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Wright v. Malloy

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 6, 2016

IAN WRIGHT, Plaintiff,
DANNEL P. MALLOY, et al., Defendants.


          Stefan R. Underhill United States District Judge

         Ian Wright filed an amended complaint in accordance with my Order on September 23, 2016. On November 9, 2016, Wright filed a second amended complaint (“SAC”). The SAC appears to be identical to the first amended complaint, with the exception of some additional language that was added to the jurisdictional statement.

         Under Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff must seek the opposing party's written consent or leave of the court to file a second amended complaint. Nonetheless, I will construe the SAC as a request to file an amended complaint, and I will grant it. In the event that Wright ever wishes to further amend his complaint, he must first seek the defendants' written consent or leave of the court.

         In the SAC, Wright challenges the requirement that he participate in the Offender Accountability Plan (“OAP”) and Risk Reduction Earned Credit (“RREC”) programs, even though he is ineligible to earn RREC credits and he is ineligible for a deportation parole of aliens hearing or eligibility determination. Within the body of the SAC, Wright identifies the defendants as Dannel P. Malloy, Scott Semple, Charlton J. Giles, Henry Falcone, David Egan, John Doe District Administrator and John Doe Division Administrator.

         Under section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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 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 570. 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) (quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se litigants).

         I. Allegations

         On October 15, 2000, Wright was arrested on charges of murder and carrying a pistol without a permit. He was convicted and, on March 22, 2002, sentenced to a total effective term of imprisonment of 35 years. He has been confined in the custody of the Connecticut Department of Correction since that time.

         Because Wright was convicted of murder after July 1981, Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 18-98e and 54-125a, provide that he is ineligible for: Risk Reduction Earned Credit (“RREC”), a parole hearing, and release on parole. Wright is a Jamaican national and was ordered deported on September 13, 2013. Wright contends that under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-125d(c), he should be eligible for a Deportation Parole of Alien hearing after serving 75 percent of his sentence.

         The Department of Correction required that an Offender Accountability Plan (“OAP”) be developed with each inmate. The OAP is designed to identify and address specific areas the inmate needs to address to successfully reintegrate with the community. Wright contends that the OAP is inapplicable to him because he will not be reentering the community in the United States.

         Wright has been threatened and punished by staff members for refusing to participate in the OAP and RREC procedures. Wright has refused to participate because he is ineligible for RREC and will not be released in the United States.

         In February 2016, a unit counselor at Garner Correctional Institution told Wright that he would have to submit a DNA sample even though he did not earn RREC and had been ordered deported. Wright was told that he would be punished if he failed to comply. Wright addressed his concerns to defendant Falcone who said that the policy was mandatory for all inmates.

         In March 2016, Wright was informed by counselor Ligon that he had been selected to participate in the Threshold program and that his participation was mandatory. Wright informed counselor Ligon that defendant Falcone had told him that the OAP and RREC policies did not apply to him because he did not earn RREC and had been ordered deported. Counselor Ligon stated that she would contact defendant Falcone. Wright also wrote to defendant Falcone to remind him of their previous conversation.

         On April 6, 2016, Wright received a response from counselor supervisor WynKoop, to whom Wright's request to defendant Falcone had been referred. The counselor supervisor told Wright that, if he refused to participate in the program, he would be issued a disciplinary report. The disciplinary report was issued on May 3, 2016. At the hearing, Wright stated that he would participate in the program if he was made eligible for RREC and parole.

         On May 11, 2016, Wright was found guilty of refusing an institutional program. He was sanctioned with 25 days' forfeiture of RREC. When he questioned the sanction, Wright was told that if the law changed and he became eligible for RREC, the sanction would be applied. Wright received an additional sanction of two years' loss of contact visits and ...

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