United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER RE AMENDED COMPLAINT
R. Underhill United States District Judge.
Edward Vines, currently incarcerated at the Osborn
Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this
case pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
that the defendants violated his First, Fifth, Eighth, and
Fourteenth Amendment rights. Vines included in his original
complaint claims arising at two correctional facilities. In
response to the Court's order, Vines has filed an amended
complaint including only his claims arising at Cheshire
Correctional Institution. The amended complaint names ten
defendants: Correctional Officers Briatico, Owen, Lapointe,
Williams, Selgado, and Castle; Counselor Supervisor Bouffard;
Captain Garcia; Deputy Warden Powers; and Warden Brighthaupt.
section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, the
Court must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any
portion of the complaint that is frivolous or malicious, that
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
that seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. Id. In reviewing a pro se
complaint, the Court must assume the truth of the
allegations, and interpret them liberally to "raise the
strongest arguments [they] suggest." Abbas v.
Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). Although
detailed allegations are not required, the complaint must
include sufficient facts to afford the defendants fair notice
of the claims and the grounds upon which they are based and
to demonstrate a plausible right to relief. Bell Atlantic
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Conclusory
allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff must plead
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Twombly, 550 U.S. at
incidents underlying this action occurred at Cheshire
Correctional Institution ("Cheshire"). Vines
separated his statement of facts into two counts, alleging
separate facts to support each claim for relief.
23, 2013, Vines was confined at Cheshire. Correction Officer
Briatico forced him to move from cell NB124 to cell NB144 or
be placed in segregation. Vines is a Muslim. His cellmate, a
Christian, was not required to move. Despite the fact that
Cell NB144 was a two-person cell, Vines remained there by
himself for over a month.
25, 2013, Vines wrote to Counselor Supervisor Bouffard, the
Unit Manager of North Block One, and copied Deputy Warden
Powers. He reported Correctional Officer Briatico for making
threats and racial discrimination. On August 2, 2013,
defendant Bouffard responded that the tier was experiencing
low water pressure at the time of the incident and that not
every inmate could be moved to the top tier because there
were not enough available beds. Vines considers the response
same day, Correctional Officer Briatico retaliated against
Vines by calling him a "snitch." Vines considers
the action defamatory and a danger to his safety because
"snitches" are commonly assaulted by other inmates.
On August 4, 2013, Vines contacted the security division
regarding his personal safety. Copies of that letter were
sent to defendants Bouffard and Powers. On August 12, 2013,
Vines' letter was forwarded to Warden Brighthaupt. On
August 21, 2013, Vines filed an administrative remedy form
concerning his personal safety. It was returned without
disposition. Vines filed a second administrative remedy form
on September 1, 2013, but received no response.
September 11, 2013, during a 9/11 memorial broadcast,
Correctional Officer Briatico stated, "To Hell with all
these Muslims." When confronted by other Muslim inmates,
defendant Briatico made other derogatory remarks. Vines told
the other inmates to make written complaints against her. The
following day, Correctional Officer Briatico filed a false
disciplinary report against Vines for interfering with safety
and security by recommending that the inmates report her.
September 20, 2013, Vines wrote to the Commissioner of the
Department of Correction regarding the above incidents. On
October 4, 2013, Deputy Warden Cepelak informed Vines that a
copy of the letter was being forwarded to Warden Brighthaupt.
She told Vines he could resubmit the matter to her office
only if he was unable to resolve it at the facility or
district levels and instructed him to include all responses
to his correspondence with any resubmission.
September 24, 2013, Vines submitted an administrative remedy
form against Correctional Officer Briatico for slanderous
remarks against Muslims. He did not receive any written
response. On October 2, 2013, Captain Garcia interviewed
Vines regarding the remarks on September 11, 2013, and asked
him for a list of inmates who had heard the comment. None of
those inmates was interviewed regarding the incident. On
October 28, 2013, Vines submitted his administrative remedy
to level 2. It was stamped "Received, " but not
November 20, 2013, Vines again sought assistance from Deputy
Warden Cepelak. On December 9, 2013, Vines received a letter
from then-Deputy Commissioner Semple telling him to follow
the chain of command. Vines contends that he did so.
alleges that, as a result of these actions, his rights to due
process and to freely practice his religion have been
infringed. He has been placed in punitive segregation and
subjected to "character assassination, inmate assaults,
threats, retaliation, discrimination ...