23 F.3d 395 (1st Cir. 1994), 94-1021, Wong v. Materazzo

Docket Nº:94-1021
Citation:23 F.3d 395
Party Name:Ho WONG, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. Thomas MATERAZZO, ETC., ET AL., Defendants, Appellees.
Case Date:May 11, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 395

23 F.3d 395 (1st Cir. 1994)

Ho WONG, Plaintiff, Appellant,


Thomas MATERAZZO, ETC., ET AL., Defendants, Appellees.

No. 94-1021

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

May 11, 1994

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA1 Rule 36 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts [Hon. Rya W. Zobel, U.S. District Judge ]

Ho Wong on brief pro se.

Albert W. Wallis, City of Boston Corporation Counsel, and William J. Pidgeon, Jr., Assistant Corporation Counsel, City of Boston, Law Department on brief for appellee.



Before Breyer, Chief Judge, Selya and Boudin, Circuit Judges.

Per Curiam.

Plaintiff appellant states that he is a homeless veteran who resides in Boston. He brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that the Veterans Services Department for the City of Boston wrongfully suspended the benefits to which he was entitled under Mass. Gen. L. ch. 115, when he failed to provide a residential address within the City. Plaintiff's request for restoration of benefits was denied and he appealed to the Commonwealth Office of Veterans' Services. Shortly after he filed that appeal, he filed this complaint in district court alleging that the suspension of benefits violated state law and regulations 1 and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. 2

The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Plaintiff argues that the dismissal was error under the general principal that exhaustion of state administrative remedies is not a prerequisite to maintenance of a suit under § 1983. Patsy v. Board of Regents, 457 U.S. 496 (1982); Miller v. Town of Hull, 878 F.2d 523, 530 (1st Cir.), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 976 (1989). To maintain his claim under § 1983, however, the plaintiff must allege a cognizable violation of the Due Process Clause. "The constitutional violation actionable under § 1983 is not complete when the deprivation occurs; it is not complete unless and until the State fails to provide [suitable post deprivation remedies]." Zinermon v. Burch, 494 U.S. 113, 126 (1990). Moreover, the crux of plaintiff's complaint is that the defendants disregarded state law and...

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