United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
plaintiff, Jeffrey DeAngelis, is incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield,
Connecticut. He has filed a complaint naming Warden Antonio
Santiago, Deputy Warden Martin, Commissioner Scott Semple,
Correctional Officers Murphy and Colby, Intelligence Officer
Lamotte, Property Officers Muckle and Kudzal, Administrative
Remedy Coordinators Michelle King and Kimberly Daly,
Lieutenant Field and Statewide Property Liaison Rivera as
defendants. For the reasons set forth below, the complaint is
dismissed in part.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss . . . any portion of [a] complaint [that] is
frivolous, malicious, or 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. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions, ’ ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action’ or ‘naked
assertions]’ devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, ’” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet
the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
plaintiff claims that on December 29, 2015 at
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution
(“Corrigan-Radgowski”), Correctional Officers
Murphy and Colby entered his cell and began to search it. The
plaintiff complained about Officer Murphy chewing tobacco and
spitting it out in his cell. During the search, Officer
Murphy found a cup of liquid that smelled like it contained
an alcoholic substance. The plaintiff allegedly admitted to
Lieutenant Field that the cup of liquid belonged to him.
Prison officials issued the plaintiff a disciplinary report
for possessing an intoxicating substance. Lieutenant Field
placed the plaintiff in a cell in the restrictive housing
unit. Prison officials released the plaintiff from the
restrictive housing unit on January 2, 2016.
his release, the plaintiff did not receive any of the
personal property that had been in his cell prior to the
search and his transfer to the restrictive housing unit.
Administrative Remedy Coordinator King refused to permit the
plaintiff to go to the property room to retrieve his personal
January 4, 2016, Intelligence Officer Lamotte issued the
plaintiff another disciplinary report for contraband
allegedly found in his cell on December 29, 2015. The
plaintiff claims that this additional report violated
Department of Correction Administrative Directives that
prohibited multiple disciplinary reports for the same offense
arising out of the same incident. The plaintiff alleges that
Intelligence Officer Lamotte “maliciously changed the
date of the ticket to January 4, 2016, ” and told the
plaintiff to “stop messing with our dip, ”
referring to the plaintiffs repeated complaints about the use
of tobacco by staff. (ECF No. 1 at 7.) Prison officials found
the plaintiff guilty of the offense and sanctioned him to ten
days of risk reduction earned credits. Prison officials
released the plaintiff from the restrictive housing unit on
January 8, 2016.
plaintiff claims that on December 29, 2015, Intelligence
Officer Lamotte removed his personal property from his cell
and did not inventory it. Lieutenant Field incorrectly listed
another officer as having packed and inventoried the
plaintiffs property. On January 8, 2016, the plaintiff went
to retrieve his property from the property room. Property
Officer Kudzal informed the plaintiff that his Nike sneakers
had been confiscated because they cost more than $100.00.
Property Officer Kudzal provided the plaintiff with a receipt
indicating that he had thirty days to arrange to send his
sneakers out of the facility or to have them picked up. The
plaintiff informed Property Officer Kudzal that he had been
permitted to possess the Nike sneakers pursuant to a decision
made by Commissioner Semple and that he had a receipt
indicating the sneakers only cost $89.90.
reviewing the items of property provided to him by Property
Officer Kudzal, the plaintiff noticed that his Nintendo
machine, 5 games, his headphones and all of his clothing were
missing. Property Officer Kudzal informed the plaintiff that
he did not know who had packed his property and Property
Officer Muckle had not prepared an inventory of the property
when it was delivered to the property room. Officer Kudzal
did find an inventory of the plaintiff’s property from
November 20, 2015.
plaintiff claims that he wrote to Warden Santiago and Deputy
Warden Martin on December 29, 2015, regarding the use of
chewing tobacco by officers at Corrigan-Radgowski and the
fact that he had been recording dates and times when officers
had used chewing tobacco. The plaintiff contends that inmates
would take the discarded chewing tobacco from trash cans in
the prison facility, dry it out and then smoke it. The
plaintiff asserts that he has been exposed to tobacco smoke
when it came through the vents into his cell and housing
unit. The plaintiff claims that the defendants had
confiscated his sneakers in retaliation for the grievances
that he had filed about tobacco use by correctional staff.
February 2, 2016, Commissioner Semple directed Warden
Santiago to return the plaintiff’s Nike sneakers to him
because they were part of a settlement agreement. Deputy
Warden Martin later informed the plaintiff that his sneakers
would not be returned to him.
February 5, 2016, Property Officer Muckle provided the
plaintiff with a memorandum indicating that the sneakers
would not be returned to him because they had been altered
and informing the plaintiff that he had thirty days to mail
them out of the facility or to have them picked up at the
facility. Deputy Warden Martin signed off on this memorandum.
February 8, 2016, Administrative Remedy Coordinator King
assisted the plaintiff in completing paperwork to send the
sneakers to Commissioner Semple in order to disprove the
allegation that he had altered the sneakers. In early March
2016, the plaintiff sent letters to Administrative Remedy
Coordinator King and Warden Santiago regarding his request to
have his sneakers mailed to Commissioner Semple. On ...