. He was refused contact with lawyers. Alahverdian was refused to file a lawsuit or contact the courts to contest the lockdown placements where he was unlawfully held.

The torture of Nicholas Alahverdian

When Nicholas Alahverdian was sent to Nebraska and Florida, the state officials knew these facilities were dangerous. This knowledge was supplied to the state officials in the form of grand jury reports issued by the respective states through what is called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

Nicholas Alahverdian, torture, Donald Carcieri
Governor Donald L. Carcieri

Nicholas was sent far from home in violation of Rhode Island General Laws as well as U.S. federal law. Rhode Island law holds that a child be placed in the least restrictive setting possible. Instead, Alahverdian was placed hundreds of miles from home in places where he was allowed to contact no one and where he was beaten on a daily basis.

Nicholas was also raped on multiple occasions at the facility in Florida, and news articles covering the crime exist to support the claim made in Alahverdian’s lawsuit. The rapist, Rhonda Smith, pleaded guilty in a Florida court.

The Bradenton Herald reported on October 23, 2004:

A technician at Manatee Palms Youth Services was arrested Thursday on a charge she sexually battered a 17-year-old male at the facility.

Rhonda A. Smith, 23, of Bradenton was accused of molesting the teen on three separate occasions, according to an arrest report filed by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Smith admitted to the battery, the report said, and she was arrested on a charge of sexual battery.

According to the report, Smith was a clinical health technician at Manatee Palms Youth Services, placed there by Advance Personnel Services Inc. Advance Personnel Services officials said the woman is no longer employed by the company and that she was applying to the sheriff’s office the day the teen told authorities about the battery. She is free on bond.

Officials at Manatee Palms Youth Services directed questions to a corporate office. An official at its corporate office said the company is cooperating with authorities but had no further comment.

The Bradenton Herald also reported on another abusive individual hired by the Florida facility and published it in the same article:

In August 2003, an off-duty Manatee Palms Youth Services mental health technician was arrested for asking a 15-year-old girl to have sex with him on camera, an arrest report said at the time. The case against Jaimie Rivera, 43, is still pending.

Alahverdian was left at the Florida facility even as his RI DCYF social worker demanded that he be removed due to the torture he was enduring when she visited. The social worker remarked in official reports that Alahverdian was chemically sedated beyond recognition. Nicholas was covered in contusions, scars, fresh bruises, broken teeth, fingerprints around his neck, and black eyes.

Nicholas remained in the facility for six more months as the torture, beatings, and abuse continued.

When Nicholas Alahverdian was finally released and flown back to Rhode Island in June 2005, he was a shell of his former self. No longer was he the auspicious young man who carried loads of books in his briefcase on his way to the State House with stacks of legislative bills in the other arm. Nicholas was reduced to a zombie. His cognitive functions and motor skills were impaired. Alahverdian was a vegetable.

Alahverdian was unable to read or write. Nicholas was exactly where Judge Jeremiah and Governor Carcieri wanted him: first, in a place where he could not physically or verbally expose the truth. Second, in a mental state that rendered him incapable of expressing what the hell happened to him in these facilities that were absolute hell holes.

What happened to Nicholas Alahverdian should never happen to any other kid — anywhere — ever again.

Nicholas Alahverdian endured torture as a 15-year-old political prisoner

torture, Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian

torture (noun) The action or practice of inflicting severe pain on someone as a punishment or in order to force them to do or say something.

‘the torture of political prisoners’
‘confessions extracted under torture’

1.1 Great physical or mental suffering.

1.2 A cause of great physical or mental suffering.

 
Nicholas Alahverdian is a political prisoner. He was tortured by the direct orders of Rhode Island state officials. These officials are acting under the color of law as a result of Alahverdian’s political activism. They aim to further their own personal and public interests.

Nicholas Alahverdian seeks permission to sue RI for torture and abuse

Nicholas Alahverdian, who was tortured in state care, wants statute of limitations waived

BY GREGORY SMITH
PROVIDENCE JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
December 10, 2011
Nicholas Alahverdian, torture, RI, DCYF, foster care, torture
Nicholas Alahverdian

PROVIDENCE — A former General Assembly page who was a ward of the state because he had an abusive upbringing is trying to persuade a federal court judge to declare that it is not too late for him to sue the state, some officials and some private youth shelters.

