United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHAZ O. GULLEY, Plaintiff,
LIEUTENANT SEMPLE, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER RE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge.
Chaz O. Gulley, currently incarcerated, has filed an amended
complaint in accordance with the Court's December 21,
2016 Order. The plaintiff asserts a claim for use of
excessive force against defendants Captain Shabenas,
Lieutenant Perez, Lieutenant Shweighoffer, Captain Korch,
Correctional Officer Pearson and Captain Doughthery. 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.
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 federal complaint in another
federal civil rights action filed by the plaintiff. Walker
houses the Security Risk Group Program, phases one and two.
The plaintiff had been 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
because he had no negative confrontations with correctional
staff at Walker.
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
also stated that they were 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. He stated that Dr. Coursen was making
enemies because she reports improper conduct by correctional
staff. Lieutenant Perez 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.
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 had not removed the plaintiff from the
Security Risk Group Program at the time the amended complaint
August 16, 2016, the plaintiff experienced an emotional
breakdown in his cell. Lieutenant Perez responded to the
housing unit and told the plaintiff that he would be seen by
mental health staff. The plaintiff was handcuffed and
escorted to the restrictive housing unit. Lieutenant
Doughthery told the plaintiff that he would return to phase 3
and serve six more months in restrictive housing.
protest the conditions of his confinement, the plaintiff
covered his cell window. Verbal intervention was used and,
eventually, the plaintiff consented to be handcuffed.
Lieutenants Perez and Shweighoffer, and Captains Korch,
Shabenas and Doughthery were present when officials
immediately upgraded the plaintiff to four-point restraints.
Captain Shabenas ordered both four-point soft restraints and
hard metal restraints to be used. Lieutenant Shweighoffer
refused to permit the plaintiff to use the bathroom after he
had been confined for between three and four hours. Prisoners
are supposed to be permitted a bathroom and range of motion
break after two hours.
three hours, Lieutenant Shweighoffer and other staff refused
to switch the plaintiff to in-cell restraints to allow him to
use the bathroom. Lieutenant Shweighoffer ordered staff to
cut off the plaintiff's clothes and place him in a safety
the plaintiff had requested to use the bathroom more than ten
times, Lieutenant Shweighoffer offered him a urinal and
bedpan, knowing that the plaintiff was chained to the bed and
use of ...