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Payton v. Conn. Dep't of Corr.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 20, 2017

ALBERT PAYTON, Plaintiff,
v.
CONN. DEP'T OF CORR., et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          Stefan R. Underhill United States District Judge

         The plaintiff, Albert Payton, is incarcerated at the Osborn Correctional Institution. He has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Connecticut Department of Correction, University of Connecticut Correctional Managed Health Care, Dr. Naqui, Sean MacRae and Richard Furey.

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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. 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).

         I. Allegations

         Payton suffers from debilitating back problems and is allergic to Motrin. That allergy is noted in Payton's medical file.

         On an unidentified date at an unidentified location, Dr. Naqvi, Sean MacRae, and Richard Furey allegedly prescribed Motrin for Payton. Payton claims that after taking Motrin he suffered from anaphylactic shock and medical staff provided him with Benadryl “to counteract the severe allergic reaction.” Compl., Doc No. 1, at 4.

         Payton claims that the blatant disregard of the notation in his chart indicating that he is allergic to Motrin constituted gross negligence and medical malpractice by the Department of Correction, University of Connecticut Correctional Managed Health Care, Naqui, MaCrae, and Furey. In addition, Payton alleges that the defendants were deliberately indifferent to his debilitating back pain.

         He sues the defendants in their individual capacities only. He seeks monetary damages and an order “restricting CT DOC, UCONN CMHC from committing those actions set forth by complaint.” Id. at 5.

         II. Analysis

         A. Claims against State Agencies

         To state a claim under section 1983, the plaintiff must allege facts showing that the defendant, 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). Neither the State of Connecticut Department of Correction nor University of Connecticut Correctional Managed Health Care is a person subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         A state agency is not a person within the meaning of section 1983. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) (state and state agencies not persons within meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 1983). The Department of Correction is a state agency. See Vaden v. Connecticut, 557 F.Supp.2d 279, 288 (D. Conn. 2008); Garris v. Dep't of Corr., 170 F.Supp.2d 182, 186 (D. Conn. 2001). Like other state agencies, the Department of Correction is not a person within the meaning of section 1983. See Torrence v. Pelkey, 164 F.Supp.2d 264, 271 (D. Conn. 2001) (observing that the State of Connecticut Department of Correction is a state agency and that ‘[i]t is well-settled that a state agency is not a “person” within the meaning of § 1983') (citing cases). Thus, I dismiss the claims against the State of Connecticut Department of Correction as lacking an arguable legal basis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).

         Correctional Managed Health Care provides medical treatment to inmates and “is a division of a state agency, the University of Connecticut Health Center.” Jolly v. Correctional Managed Health Care, 2009 WL 233667, at *3 (D. Conn. Jan. 30, 2009), aff'd, 375 F. App'x 67 (2d Cir. 2010) (summary order). Because Correctional Managed Health Care is a division of a state agency, it is not considered to be a person subject to suit under section 1983. See Gaby v. Bd. of Trs. of Cmty. Tech. Colls., 348 F.3d 62, 63 (2d Cir. 2003) (per curiam) (noting decisions holding that state universities and their boards of trustees are not persons within the meaning of section 1983); Walker v. Connecticut, 2006 WL 1981783, at *2 (D. Conn. Mar. 15, 2006) (dismissing action against CMHC under section 1983 because CMHC is not a “person” within the meaning of the statute); Stewart v. John Dempsey Hosp., 2004 WL 78145, at *2 (D. Conn. Jan. 9, 2004) (holding that John Dempsey Hospital University of Connecticut Health Center is not a person within the meaning of section 1983). I dismiss the claims against the University of Connecticut Correctional Managed Health Care as lacking an arguable legal basis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).

         B. Claims ...


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