At issue is the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit and other kinds of claims. In Rhode Island, a personal injury case cannot be brought more than three years after the injury became apparent.

Nicholas Alahverdian, 24, who now attends Harvard University, charges in a suit filed in February that he suffered years of abuse while in state care as a youth. He wants financial damages and improvements in the care of youths by the state Department of Children, Youth and Families and the private agencies to which the DCYF sends them.

“It really is a moral issue,” Nicholas Alahverdian said outside U.S. District Court Friday.

“It’s a question of justice.”

“America can’t be America,” he said, unless the requirements of a state law called the Children’s Bill of Rights are met and individual freedom and independence prevail.

The DCYF has said that it won’t comment on pending litigation.

His challenge, according to U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell Jr., is to show that he is entitled to an exception to the statute of limitations.

Nicholas Alahverdian, Matthew Fabisch
Nicholas Alahverdian and Matthew Fabisch

I am, Nicholas Alahverdian said through his lawyer, Matthew H. Fabisch, at a hearing in McConnell’s downtown court Friday. For one thing, Alahverdian said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder arising from the abuse he suffered in state care and that the PTSD made it impossible for him to manage his daily activities. His condition left him incapable of complying with the statute, Alahverdian argues in his court pleadings.

The statutory clock arguably did not start ticking, he contends, until his repressed memories of the abuse bubbled up when two DCYF workers visited him in November 2010.

The DCYF and other defendants have asked Judge McConnell to dismiss the suit because, they say, it was submitted too late under the statute. McConnell said Friday that he might convert the dismissal motion to a motion for summary judgment, but he made no decision on whether the suit may go forward.

Nicholas Alahverdian is excused from having to meet the statute for the years that he was a minor, so the period in dispute is right after he turned 18, from July 13, 2005, to approximately early 2007, the judge said. He must show that he was suffering from “an unsound mind” during that period and that the clock would not have started to run then.

Assistant Attorney General Brenda Baum, who represents the DCYF and other defendants, and other lawyers for the defendants scoffed at Alahverdian’s contention that he was of unsound mind, and they complained that Alahverdian has shown no link between the alleged abuse and his PTSD.

During the period that McConnell framed, Nicholas Alahverdian worked as a page and legislative aide, held down two full-time jobs, registered himself as a lobbyist, addressed the Rhode Island House of Representatives Finance Committee, attended college, filed suit in Florida and founded a special-interest nonprofit organization called NexusGovernment.

So how can he claim that he was incapable of managing his daily activities in that time span, the defendants’ lawyers wondered aloud.

Fabisch countered that Alahverdian “bounced” from college to college and could not keep his jobs due to his mental state.

Matthew Fabisch, Nicholas Alahverdian
Matthew Fabisch Esq.

McConnell Friday removed from the case some of the out-of-state defendants, including one or more youth residential facilities in Florida where Nicholas Alahverdian alleged he was neglected and abused. He dropped them after having been informed by Fabisch that a separate suit filed by Alahverdian in Florida no longer is pending. Outside court, Fabisch refused to say what happened to the Florida litigation.

Nicholas Alahverdian v. State of Rhode Island

Nicholas Alahverdian, RI, State of Rhode Island
RI State House

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF RHODE ISLAND

NICHOLAS ALAHVERDIAN V. RHODE ISLAND DCYF

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian resides in Rhode Island.

Click here for the PDF version

DEFENDANTS

Defendant Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (hereinafter referred to as “DCYF”) was intrinsically and constitutionally responsible for ensuring the protection, safety, and well-being of Plaintiff at all times relevant to this complaint. DCYF is responsible for all child protective services, child welfare services, and child placement services in the State of Rhode Island. Pursuant to section 42-72-1 of the Rhode Island General Laws, DCYF and its director are to assure that all programs and services operate in conformity with constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements. The main office is located at 101 Friendship Street Providence, Rhode Island 02903.

Defendant State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was responsible for the protection, safety, and well-being of Plaintiff while he was at Boys Town and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center. DHHS maintains its main office at 301 Centennial Mall South Lincoln, Nebraska.

