Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rogers v. Turner

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

September 6, 2016

WAYNE ROGERS, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER JAMES TURNER, ET AL., Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER

          Michael P. Shea United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff, Wayne Rogers, is incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut. He has filed an amended complaint naming Correctional Officer Turner and Lieutenant Ballan as defendants. For the reasons set forth below, the amended complaint is dismissed in part.

         Pursuant 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).

         Although 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 assertion[s]' 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 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 omitted).

         The plaintiff claims that in July 2015, he was incarcerated at Corrigan Correctional Institution. On July 26, 2015, Correctional Officer Turner asked the plaintiff to leave his cell and to wait in the stairway. Officer Turner then spent two hours searching the plaintiff's cell. The plaintiff observed Officer Turner take his radio and throw away his food tray. When the plaintiff questioned Officer Turner about the food and radio, Officer Turner became enraged, slammed the plaintiff to the floor of his cell, and swore at him. After Officer Turner left the plaintiff's cell, the plaintiff covered the window in the door of his cell in an effort to make the officers in the housing unit to summon a lieutenant to his cell.

         Lieutenant Ballan arrived at the plaintiff's cell and spoke to the plaintiff about why he had covered his cell window. The plaintiff disclosed that he felt unsafe and asked to speak with mental health staff. Lieutenant Ballan refused to permit the plaintiff to leave his cell or to speak with someone from the mental health department. The plaintiff then falsely informed Lieutenant Ballan that he had spread feces around his cell and again requested to see mental health staff. Lieutenant Ballan threatened the plaintiff with physical harm if he continued to keep his cell window covered. Other officers attempted to speak to the plaintiff through the cell door, but the plaintiff ignored them and refused to remove the covering from his cell window.

         The plaintiff lay on the floor of his cell to wait for mental health personnel to arrive. Lieutenant Ballan sprayed a chemical agent into the plaintiff's cell. Officers then entered the plaintiff's cell to handcuff and remove him from the cell. During this process, Officer Turner punched the plaintiff in the face and spit and swore at him. The plaintiff lost consciousness at one point. Officers dragged the plaintiff backwards out of the cell by his arms because he could not walk. Officers then brought a wheelchair to transport the plaintiff to the medical department.

         Medical staff members treated the plaintiff's injuries. Officers then escorted the plaintiff to the restrictive housing unit, strip-searched him, and placed him in a cell that was filthy and smelled of urine and feces.

         The plaintiff informed Lieutenant Ballan of the conditions in the cell and that he felt dizzy and nauseous, but Lieutenant Ballan refused to take any action to remedy the conditions. A short time later, the plaintiff notified other officers that he felt dizzy and nauseous. Those officers summoned medical staff to the plaintiff's cell. After speaking to the plaintiff, medical staff directed the officers to move the plaintiff to the medical unit for observation.

         The following day, officers escorted the plaintiff back to the “same dirty cell.” (ECF No. 11 at 14.) Medical staff recommended that the plaintiff take pain medication and rest. The plaintiff suffers from headaches, shoulder pain, anxiety, and high blood pressure.

         For relief, the plaintiff seeks monetary damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. To the extent the plaintiff seeks damages against the defendants in their official capacities, the claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985); Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 342 (1979). All such claims are dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).

         The court concludes that the plaintiff has stated plausible Eighth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference to his health and safety and the use of excessive force against Officer Turner and plausible Eighth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference to his health and safety, deliberate indifference to medical and mental health needs, and the use of excessive force against Lieutenant Ballan. These claims will proceed against the defendants in their individual capacities and in their official capacities to the extent that the plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.

         ORDERS

         The Court enters the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.