United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Chauncey Moore is currently incarcerated at New Haven
Correctional Center. He has filed a complaint pro se
and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against two correctional officers at Bridgeport Correctional
Center. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages for defendants'
violations of his rights under the Eighth and First
Amendments. After an initial review, the Court concludes that
the complaint should be served on both defendants.
following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are
accepted as true solely for purposes of the Court's
initial review. On February 22, 2015, plaintiff slipped and
fell at Bridgeport Correctional Center. Plaintiff was sent in
an ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of his
injuries. Defendant Correctional Officer Atkins was assigned
to drive plaintiff back to Bridgeport Correctional Center
upon plaintiff's discharge from the hospital. Though
plaintiff was still in a great deal of pain from the
accident, defendant Atkins ordered plaintiff to get out of
bed and into a wheelchair to be escorted to the parking lot.
Plaintiff slipped as he attempted to climb into the vehicle.
When he stumbled and screamed out in pain, defendant Atkins
laughed at him and accused him of faking his injuries. Doc.
#1 at 3 (¶¶ 1-3).
the drive back to Bridgeport Correctional Center, defendant
Atkins continued to verbally taunt plaintiff. Plaintiff
stated that he planned to file a lawsuit against the State of
Connecticut for his injuries, as well as a grievance against
Atkins for taunting and harassing him. Defendant Atkins
responded that he was “going to give [plaintiff]
something to grieve about.” Id. at 3-4 (¶
3). Atkins then began to alternate between slamming on the
brakes and the accelerator, making the vehicle jerk back and
forth, which caused plaintiff to scream out in pain. Atkins
warned plaintiff that if he attempted to file any grievances,
he would regret it and his grievances would go unheard.
Id. at 4 (¶ 3).
Bridgeport Correctional Center, plaintiff was transferred to
the hospital unit of the facility. He received pain
medication and a cane to assist him in walking. He submitted
a grievance form against Atkins on February 23, 2015, the day
after the incident. Id. at 4-5 (¶¶ 4- 5).
On March 5, 2015, plaintiff was transferred out of the
hospital unit and into a dormitory unit. Id. at 5
(¶ 6). On March 20, 2015, he filed a second grievance
form against Atkins, having received no response to the first
form. Id. at 6-7 (¶ 9).
April 20, 2015, plaintiff went to the officers' station
in his unit to get a roll of toilet paper. When he approached
defendant Correctional Officer Murray and asked for toilet
paper, Murray began to yell at plaintiff. He accused
plaintiff of faking his injuries and verbally harassed him in
front of other officers and inmates. Id. at 7
that evening, defendant Murray approached plaintiff while
plaintiff was sitting down playing chess. Murray kicked
plaintiff's chair, hit plaintiff in the face, and then
walked away laughing. Plaintiff, who was still in pain from
his earlier accident, needed help from fellow inmates to
stand up and walk back to his bed. The impact from Murray
kicking the chair reinjured plaintiff's back. Plaintiff
required extra pain medication that night in order to sleep.
Id. at 7-8 (¶ 11).
next morning, plaintiff filled out a grievance form against
Murray and handed it directly to a supervisor, Captain
Poidamani. Captain Poidamani and Lieutenant MacDonald took a
statement from plaintiff, which they typed up and had him
sign. They told him they would launch an investigation. They
then escorted plaintiff to the medical department, to have a
photograph taken of his face and to have his back examined.
Captain Poidamani and Lieutenant MacDonald also took
statements from several eyewitnesses to the incident.
Id. at 8-9 (¶¶ 12-14).
that day, in the presence of Captain Poidamani, Officer
Murray apologized to plaintiff for kicking his chair and
striking him in the face. He stated that he had been joking
and never intended to injure plaintiff. Half an hour later,
Lieutenant MacDonald escorted plaintiff to Deputy Warden
Walker's office. Deputy Warden Walker told plaintiff she
was taking the matter seriously and would launch an
“extensive investigation.” She asked plaintiff if
he wanted to press charges against Murray; plaintiff said he
did not want to press charges at the moment but might change
his mind in the near future. Id. at 9-10
2, 2015, plaintiff filed a grievance appeal form, having
received no response to the two grievance forms he submitted
in February and March against defendant Atkins. On May 12,
2015, prison officials transferred plaintiff from Bridgeport
Correctional Center to MacDougall Correctional Institution.
Plaintiff believes he was transferred because of the
grievances that he filed against defendant Atkins. After his
transfer, plaintiff filed a final grievance against Atkins.
Plaintiff never received a response to any of the grievances
that he filed against Atkins. Id. at 10-11
seeks damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants
Murray and Atkins in their individual capacities. He alleges
that they “owed [him] a duty of care and protection but
intentionally harmed him by causing him pain and
injury.” Id. at 12. Plaintiff claims that as a
result of defendants' actions, he developed arthritis in
his spinal cord, making it difficult for him to walk, bend
over, and move around. He also alleges that he has suffered
mental and emotional distress.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), the 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. The
Court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in a
complaint, although a complaint may not survive unless its
factual recitations state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp.,
770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014). Nevertheless, it is
well-established that “pro se complaints must be
construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest
arguments that they ...