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Hill v. Chapdelaine

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 5, 2017

DAVID HILL, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN CHAPDELAINE, ET AL., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The plaintiff, David Hill, is currently confined at Cheshire Correctional Institution. He has filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 naming Warden Chapdelaine and Correctional Officers Yekel, John Doe #1, and John Doe #2 as defendants. For the reasons set forth below, the 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 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 omitted).

         The plaintiff asserts that on January 23, 2014, at MacDougall Correctional Institution (“MacDougall”), he was a food worker in N-pod unit. Correctional Officers Yekel, John Doe #1, and John Doe #2 were assigned to work in N-pod unit that day. At approximately 10:40 a.m., Officers Yekel, John Doe #1, and John Doe #2 left N-pod unit. At approximately 10:50 a.m., two unidentified inmates attacked the plaintiff from behind as he stood at the top of the staircase in N-pod unit. The two inmates kicked, punched and stomped on the plaintiff and then threw him down the stairway.

         A correctional employee called a code and other officers arrived at the scene. Officers escorted the plaintiff to a triage area to be evaluated. After examining the plaintiff, medical staff recommended that the plaintiff be transported to the University of Connecticut Health Center (“UCONN”) due to the nature of his injuries.

         Medical staff at UCONN treated the plaintiff's injuries. The plaintiff subsequently spent five days in the infirmary at MacDougall. On January 31, 2014, the plaintiff returned to N-pod unit.

         The plaintiff learned from other inmates that Correctional Officer Yekel had called him a snitch and that is the reason two inmates assaulted him. The plaintiff claims that on many occasions prior to the assault, he had heard Officer Yekel refer to other inmate as snitches.

         The plaintiff filed multiple requests and grievances regarding the incident. He claims that he did not receive responses to any of his requests or grievances.

         The plaintiff filed a health service request on July 12, 2014. MacDougall medical staff resolved the issues with regard to treatment for the plaintiff's injuries. The plaintiff claims to have suffered permanent injuries to his neck, lower back, left ear and left eye. The plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment and monetary damages.

         I. Official Capacity Claims - Money Damages

         To the extent that the plaintiff seeks monetary damages from the defendants in their official capacities, those claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159 (1985) (Eleventh Amendment, which protects the state from suits for monetary relief, also protects state officials sued for damages in their official capacity); Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 342 (1979) (Section 1983 does not override a state's Eleventh Amendment immunity). All claims for monetary damages against the defendants in their official capacities are dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).

         II. Official Capacity Claims - Declaratory Relief

         The plaintiff seeks declaratory relief from the defendants in their official capacities. He asks the court to declare that the conduct of the defendants violated his rights under the Eighth ...


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