United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
David Lewis, currently incarcerated at Northern Correctional
Institution (“Northern”), has filed a civil
rights complaint against Defendants, the State of Connecticut
Department of Correction, Commissioner Scott Semple, Deputy
Warden William Mulligan, Director of Psychiatric Services
Craig Burns, Director of Offender Classification and
Management David Maiga, Dr. Mark Frayne, Dr. Gerard Gagne and
Health Service Administrator Brien Libel. For the reasons set
forth below, the Complaint is dismissed in part.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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).
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
around June 22, 2015, Commissioner Semple and Directors Maiga
and Burns allegedly transferred Mr. Lewis to Northern. Compl.
¶¶ 16-17, ECF No. 1. Before his incarceration,
mental health workers had allegedly diagnosed Mr. Lewis as
suffering from multiple mental disorders. Id.
¶¶ 12-13. Mr. Lewis has taken medication to treat
the disorders since childhood. Id. ¶ 14. There
are allegedly no mental health units at Northern.
Id. ¶ 20.
Semple, Directors Burns and Maiga, and Deputy Warden Mulligan
allegedly decided to confine Mr. Lewis in phase one of
administrative segregation at Northern. Compl. ¶¶
22, 25-27. Mr. Lewis alleges that the conditions in phase
one, including isolation, are very restrictive and have
exacerbated his mental illnesses and also caused him physical
injury. Id. ¶¶ 25, 66. The conditions
allegedly include: confinement to a cell for twenty-three
hours a day, meals eaten in the cell, recreation for one hour
a day, showers three times a week, no contact visits, one
telephone call a week, no work assignments and no
participation in congregate religious services. Id.
¶ 25. Mr. Lewis also asserts that he must wear full
restraints when leaving his cell. Id. Mr. Lewis
alleges that he has been confined in phase one of
administrative segregation at Northern for almost the entire
time that he has remained at Northern. Id. ¶
his confinement at Northern, Commissioner Semple, Director
Burns, Deputy Warden Mulligan, and Administrator Libel have
allegedly failed to provide mental health treatment to Mr.
Lewis and to hire and train staff to deal with mentally ill
inmates. Compl. ¶¶ 35-42. Drs. Frayne and Gagne,
Director Burns and Administrator Libel have allegedly
neglected to develop an adequate treatment plan for Mr.
Lewis's mental illnesses, failed to provide him with
psychotherapy, refused to involve his family in his mental
health treatment, and discontinued his mental health
medications. Id. ¶¶ 38-42.
Warden Mulligan has allegedly placed Mr. Lewis in a unit with
inmates who are not mentally ill. Compl. ¶ 28. Those
inmates have allegedly taunted, threatened, and verbally
abused Mr. Lewis. Id. ¶ 29. This victimization
has allegedly caused Mr. Lewis anxiety and has allegedly
aggravated his mental health conditions. Id. ¶
Lewis generally alleges that he has received disciplinary
sanctions as a result of his behavior that was caused by his
mental illness. Compl. ¶¶ 32-33. These sanctions
have allegedly included placement in punitive segregation,
placement in in-cell restraints, placement in four-point
restraints, exposure to chemical agents, loss of visitation
and phone privileges, and denial of hygiene items.
Id. ¶ 33. Mr. Lewis alleges that Defendants
made no attempts at mental health intervention to address his
behavior prior to imposing these types of sanctions.
Id. ¶ 34.
Lewis alleges that the conditions at Northern have caused him
to sustain physical and mental injuries and have exacerbated
his mental health conditions. Compl. ¶ 45. Specifically,
he alleges that he has “suffer[ed] from delusions,
bewilderment and racing thoughts, ” a loss of
“sleep and memory . . . anxiety attacks . . . [and]
hallucinations.” Id. ¶ 46. He also
alleges that he has “engage[d] in acts of self-harm,
[such as] bang[ing] his head against the walls and other hard
surfaces.” Id. Defendants have allegedly
refused to obtain copies of Mr. Lewis's mental health
records from other mental health agencies and physicians who
treated him before incarceration. Id. ¶ 48.
Lewis brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(“Section 1983”) and Title II of the Americans
with Disability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.
(the “ADA”). He seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief and monetary damages from the Defendants in their
individual and official capacities.
state a claim under Section 1983, Mr. Lewis must allege facts
showing that a Defendant, who was a person acting under color
of state law, deprived him of a federally protected right.
See Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co., 457 U.S. 922, 930
(1982) (“[T]he § 1983 plaintiff must show both
that he has been deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution and laws of the United States and that the
defendant acted under color of any statute of any
State.” (internal quotation marks omitted));
Sybalski v. Indep. Grp. Home Living Program, Inc.,
546 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 2008) (“Pursuant to section
1983, anyone acting under color of any state statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, who causes a United
States citizen to be deprived of any rights, privileges, or
immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be
liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in
equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.”
(internal quotation marks omitted)).
Lewis alleges, in relevant part, that the Defendants violated
his Eighth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Compl.
¶¶ 65, 68, 72.