United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Pedro Gonzalez-Torres (“Gonzalez-Torres”),
currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this case pro
se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the
defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs. Gonzalez-Torres names as defendants Judge John
F. Newson; State Trooper Chivvers; Supervisor Conto; the City
of Norwich; State Trooper Gardner; the Department of
Transportation; the Department of Public Safety; State
Trooper Dale B. Degaetano; State Trooper Browning; Sergeant
Benedict A. Liberatore; Norwich City Hall; State Police Troop
E; Griswold City Hall; Jewett City City Hall; and Montville
City Hall. Gonzalez-Torres seeks damages, medical care and an
order directing State Police Troop E to pay for the medical
complaint was filed on March 21, 2017. Gonzalez-Torres'
motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on
March 28, 2017. I now dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
Standard of Review
section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I 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. 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 Atl. Corp. 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. Nevertheless, it is well-established that
“[p]ro se complaints ‘must be
construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.'” Sykes v. Bank of
Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting
Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471,
474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater,
623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules
of solicitude for pro se litigants).
August 28, 2015, Gonzalez-Torres was arrested by troopers
from State Police Troop E. During the arrest, he began
experiencing “faint back pain.” Doc. No. 1,
¶ 2. On August 29, 2015, Trooper Gardner signed a
temporary surrender statement indicating that Gonzalez-Torres
would be held at Corrigan Correctional Institution until his
arraignment on August 31, 2015. The temporary surrender
statement included the following language: “The
Department of Public Safety assumes all responsibility for
medical treatment and any expenses incurred prior to
arraignment.” Doc. No. 1, Ex. B.
August 31, 2015, Gonzalez-Torres was taken from Corrigan
Correctional Institution to Norwich Superior Court for
arraignment. State Judicial Marshals improperly placed him in
the state transport vehicle so that he was sitting on top of
a seat buckle. This caused him pain.
2016, Gonzalez-Torres complained of severe back pain that was
exacerbated by sitting on the buckle a year earlier. He
stated that Flexeril was the only medication that relieved
his pain and acknowledged that he would soon go to the
University of Connecticut Health Center for treatment. A
nurse referred the matter to a doctor for a chart review.
Doc. No. 1, Ex. C.
initial matter, I note that Gonzalez-Torres has included as
defendants the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the
Connecticut Department of Public Safety and State Police
Troop E. Section 1983 requires that each defendant be a
person acting under color of state law. 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(“Every person who, under color of any statute,
ordnance, regulation, custom or usage, of any State . . .
subjects or causes to be subjected . . . .”). Neither a
state agency nor its subdivision is a person within the
meaning of section 1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep't of
State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) (state agencies
cannot be sued under section 1983). Because none of those
entities is a proper defendant, all claims against the
Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety
and Troop E are dismissed.
also names the Norwich City Hall, the Griswold City Hall, the
Jewett City City Hall and the Montville City Hall as
defendants. If, by these designations, Gonzalez-Torres
intends to name all municipal officials of Norwich, Griswold,
Jewett City and Montville, he has alleged no facts suggesting
that any municipal official was involved in the incidents
underlying this action. Accordingly, all claims against the
Norwich City Hall, the Griswold City Hall, the Jewett City
City Hall, the Montville City Hall and the City of Norwich
are dismissed as lacking any factual basis. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) (directing court to dismiss claims
that lack legal or factual basis).
remaining defendants are six state police troopers and a
state court judge. Gonzalez-Torres alleges no facts against
Judge Newson or troopers Chivvers, Conto, Degaetano, Browning
and Liberatore. The claims against these defendants are
dismissed as lacking any factual basis.
only defendant specifically referenced in the complaint is
Trooper Gardner, who signed the temporary surrender statement
when Gonzalez-Torres was held at Corrigan Correctional
Institution prior to his arraignment. Gonzalez-Torres
contends that defendant Gardner was personally responsible
for his medical care prior to arraignment because the
temporary surrender statement included language indicating
that the Department of Public Safety assumed responsibility
for medical care provided prior to arraignment. There is no
factual basis for this ...