United States District Court, D. Connecticut
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on an initial review of the
Complaint [Doc. #1] and Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis [Doc. #2] filed by self-represented plaintiff John
Pace (“plaintiff”). For the reasons set forth
below, plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED. Upon review, the Court
recommends that the Complaint [Doc. #1] be DISMISSED, in
part, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(ii).
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against
defendants Waterbury Police Department; John Doe Officer 1;
John Doe Officer 2; and Sin City Nightclub. See Doc. #1 at 1.
The allegations in plaintiff's Complaint stem from an
incident on July 6, 2014, at the defendant Sin City Nightclub
(“Sin City”) in Waterbury, Connecticut. See
generally Doc. #1. Plaintiff claims that he was attending a
concert at Sin City. See Id. at 1. Upon stepping
outside to smoke a cigarette, plaintiff was approached by Sin
City security guards, who informed plaintiff that he was not
permitted to smoke where he was standing. See Id.
Plaintiff alleges that he was then “[s]uddenly without
warning” pushed down the steps by defendants John Doe
Officer 1 and John Doe Officer 2 (collectively, “John
Doe Officers”). Id. Plaintiff claims that he
was subjected to excessive force by the John Doe Officers
during the course of his arrest, and that said officers
refused plaintiff's request for an ambulance. See
Id. at 2. Plaintiff alleges that the Sin City
security guards witnessed the incident but did not call for
medical assistance for plaintiff. See Id. Plaintiff
was placed in the back of a police wagon and brought to the
police station. See Id. Once at the station,
plaintiff notified the officers of his injuries but was not
provided medical assistance. See Id. Plaintiff
claims that he was bleeding and in pain for two hours. See
Id. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
damages, and attorney's fees. Simultaneously with his
Complaint, plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in
Forma Pauperis. [Doc. #2].
Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis [Doc. #2]
has filed a motion seeking to proceed without payment of fees
and costs, along with a financial affidavit. [Doc. #2].
Plaintiff asserts that he is unable to pay fees and costs, as
he has no monthly income. See Id. at 3-5. Plaintiff
also asserts that he has no assets, cash or securities on
hand. See Id. at 3-4. At this stage, such
allegations are sufficient to establish that the plaintiff
“is unable to pay” the ordinary filing fees
required by the Court. 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(1).
Accordingly, the plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Proceed
in Forma Pauperis [Doc. #2] is GRANTED.
Standard of Review
determination of whether an in forma pauperis plaintiff
should be permitted to proceed under 28 U.S.C. §1915
involves two separate considerations. The Court must first
determine whether the plaintiff may proceed with the action
without prepaying the filing fee in full. See 28 U.S.C.
§1915(a). The Court has already addressed that issue.
Second, section 1915 provides that “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines
that” the case “is frivolous or malicious”
or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted[.]” 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). In
the interest of efficiency, the Court reviews complaints
under this provision shortly after filing to determine
whether the plaintiff has stated a cognizable, non-frivolous
Court construes complaints filed by self-represented
plaintiffs liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972). The Court exercises caution in dismissing a
case under section 1915(e) because a claim that the Court
perceives as likely to be unsuccessful is not necessarily
frivolous. See Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
329 (1989). In addition, “unless the court can rule out
any possibility, however unlikely it might be, that an
amended complaint would succeed in stating a claim[, ]”
the Court will permit a self-represented plaintiff who is
proceeding in forma pauperis to file an amended complaint
that attempts to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. Gomez v. USAA Fed. Sav. Bank, 171 F.3d 794,
796 (2d Cir. 1999).
brings this action pursuant to section 1983, which creates a
federal cause of action against any person who, under color
of state law, deprives a citizen or a person within the
jurisdiction of the United States of any right, privilege, or
immunity secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States. See 42 U.S.C. §1983. The Court construes
plaintiff's complaint as asserting claims of: (1)
excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment; (2)
deliberate indifference to medical needs in violation of
plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights; (3)
intentional infliction of emotional distress, in violation of
state law; and (4) negligence, in violation of state law.
Doe Officer Defendants
Court turns first to plaintiff's claims against the John
Doe Officers. Plaintiff alleges that, during the course of
his arrest, the John Doe Officers knocked him down the
stairs, grabbed him by the throat, threw him to the ground,
kicked him, kneed him, and slammed his head and chin against
the ground repeatedly. See Doc. #1 at 1-2. The Court finds
that plaintiff has sufficiently alleged a ...