Defendant Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, d/b/a Boys Town, also known as Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, is a Nebraska-based organization located in Boys Town, Nebraska.

Defendant Family Resources Community Action is a Woonsocket-based organization with its main office located at 245 Main Street Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Defendant Jammat Housing and Community Development Corp. d/b/a Turning the Corner a.k.a Muslim Boys Management is a Providence-based organization located at 801 Elmwood Avenue Providence, Rhode Island.

Defendant Communities for People, Inc. is an organization based in Boston with its main office located at 418 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, Massachusetts.

Defendant Community Solutions, Inc. is an organization based in Connecticut with its main office located at 4 Griffin Road North Suite 1008 Windsor, Connecticut.

Defendant Donald L. Carcieri was Governor of Rhode Island at all times relative to incidents in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Jeremiah S. Jeremiah was Chief Judge of the Family Court at all times relative to incidents in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Jay G. Lindgren was Director of DCYF for a portion of the time relative to incidents in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Thomas L. Dwyer was the assistant director of DCYF for a portion of the time relative to incidents in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Jorge Garcia was the assistant director of DCYF for a portion of the time relative to incidents in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Patricia Martinez was Director of DCYF for a portion of the time relative to incidents in this complaint. She is sued individually and in her official capacity.

Defendant Kevin Aucoin, JD, was chief legal counsel for DCYF at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Michael S. Burk (a/k/a Mike Burk of Tiverton, RI) was legislative liaison and assistant to the director of DCYF at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Linda Essex was an administrator at DCYF at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. She is sued individually and in her official capacity.

Defendant Kathleen A. Letourneau was an administrator at DCYF at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. She is sued individually and in her official capacity.

Defendant Ronald Razza was a supervisor at DCYF at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. He is sued individually and in his official capacity.

Defendant Ellen Balasco, JD, was a staff attorney in the Rhode Island office of the Court Appointed Special Advocate at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint. She is sued individually and in her official capacity.

Defendant Rev. Valentine J. Peter (a/k/a Val J. Peter) (a/k/a Val Peter) was chief executive officer at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint.

Defendant Matthew Peter (a/k/a Matt Peter) was a therapist at Boys Town Residential Treatment Center at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint.

Defendant Katherine Dinges was director of the Boys Town Residential Treatment Center at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint.

Defendant Daniel L. Daly, PhD was assistant director at Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint.

Defendant Douglas Spellman, MD, was medical director at Boys Town Residential Treatment Center at all times relevant to incidents listed in this complaint.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

This Honorable Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343. This action is also brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to redress violations of the United States Constitution, the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island, federal statuary entitlements, state statuary entitlements, and common law.

Venue is proper here pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b). The claims arise in this district.

In addition, this Honorable Court has supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1367 over any claims based upon state law.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

In the year 2002, Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian was employed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives as a Page and a Legislative Aide.

Simultaneously, Plaintiff was in the care of Defendant Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (hereinafter referred to as “DCYF”) due to his inept and alcoholic parents.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian began to be placed in different temporary shelters under DCYF’s night-to-night program. DCYF had institutionalized a practice of placing children in its custody in night-to-night placement in violation of the Plaintiff’s constitutional rights to be free from harm and enjoy equal protection of the law. Night-to-night placement is the practice of placing a child, for any length of time, in a DCYF placement facility; congregate care facility; or foster home, which is utilized as an “emergency shelter equivalent placement” as defined by DCYF policy Number 700.0140; or any other facility and/or placement for a reason other than its intended purpose. Defendant’s failure to provide the preventive services mandated by Sections 627 and 671(a)(15) of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act deprived Plaintiff of the privileges and immunities secured by United States laws.

From March 2002 through June 2003, Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian constantly and repetitively experienced physical and sexual assault upon his person at temporary shelters operated by Defendants Family Resources, Jammat, Communities for People, and Community Solutions. These assaults were perpetrated by employees and clients of the temporary shelters under DCYF’s night-to-night program.

