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McLellan v. Chapdelaine

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 27, 2017




         Plaintiff, Ralph Mclellan, is incarcerated at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut (“MacDougall-Walker”). He has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants, Warden Carol Chapdelaine, District Administrator Angel Quiros, Captain Rivera, Lieutenants Richardson and Roy, Correctional Officers Lagassey, Gonzalez and Rule, Counselor Landolina, John Doe, John Doe #2, Jane Doe and Jane Doe #2. For the reasons set forth below, the Complaint is dismissed.

         Under 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 still 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).

         Mr. Mclellan claims that on June 29, 2016, at MacDougall-Walker, Correctional Officer Lagassey reviewed telephone calls made by Inmate Rivera to Lyzzenia Colon. After concluding that Inmate Rivera was using code names to refer to narcotics that he intended to receive during a visit from Lyzzenia Colon, Officer Lagassey began to investigate Inmate Rivera. Officer Lagassey allegedly believed that Mr. Mclellan's fiancée, Tina Seckington, was supplying the narcotics to Lyzzenia Colon. On June 29, 2016, Officer Lagassey allegedly issued Inmate Rivera a disciplinary report for conspiracy to convey contraband, and on July 14, 2016, Officer Lagassey allegedly concluded that Inmate River had been conveying narcotics into the prison through contact visits.

         According to Mr. Mclellan, prison officials initiated an investigation into Inmate Rivera's suspected attempts to have Mr. Mclellan's fiancée deliver narcotics to Lyzzenia Colon to then be conveyed into the prison facility. On July 14, 2016, prison officials allegedly placed Mr. Mclellan on administrative detention pending the investigation. Mr. Mclellan alleges that, on July 15, 2016, based on this investigation, Officer Lagassey issued Mr. Mclellan a disciplinary report for conspiracy to convey contraband.

         Mr. Mclellan states that Lieutenant Roy and Captain Rivera were Officer Lagassey's supervisors. He states that he did not understand why he received the disciplinary report, and he maintains his innocence.

         Mr. Mclellan allegedly asked Counselor Landolina to contact Tina Seckington to get a statement from her regarding her alleged involvement in the attempt to convey narcotics into MacDougall-Walker. Counselor Landolina allegedly never contacted Tina Seckington or any other individuals who could have been witnesses in connection with the disciplinary report issued to Mr. Mclellan.

         As of July 26, 2016, Mr. Mclellan was allegedly permitted non-contact visitation with six individuals, including his fiancée Tina Seckington. At some point after July 26, 2016, and before August 2, 2016, prison officials allegedly de-activated Tina Seckington from Mr. Mclellan's visitor list.

         Mr. Mclellan states that, on August 4, 2016, he participated in a hearing regarding his disciplinary report. Mr. Mclellan contends that Lieutenant Richardson did not provide him with any documentation in support of the disciplinary charge. He also states that Lieutenant Richardson denied his requests for a continuance and for a new advocate in order to secure witnesses. Lieutenant Richardson allegedly found Mr. Mclellan guilty of the charge of conspiracy to convey contraband and sanctioned him to fifteen days punitive segregation, sixty days loss of visits, sixty days loss of commissary and fifteen days loss of Risk Reduction Earned Credits.

         Mr. Mclellan appealed the guilty finding. On September 9, 2016, District Administrator Quiros allegedly rejected the appeal because it was untimely and exceeded the number of pages permitted by the administrative directives.

         On November 1, 2016, Mr. Mclellan allegedly wrote a letter to Captain Rivera requesting that Tina Seckington be re-activated to his list of visitors and alleging that she had been improperly removed. On November 7, 2016, Captain Rivera allegedly denied the request to reactivate Tina Seckington to Mr. Mclellan's list of visitors because an investigation had uncovered her involvement in the introduction of narcotics into MacDougall-Walker.

         As a preliminary matter, Mr. Mclellan moves to add two exhibits to the Complaint. These motions are granted. The Clerk of the Court shall docket the exhibits attached to the motions as exhibits to the Complaint. The Court will consider the exhibits in conjunction with its review of the Complaint and attached exhibits.

         I. Claims against Defendants Chapdelaine, Gonzalez, Rule and Doe

         Mr. Mclellan does not refer to Warden Chapdelaine, Correctional Officers Rule or Gonzalez or Correctional Employees John Doe, John Doe #2, Jane Doe or Jane Doe #2 other than in the caption of the complaint and description of the parties. As such, Mr. Mclellan has not alleged that they violated his federally or constitutionally protected rights. The claims against these Defendants are dismissed. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).

         II. Fourteenth ...

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