United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHAZ O. GULLEY, Plaintiff,
LIEUTENANT SEMPLE, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge.
Chaz O. Gulley, currently incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield,
Connecticut, filed this case pro se under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 asserting claims for violation of his Eighth
Amendment rights. He asserts federal claims for use of
excessive force and deliberate indifference to serious
medical needs. The plaintiff names as defendants Commissioner
Semple, Captain Shabenas, Deputy Warden Zegarzewski,
Lieutenant Perez, Lieutenant Shweighoffer, Director of
Security Whidden, Captain Korch, Correctional Officer
Pearson, Nurse J. Brennan, Counselor Gaudet, and District
Administrator Peter Murphy. All defendants are named in
individual and official capacities.
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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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 570.
plaintiff divides his allegations into five counts: (1)
deliberate indifference/sexual harassment, (2) and (3)
unreasonable force, (4) excessive force, and (5) due process.
Deliberate Indifference/Sexual Harassment
April 11, 2016, the plaintiff was transferred from Corrigan
Correctional Institution (“Corrigan”) to Walker
Correctional Institution (“Walker”). His transfer
coincided with the service of a complaint in another federal
civil rights action filed by the plaintiff. Walker houses
security risk group program phases one and two. The plaintiff
was housed in phase three of the program at Corrigan. Even
though the conditions at Walker were more restrictive, the
plaintiff was relieved at the transfer. While at Walker, he
had no negative confrontations with correctional staff.
11, 2016, the plaintiff was transferred back to Corrigan. The
plaintiff was confused about the transfer and became
paranoid. He told Mental Health staff Linda that he did not
feel safe. In response, Mental Health staff placed the
plaintiff on Behavior Observation Status in the restrictive
housing unit. The lieutenant escorting the plaintiff to
restrictive housing told him that the administration would
see him in the morning.
12, 2016, Warden Santiago, Deputy Warden Zegarzewski, and
Captain Shabenas stopped at the plaintiff's cell. The
plaintiff repeatedly asked why he was back at Corrigan when
he was transferred because he had filed a civil lawsuit.
Captain Shabenas told the plaintiff that they did not care
about his lawsuit. The officials believed that the plaintiff
had a sexual relationship with a female officer and, once the
officer had transferred to a different correctional facility,
the plaintiff was brought back to Corrigan. Captain Shabenas
stated that they were also suspicious of the relationship
between the plaintiff and supervising psychologist Coursen.
The plaintiff claimed a professional relationship only.
the officials continued their tour of the unit, Lieutenant
Perez inquired about the relationship between the plaintiff
and Dr. Coursen. Lieutenant Perez stated that Dr. Coursen was
making enemies because she reports improper conduct by
correctional staff. He offered to have the plaintiff
transferred back to general population if he would help set
up Dr. Coursen. The plaintiff ignored the offer.
July 12, 2016, and August 16, 2016, the plaintiff requested
mental health services about twice each week for complaints
of agitation, stress, depressing moods, and paranoid
thoughts. Mental Health Social Worker Matt told the plaintiff
that Dr. Coursen was on vacation but would see him when she
returned. No other mental health staff member would treat the
plaintiff until Dr. Coursen returned, because she had been
seeing him weekly and had the best rapport with him. The
plaintiff also attributes the lack of treatment to mental
health social workers being laid off.
plaintiff wrote several letters to Commissioner Semple
regarding his Security Risk Group status and placement.
Commissioner Semple referred the letters to Director of
Security Whidden, who has not yet removed the plaintiff from
the Security Risk Group Program.
August 12, 2016, the plaintiff signed paperwork to enter
phase five of the Security Risk Group Program, the final
phase of the program. On August 16, 2016, the plaintiff had a
scheduled legal call with Assistant Attorney General Wilson,
counsel for the defendants in another of the plaintiff's
federal civil rights actions. Counselor Gaudet told the
plaintiff that the legal call had been cancelled as the
result of a facility lockdown.
plaintiff experienced an emotional breakdown and threw a
cosmetic item at his cell wall. Lieutenant Perez was called
to the housing unit. The plaintiff was told that he would be
taken to speak with mental health staff and that he should
not receive a disciplinary report for the outburst as he did
not threaten to hurt himself or ...