State legislators Speaker John Harwood, Rep. William Murphy, Rep. Gordon Fox, Rep. Paul Moura, Rep. Anastasia Williams, Rep. René Menard, Rep. Joanne Giannini, Rep. Eileen Naughton, Rep. Paul V. Sherlock, Rep. David N. Cicilline, Rep. Thomas Slater, Rep. Scott Guthrie, Rep. Carol Mumford, Rep. Peter Kilmartin, Rep. Peter Palumbo, Rep. Brian Coogan, and Rep. Frank Montanaro, among others, and legislative staff including Frank Anzeveno and Nadine Frazier noticed the wounds and heard the stories of the nightly terror that ensued in the night-to-night shelters.

Plaintiff took a leave of absence from his employment with the Rhode Island House of Representatives and began to lobby for safer DCYF placements and other issues.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian appeared in a Providence Journal photo essay with Rep. Paul Moura, Sen. John Tassoni, and Rep. Frank Montanaro, at which point Defendant Lindgren sent emails that ridiculed the appearance. Emails were seen by Rep. Gordon Fox and Rep. Steven Costantino.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian appeared in an article in The Providence Journal published in 2002 that unfavorably reviewed Defendant DCYF’s night-to-night program.

Defendant Burk unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the House Majority Whip Rep. René Menard to instruct Plaintiff to stay away from the State House because the negative publicity being directed at DCYF as a result of Plaintiff’s lobbying efforts was detrimental to the acquisition of the discovery of a safe placement for the Plaintiff.

Several emails blasting the lobbying activities of Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian were sent from Defendant Lindgren. These emails were reviewed by state legislators Rep. Gordon Fox, Rep. Paul Moura, and Rep. Steven Costantino.

Defendant Carcieri was approached by plaintiff at a campaign event at Providence College when Defendant Carcieri was running for Governor. Defendant Carcieri was made aware of the torture and assaults occurring in DCYF placements. Defendant Carcieri committed to eliminating abuse and negligence if elected Governor. Defendant Carcieri reported no abuse and/or neglect to any state agencies.

Defendants Lindgren, Dwyer, Aucoin, Burk, and Garcia were approached by Plaintiff, who advised that DCYF shelters and group homes were unsafe and that assaultive behavior and torture was a regularity. Defendants Lindgren, Dwyer, Aucoin, Burk, and Garcia failed to report any abuse and/or neglect, repetitively placed Plaintiff in facilities previously indicated as abusive and/or negligent, and failed to correct the situation.

Defendant Balasco was approached by Plaintiff with regards to the abuse and negligence ensuing in DCYF placements. Defendant Balasco did not report torture, abuse and/or negligence, nor did she advocate for a safer placement for Plaintiff. Defendant failed to advocate for or act in the best interests of her client, the Plaintiff.

Defendants Lindgren, Dwyer, Aucoin, Burk, Garcia, Family Resources, Jammat, Jeremiah, Communities for People, and Community Solutions were repetitively asked by Plaintiff to allow Plaintiff to receive a free and appropriate education. Plaintiff was denied access to receive a free and appropriate education.

Defendants Jeremiah, Lindgren, Dwyer, and Carcieri were continually approached by Plaintiff, who requested a safe, permanent placement, free of assault, negligence, negligent hiring, and any other unethical or unlawful conduct. Defendants failed to report torture, abuse and/or negligence, and failed to ensure a safe, permanent placement free of torture, assault, negligence, negligent hiring, and any other unethical or unlawful conduct.

Defendant Jeremiah instructs Defendant DCYF to send Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian to an out-of-state placement as soon as possible.

Defendants Essex and Letourneau had the responsibility of researching placements. Defendants Essex and Letourneau knew that Defendant Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home had a record of abuse and/or negligence. Plaintiff was sent to be under the care of Defendant Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, who was supervised by Defendant State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Employees and clients of Defendant Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home torture, beat, assault, and neglect Plaintiff constantly, maliciously, and knowingly. Defendant Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home prohibited Plaintiff from access to the courts, or contact with anyone outside the facility.

Defendant State of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services knew of the torture, abuse, unlawful restraints, and negligence; and does nothing to stop said torture; nor do Defendants Rhode Island Department of Children Youth, and Families, Essex, Letourneau, Carcieri, Jeremiah, Dwyer, Aucoin, Martinez, Razza, Balasco, Burk, Lindgren, V. Peter, M. Peter, Dinges, Daly, or Spellman lawfully report the abuse, torture, and negligence to law enforcement or otherwise any person who could help Plaintiff.

