United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON DEFENDANT JACLYN OSDEN'S MOTION TO
DISMISS [No. 29].
VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
October 26, 2015, the plaintiff, Candido Torres, commenced a
civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
several employees of the New Hampshire and Connecticut
Departments of Correction in their individual and official
capacities, alleging violations of his constitutional rights
under the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment [No.
1]. He also raised claims of negligence against all
defendants, and requested declaratory, injunctive and
compensatory relief. Thereafter, this Court dismissed all of
the plaintiff's claims except those alleging violations
of his First and Eighth Amendment rights by defendant Jaclyn
Osden (“Osden”), a Counselor Supervisor for the
Connecticut Department of Correction, in her individual and
official capacities [Nos. 9, 30]. Osden now moves to dismiss
the plaintiff's remaining claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) on grounds of qualified immunity and failure to
state a claim upon which relief could be granted [No. 29].
The plaintiff has not responded to Osden's
motion. For the reasons that follow, Osden's
motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Standard of Review
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain a
“short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Although Rule 8
does not require “detailed factual allegations, ”
it “demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167
L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A complaint that offers mere conclusory
statements without factual support will not suffice to
withstand dismissal. Id.
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp., 550 U.S. at 570).
“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.” Id. The plausibility
standard is not a probability requirement; the complaint must
show, not merely allege, that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. Id. “Determining whether a complaint
states a plausible claim for relief will . . . be a
context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to
draw on its judicial experience and common sense.”
Id. at 679.
reviewing a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true
all of the facts alleged in the complaint and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678; Graziano v.
Pataki, 689 F.3d 110, 114 (2d Cir. 2012). This principle
does not, however, apply to the legal conclusions that the
plaintiff draws in his complaint. Ashcroft, 556 U.S.
at 678; Bell Atlantic Corp., 550 U.S. at 555.
“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.
When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, [the] court
should assume their veracity and then determine whether they
plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.”
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 679.
. . . the complaint was filed pro se, it must be
construed liberally with ‘special solicitude' and
interpreted to raise the strongest claims that it
suggests.” Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515
(2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Hill v. Curcione, 657 F.3d
116, 122 (2d Cir. 2011)). Nevertheless, a pro se
plaintiff's complaint must state a plausible claim for
Court articulated the following facts in its Initial Review
Order [No. 9] on May 3, 2016:
The plaintiff asserts that Connecticut Department of
Correction officials transferred him to the New Hampshire
Department of Corrections to serve his sentence. The
Plaintiff claims that during his confinement in Connecticut,
he had renounced his membership in the Latin Kings gang. Upon
being transferred to New Hampshire, the Plaintiff became
inducted into the Neta prison gang.
In December 2014, the Plaintiff was incarcerated in the New
Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord, New Hampshire
(“NH Concord”). In late December 2014, the
Plaintiff became upset about not being permitted to speak
Spanish freely, and engaged in an argument with correctional
staff. Shortly after the argument, the warden transferred the
Plaintiff to the Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility
in Berlin, New Hampshire (“NNH Berlin”). The
Plaintiff claims that his girlfriend learned from New
Hampshire Population Management and Classification Director
Lacasse that Plaintiff had been transferred in retaliation
for his complaints about staff refusing to permit him to
freely speak Spanish. The Plaintiff later learned that Unit
Manager McGrath was also responsible for the decision to
transfer him to Berlin.
The Plaintiff married his girlfriend on January 15, 2015. His
wife made him choose between her and his membership in a
prison gang. Between February and May 2015, the Plaintiff and
his wife wrote many letters to [Osden], who works in the
Sentence Calculation and Interstate Management Office of the
Connecticut Department of Correction. The Plaintiff informed
[Osden] that he sought to renounce his membership in the Neta
prison gang and that he and his wife were very concerned
about potential reprisals by members of the prison gang after
he renounced his membership in the gang. He made it clear
that he feared for his safety.
On March 13, 2015, the Plaintiff was cut in the back of the
head by an inmate who was part of a gang. Prison officials
placed him in protective custody. Despite the Plaintiff's
concerns about his safety, [Osden] informed him that due to
the fact that the cut was superficial, he would not be
transferred back to Connecticut.
On March 19, 2015, shortly after being transferred to general
population, an inmate assaulted the Plaintiff in the
bathroom. The Plaintiff immediately contacted prison staff,
including Lieutenant McFarland. Prison staff did not report
the incident. Prison officials, including Lieutenant
McFarland, did not investigate the incident.
In April 2015, the Plaintiff pled guilty to a disciplinary
ticket charging him with intoxication. He received multiple
sanctions. [Osden] informed the Plaintiff that he would not
be able to return to Connecticut due to a disciplinary
infraction that he had received in August 2014. To be
eligible to transfer back to Connecticut, prison ...