United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge
Michael Davis is confined at Osborn Correctional Institution.
He has filed a complaint pro se and in forma
pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Based on my
initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I conclude
that the complaint should be served on all defendants.
names three defendants: Captain McDaniel, Correctional
Counselor Szczygiel, and Correctional Officer Rehim, all of
whom work at Garner Correctional Institution. All defendants
are named in their individual and official capacities.
following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are
accepted as true for purposes of the Court's initial
review. On January 28, 2016, at Garner Correctional
Institution, plaintiff was assaulted by Captain McDaniel and
Correctional Officer Rehim. Doc. #1 at 5 (¶ 1).
Plaintiff was being transferred from his housing unit to
restrictive housing as a result of a lost property dispute.
Before his transfer, he overheard Counselor Szczygiel tell
Officer Rehim to “get him” in the hallway. Doc.
#1 at 5 (¶ 2). During the transfer, Officer Rehim
stopped plaintiff in the hallway and accused him of walking
at a fast pace. Ibid. (¶ 3). Plaintiff and
Officer Rehim became upset with each other. Officer Rehim
grabbed plaintiff by the hair and slammed his head against
the concrete wall three times, causing plaintiff to
experience severe pain. Ibid. (¶ 4). Captain
McDaniel, the escorting supervisor, then sprayed a chemical
agent in plaintiff's face without any warning or
justification. Id. at 6 (¶ 5). During the
entire incident, plaintiff was restrained with handcuffs
behind his back and was flanked on both sides by correctional
officers. Ibid. (¶ 6).
suffers from heart, lung, and brain conditions that place him
at a serious risk of harm from exposure to chemical agents
and battery. Ibid. (¶ 7). Following the
incident, plaintiff experienced nightmares as well as extreme
head and nerve pain. He filed medical requests and
administrative complaints but received no response. He was
subsequently transferred out of Garner Correctional
Institution. Ibid. (¶ 8). Garner Correctional
Institution is the primary housing facility for inmates with
mental health needs in Connecticut. Since his transfer from
Garner, plaintiff has been unable to receive the mental
health treatment that he needs. Ibid. (¶ 9).
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), 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. The
Court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in a
complaint, although a complaint may not survive unless its
factual recitations state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp.,
770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014) (same). Nevertheless, it is
well-established that “[p]ro se complaints must be
construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.” Sykes v. Bank of
Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013); see also
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010)
(discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
of excessive force against a prisoner may constitute cruel
and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment
even if the prisoner does not suffer serious injury. See
Hudson v. Palmer, 503 U.S. 1, 4 (1992). In analyzing an
excessive force claim, the “core judicial
inquiry” is “not whether a certain quantum of
injury was sustained, but rather whether force was applied in
a good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or
maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.”
Wilkins v. Gaddy, 559 U.S. 34, 37 (2010) (per
plaintiff alleges that he was assaulted without cause while
restrained. These allegations are sufficient to state a
plausible claim for use of excessive force.
accordance with the foregoing analysis, the Court enters the
(1) The complaint will proceed on the claim against all
defendants for use of excessive force.
(2) The Clerk shall verify the current work addresses of
defendants McDaniel, Szczygiel and Rehim with the Department
of Correction Office of Legal Affairs, mail a waiver of
service of process request packet to each defendant at the
confirmed address within twenty-one (21) days of this Order,
and report to the court on the status of the waiver request
on the thirty-fifth (35) day after mailing. If any defendant
fails to return the waiver request, the Clerk shall make
arrangements for in-person service by the U.S. Marshals
Service on the defendant in his or her ...