As a direct and proximate result of said acts of defendants, Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian suffered (and suffers) from violations of federal and state entitlements, violations of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Rhode Island, depression, physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma and suffering, and loss of life.

COUNT 1

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Plaintiff claims damages for the injuries set forth above under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against all defendants for violation of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights.

COUNT 2

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

All defendants had a duty under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect Plaintiff from harm when they took Plaintiff into custody.

The foregoing actions and inactions of Defendants deprived Plaintiff of life, liberty, and property without due process of law, and denied Plaintiff the equal protection of the law.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian claims damages for the injuries set forth above.

COUNT 3

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, all of the Defendants were responsible to train their employees. Defendants recklessly and with indifference to constitutional rights, failed to adequately train their employees who were involved in the care of the Plaintiff, in various matters including but not limited to how to deal with disabled persons.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 4

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, Defendants Jeremiah and Balasco had the authority yet failed to issue a warrant for any offense by any person against the Plaintiff as set forth in R.I. Gen. Laws 14-1-15.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 5

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, Defendants Lindgren and Jeremiah had the responsibility yet failed to authorize the provision of suitable treatment… and care for the Plaintiff in the least restrictive and community-based setting pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 14-1-36.2.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 6

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, Defendant Jeremiah had the responsibility yet failed to deny approval for the out-of-state placements of the Plaintiff because there were (1) suitable in-state facilities available for the placement of the Plaintiff; and (2) the proposed placement was not in the best interest of the Plaintiff pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 14-1-65.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendant.

COUNT 7

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, Defendants Essex and Letourneau had the responsibility yet failed to deny approval of the inappropriate out-of-state placements that had records of abuse and/or negligence pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 40-15-1 et seq.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 8

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, all defendants had the responsibility yet failed to protect the Plaintiff who was affected through injury and neglect. All defendants had the responsibility yet failed to provide a nurturing and safe environment for the Plaintiff. All defendants had the requirement, yet failed to report known or suspected child abuse and neglect for the investigation of those reports, and provisions of service to the Plaintiff, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 40-11-1 et seq.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 9

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, defendants DCYF, Lindgren, Aucoin, Dwyer, Garcia, Burk, Essex, Letourneau, Razza and Martinez had the responsibility yet failed to examine programs and services for the purpose of identifying program inefficiencies and unmet needs of the Plaintiff pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 40-72-1 et seq. Further, defendants had an obligation yet failed to meet the needs of the Plaintiff, provide the Plaintiff a safe environment, and set the standards for social services and facilities, pursuant to R.I. Gen Laws 42-72-2.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 10

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, each and every defendant had the responsibility yet failed to protect the the personal property and civil rights of the Plaintiff, provide humane and dignified treatment to the Plaintiff with full respect for the Plaintiff’s personal dignity and right to privacy, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 42-72-15.

Further, pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 42-72-15, each and every defendant had the responsibility yet failed to ensure that the Plaintiff was permitted to communicate with any individual, group, or agency consistent with the Plaintiff’s treatment objectives; provide the Plaintiff with writing materials and postage, and allow the Plaintiff to make or receive telephone calls to or from the Plaintiff’s attorneys, guardians ad litem, special advocates or the child advocate at any reasonable time.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by the defendants.

COUNT 11

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Defendants DCYF, Lindgren, Aucoin, Dwyer, Garcia, Burk, Essex, Letourneau, Razza and Martinez had the responsibility yet failed to protect the health, safety and well being of the Plaintiff, by not appropriately monitoring and licensing child care providers to that end.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by the defendants.

COUNT 12

Plaintiff incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian claims damages for negligence.

At all relevant times, all defendants and their employees and agents had the duty to prevent abuse and negligence upon the Plaintiff.

Defendants and their employees and agents are and were obliged to insure they comply with laws regarding reporting and preventing abuse and neglect.

Defendants and their employees and agents have a duty to exercise reasonable care in supervising the care of the Plaintiff, to insure that it was not abusive or negligent.

