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Sosa v. Commissioner of Correction

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

August 29, 2017

ANDRES R. SOSA
v.
COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION ET AL.

          Argued May 30, 2017

          Andres R. Sosa, self-represented, the appellant (plaintiff).

          Robert S. Dearington, assistant attorney general, with whom, on the brief, was George Jepsen, attorney general, for the appellees (defendants).

          Sheldon, Mullins and Sullivan, Js.

         Procedural History

         Action, inter alia, to recover damages for the alleged deprivation of the plaintiff's federal constitutional rights, and for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of New Britain, where the court, Gleeson, J., granted in part the defendants' motion to dismiss, from which the plaintiff appealed to this court. Appeal dismissed in part; affirmed.

         Syllabus

         The self-represented, incarcerated plaintiff brought this action against the defendants, employees of the Department of Correction, including the Commissioner of Correction, claiming that the defendants wrongly revoked his visitation privileges in violation of his constitutional rights. The trial court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss as to all claims for monetary damages as to all of the defendants in their official and individual capacities on the basis of sovereign immunity, and it dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against the defendants in their individual capacities due to insufficient service of process. The court denied the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims for prospective declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants in their official capacities. From the judgment of dismissal, the plaintiff appealed to this court.

         Held:

         1. Because the trial court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims for declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants in their official capacities, those claims remained pending, and, therefore, the court did not render a final judgment disposing of all causes of action against the defendants in their official capacities; accordingly, because there was no final judgment as to all of the plaintiff's claims against the defendants in their official capacities, this court lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiff's appeal from the dismissal of his claims for monetary damages against the defendants in their official capacities.

         2. The plaintiff could not prevail on his claim that the trial court improperly dismissed his claims for monetary, declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants in their individual capacities, which was based on his claim that the court improperly dismissed those claims for insufficient service of process and determined that those claims were barred by qualified immunity; the plaintiff's challenge to the court's qualified immunity determination was inadequately briefed and, thus, was not reviewable, and where, as here, the defendants were served at the Office of the Attorney General, not at their usual places of abode, they were properly served in their official capacities only and, therefore, the trial court properly dismissed all of the plaintiff's claims against the defendants in their individual capacities for lack of personal jurisdiction.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         The self-represented, incarcerated plaintiff, Andres R. Sosa, brought this action for monetary damages and declaratory and injunctive relief, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against employees of the Department of Correction, including Commissioner of Correction Scott Semple, Warden Carol Chapdelaine, and District Administrator Angel Quiros, individually and in their official capacities. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants wrongly revoked his visitation privileges in violation of his rights under the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States constitution. The trial court granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants. The court granted the motion to dismiss as to all claims for monetary damages as to all of the defendants in their official and individual capacities. The court also granted the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims for injunctive and declaratory relief against the defendants in their individual capacities, but denied the motion to dismiss his claims for prospective declarative and injunctive relief against the defendants in their official capacities. The plaintiff appeals from the judgment of dismissal of all of his claims against the defendants in their individual capacities and his claim for monetary damages in their official capacities. Because there is no final judgment as to the plaintiff's claims against the defendants in their official capacities, we dismiss the plaintiff's appeal from the judgment of the trial court dismissing his claim for monetary damages against the defendants in their official capacities. We affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing all of the claims against the defendants in their individual capacities.

         The trial court set forth the following relevant procedural history. ‘‘The action primarily concerns the constitutionality of a portion of Department of Correction administrative directive § 10.6 prohibiting prisoners from receiving contact ...


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