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Mercado v. Dep't of Corrections

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 12, 2017

RAUDELL MERCADO, Plaintiff,
v.
DEP'T OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          RULING AND ORDER

          Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant United States District Judge

         On May 25, 2017, Plaintiff, pro se, filed a Motion for an Emergency Hearing on Getting Mental Health Treatment. [Dkt. 86]. In this motion, Plaintiff stated he took 12-15 aspirin on May 13, 2017, because he was “feeling depressed and emotional” in part because he was “in the cell for 24 hours due to it being Saturday and on the weekends.” Id. As a result of this intentional overdose, he was taken to the infirmary where medical staff then discontinued his medications. Id. Plaintiff also notified the Court in this motion that he would be released from Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”) custody on June 16, 2017. Id. He requested a hearing to receive proper medical treatment before his release because he feared release without medication. Id. The Court granted the motion and held a hearing on June 6, 2017. The Court construes Plaintiff's request to be one for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's request.

         Background

         Plaintiff is currently incarcerated at Northern Correctional Institution (“Northern”). He claims to have been diagnosed with multiple mental disorders and that he has taken medication to treat the disorders since childhood. According to Plaintiff, Northern does not have a mental health unit, and he has been placed in the administrative segregation unit for almost the entirety of his stay there. Plaintiff believes that the Defendants have acted with deliberate indifference in failing to provide him with adequate mental health treatment during his custody at Northern and previously at Cheshire Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”). Plaintiff claims that the conditions at Northern and Cheshire have “caused him to suffer from criminal charges; racing thoughts, fear for safety, loss of sleep, extreme anxiety attacks; to engage in acts of being beaten by custody as a form of self-harm . . . extreme distrust of authority figures, to isolate himself out of fear of being attacked; to have depression; [and] to have anger/rages.” [Dkt. 1 ¶ 57].

         In addition, Plaintiff contends Defendant Dr. Gagne sexually harassed him when they spoke one-on-one. The Plaintiff reported the incident, but no action was taken in response to the report. Plaintiff also alleges Defendant Dr. Frayne on many occasions placed the Plaintiff on behavior observation status in retaliation for the Plaintiff's complaints to Dr. Frayne's supervisor regarding improper treatment of the Plaintiff's mental health conditions.

         Plaintiff filed a complaint with this Court on September 27, 2016, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages for violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, unlawful disciplinary sanctions, the Eighth Amendment for an alleged sexual harassment, the First Amendment for retaliation, and 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq. The Court dismissed certain allegations in its Initial Review Order, [Dkt. 20], and presently the following claims remain:

• the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference to mental health needs and safety and unconstitutional conditions of confinement against Defendants Semple, Rinaldi, Erfe, Cournoyer, Mulligan, Laffargue, Burns, Gallagher, Liebel, Cruz, Frayne, Gagne and Johnson in their individual and official capacities;
• the Eighth Amendment sexual harassment claim against Defendant Gagne in his individual and official capacity;
• the Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against Defendants Semple, Rinaldi and Burns in their individual and official capacities in connection with the Plaintiffs improper transfer to Northern and Cheshire and placement in the administrative segregation programs at those facilities;
• the First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendant Frayne in his individual and official capacity; and
• the ADA claim against Defendants Department of Correction, Semple, Rinaldi, Erfe, Cournoyer, Mulligan, Laffargue, Burns, Gallagher, Liebel, Cruz, Frayne, Gagne and Johnson in their official capacities.

Id. at 13. Due to Plaintiff's recently filed Motion for Emergency Hearing, the Court learned that Plaintiff will be released on June 16, 2017. The Court held a hearing to address his current medical treatment as well as DOC's procedure prior to and subsequent to release.

         Legal Standard

         A temporary restraining order is an “extraordinary and drastic remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.” Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Reidy, 477 F.Supp.2d 472, 474 (D. Conn. 2007) (quoting Moore v. Consol. Edison Co. of N.Y.,Inc.,409 F.3d 506, 510 (2d Cir. 2005)). “The purpose of a temporary restraining order is to preserve an existing situation in status quo until the court has an opportunity to pass upon the merits of the demand for a preliminary injunction.” Garcia v. Yonkers Sch. Dist., 561 F.3d 97, 107 (2d Cir. 2009). The factors considered in assessing whether to grant a request for a temporary restraining order are similar to those used to determine the merits of a motion for a preliminary injunction. See Control Sys., Inc. v. Realized ...


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