Defendants and their employees and agents breached that duty by failing to prevent the abusive and/or negligent care; as well as failing to remove Plaintiff from abusive facilities.

As a direct and proximate result of the actions and inactions of each defendant, Plaintiff suffered injuries as aforesaid.

COUNT 13

Plaintiff incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Plaintiff claims damages for the injuries set forth above under 42 U.S.C. § 1985 against each Defendant for the violation of conspiring to interfere with Plaintiff’s civil rights.

COUNT 14

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Plaintiff claims damages for the injuries set forth above under 42 U.S.C. § 1986 against each defendant for having knowledge of the wrongs conspired to be committed.

COUNT 15

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Defendants DCYF, Jeremiah, Lindgren, Carcieri, Dwyer, Garcia, Martinez, Aucoin, Burk, Essex, Letourneau, and Razza acted in a manner that deprived Plaintiff of constitutionally protected interests, entitlements arising from R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 42-72-4(b)(14) to suitable treatment and care in the least restrictive placement within the Plaintiff’s community; 42-72-5(b)(7) to placement in a home or facility that is licensed, approved, monitored and evaluated by DCYF; 42-72-5(b)(22) and 42-72-15(o) to receive a free and appropriate education in accordance with state and federal laws and to be enrolled in a school program; 42-72.9-1 to freedom from abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, or any physical or chemical restraints that are not medically necessary or used as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or retaliation.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 16

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, all defendants and their employees and agents had the responsibility yet failed to ensure that Plaintiff had access to the courts. All defendants maliciously denied Plaintiff the benefit of court proceedings. All defendants denied Plaintiff the benefit of counsel who truly would advocate for Plaintiff rather than advocating for interests of defendants.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 17

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all relevant times, Defendant Balasco was the appointed CASA attorney for Plaintiff. Defendant Balasco had a high duty to investigate the laws and facts surrounding Plaintiff’s situation and to advocate positions in court that furthered Plaintiff’s interests and welfare. At all times relevant, Defendant Balasco was fully aware of the tortious acts being committed against Plaintiff by Defendants DCYF, Nebraska DHHS, Boys Town, Family Resources, Jammat, Communities for People, and Community Solutions, as Plaintiff repeatedly told Defendant Balasco of the abuses and begged Balasco to take the necessary steps to protect him.

Contrary to her duty to properly and competently represent Plaintiff’s interests, Defendant Balasco advocated solely for the interests of Defendants, successfully convincing the court to place Plaintiff in the custody of those she had been made aware were abusive and to send him and keep him away from Rhode Island. Defendant did everything possible to ensure Plaintiff’s continued vulnerability at the hands of Defendants, and did absolutely nothing to protect her client. Defendant Balasco was only interested in furthering her standing with other Defendants, and thereby undermined any potential for Plaintiff’s protection in the court.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligence, Plaintiff suffered all of the damages set forth herein, supra.

COUNT 18

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

At all times relevant herein, all Defendants were acting with authority from the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). Defendant Rev. Peter financially benefited from Defendant Nebraska DHHS negligently failing to evaluate either of their facilities for abuse and neglect. At all times relevant herein, Defendant Nebraska DHHS had a duty to properly supervise the facilities owned and/or operated by Defendant Peter and ensure that Plaintiff was not being abused or tortured by the employees of Defendant Peter. Thus, Nebraska DHHS breached that duty and allowed Defendant Peter to conduct his tortious activity uninterrupted. Defendant Peter was more concerned with increasing profits and preventing disclosure of abuse or torture than he was with ensuring that their victim, the Plaintiff, was adequately cared for. Defendants DHHS shut down facilities attended by Plaintiff a few years after Plaintiff departed because the abuse and negligence, identical to what he experienced, was finally discovered.

Defendants Peter and Nebraska DHHS are vicariously liable for the torts of its employees as set forth herein under the doctrine of respondeat superior, and is thus liable for all damages suffered by Plaintiff as a result of Defendants’ acts and omissions set forth herein.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligence, Plaintiff suffered all of the damages set forth herein, supra.

COUNT 19

Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

Plaintiff was/is at all times relevant to this matter, a qualified individual with a disability as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Plaintiff had impairments such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that substantially limited one or more major life activities, including but not limited to thinking, concentrating, and interacting with others, and controlling his behavior.

All Defendants knowingly and consistently discriminated against Plaintiff, who is considered mentally disabled, and failed to provide him with reasonable accommodations.

By failing to provide an individualized assessment of his mental health needs and treatment requirements as an individual with mental illness, and by placing Plaintiff in two locked facilities in two different states, Defendants have denied Plaintiff the benefits of services, programs, and activities, including school, recreation, exercise, and mental health services, thus discriminating against Plaintiff on the basis of his disability in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Discrimination resulted in Plaintiff not receiving mental health services sufficient to counteract the effects that abusive and negligent facilities had on him which is distinct from the impact it had on DCYF youth who are not mentally ill.

In placing Plaintiff, a youth with mental illness, in a disciplinarily, psychologically, and logistically isolating situation with little-to-no real world relevancy and prohibiting him from contacting the outside world and thus segregating him from even already segregated DCYF youth, Defendants have failed to furnish a reasonable accommodation to Plaintiff as a person with disabilities. Defendants punished Plaintiff, a person with mental illness, for disability related conduct. Defendants deprived Plaintiff, an individual with mental illness of access to adequate mental health services by placing him in inappropriate facilities in segregation.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligence, Plaintiff suffered all of the damages set forth herein, supra.

COUNT 20

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

All Defendants violated Plaintiff’s rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq., by failing to provide Plaintiff with access to a free and appropriate public education. See 20 U.S.C., § 20 U.S.C. § 1400(1)(A), 1401(a)(18). See 20 U.S.C. § 1401(8) and 20 U.S.C. § 1451(b)(6).

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligence, Plaintiff suffered all of the damages set forth herein, supra.

COUNT 21

Plaintiff hereby incorporates foregoing paragraphs.

All Defendants violated the Privileges and Immunities Clause because of their failure to plan for the Plaintiff’s transition from DCYF custody to independent living as required by Sections 675(1) and 677 of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act.

As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ negligence, Plaintiff suffered all of the damages set forth herein, supra.

COUNT 22

Defendants DCYF, State of Nebraska DHHS, and their employees and agents; including Defendants Lindgren, Burk, Dwyer, Garcia, Essex, Letourneau, and Martinez failed to adequately assess facilities that the Plaintiff was placed in. Defendants failed to acknowledge the failure to provide adequate staffing, supervision of employees, background screening of employees, the performance of safety evaluations, termination of staff with criminal records, and conduct competency evaluations to meet the needs of the Plaintiff.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failure by defendants.

COUNT 23

Defendants Father Flanagan’s Boys’ Home, Nebraska DHHS, DCYF, Lindgren, Garcia, Martinez, Burk, Dwyer, Essex, Letourneau, and Razza had the duty to assess facilities for their compliance with and enforce 42 C.F.R. § 483.356 et seq, Protection of Residents; 42 C.F.R. § 483.358(g) Orders for the Use of Restraint or Seclusion; 42 C.F.R. § 483.368 Application of Time Out; 42 C.F.R. § 483.374(b) Facility Reporting; and 42 C.F.R. 483.376(f) Education and Training. Employees were not trained  with respect to the interest of the plaintiff in the aforesaid federal regulations. Further, employees that had criminal records were negligently hired and retained.

Plaintiff was deprived of his constitutional rights and injured as a direct and proximate result of said failures by defendants.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff Nicholas Alahverdian requests an order and judgment from the court:

  • awarding plaintiff full compensatory damages on his claims in an amount to be determined at trial;
  • assessing appropriate punitive damages in an amount sufficient to punish defendants for their conduct and to set an example to deter others from similar conduct;
  • awarding plaintiff pre- and post-judgment interest;
  • awarding plaintiff the costs and expenses of suit and attorney’s fees; and
  • granting such other relief as may be just and appropriate.

JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff demands trial by jury of his claims, as well as of all issues presented in this complaint.

Dated: Providence, Rhode Island

       April 7, 2011

Respectfully submitted, 

Nicholas Alahverdian

Plaintiff