United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Lenworth Style, is incarcerated at the Brooklyn
Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. He has
filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Hartford Correctional Center Officers Brown, Dastasi,
and Doe, and Warden Faneuff, and pursuant to Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics,
403 U.S. 388 (1971) (“Bivens”), against
Assistant Federal Public Defender James Maguire and the U.S.
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). In Bivens, the Supreme Court held that
federal officials may be sued for damages in their individual
capacities for violations of a person's constitutional
rights. Thus, a Bivens action is the nonstatutory
federal counterpart of a civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See Ellis v. Blum, 643 F.2d 68,
84 (2d Cir. 1981). My analysis of Bivens claims
therefore parallels the analysis used to evaluate state
prisoners' section 1983 claims. See Tavarez v.
Reno, 54 F.3d 109, 110 (2d Cir. 1995) (“Because
the two actions share the same ‘practicalities of
litigation', federal courts have typically incorporated
§ 1983 law into Bivens actions.” (quoting
Burnett v. Grattan, 468 U.S. 42, 50 (1984)). To
state a claim under Bivens, a claimant must show (1)
a deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws
of the United States; and (2) that the deprivation of the
right was caused by an official acting under color of federal
law. See id.
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, malicious, or 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
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).
October 18, 2016, Style arrived at Hartford Correctional
Center (“Hartford Correctional”). See
Compl., Exs., Doc. No. 1-1 at 6, 21. On October 31, 2016,
Correctional Officer Brown informed Style that he had an
attorney visit, but did not identify the attorney by name.
See Compl., Doc. No. 1 at 1. Style was not aware
that any attorney visit had been scheduled and did not want
to meet with the attorney who had been appointed to represent
him in his federal criminal case due to a conflict of
interest. See Id. Officer Brown and Officer Dastasi
informed Style that the visit was about the fact that one of
his kids had died. See Id. Neither officer disclosed
the name of the child who had passed away. See Id.
Nor did they know the name of the attorney who had come to
visit Style. See id.
Brown and Dastasi handed Style a pass to go down to the area
where he could visit with the attorney who had come to the
facility. See Id. When he arrived at the attorney
visitation area, Style questioned Officer John Doe #1 about
the identity of the attorney who had come to visit him.
See Id. Officer John Doe #1 was unable to read the
signature in the log book of the attorney who had come to
visit Style. See Id. Without waiting to meet with
the attorney, Style asked another officer to escort him back
to his housing unit. See id.
arrived back at his housing unit, Style asked Officer Brown
for permission to call his family to find out which of his
children had passed away. See Id. Officer Brown
informed Style that his shift had ended and Style would have
to ask for a telephone call from the officer assigned to the
next shift. Style asked the next shift officer, John Doe #2,
for permission to make a call to his family. See Id.
Officer John Doe #2 informed Style that he would have to wait
to make the call until after a count had been taken of all
inmates in the unit. See id.
then asked Officer John Doe #3 to make a telephone call to
his family and the officer told Style he would have to wait
until 6:30 pm to make his call and called him a
“dumbass.” See Id. Style asked Officer
John Doe #3 if he could speak to a mental health worker.
See Id. Officer John Doe #3 permitted Style to go
the mental health department. See Id. A mental
health worker granted Style's request to call his sister
who confirmed that no one had died. See id.
filed several inmate requests seeking an investigation into
the dissemination of false information regarding a death in
his family by Officers Brown and Dastasi. See Id. On
November 1, 2016, Style gave a statement to Captain Green as
part of the investigation. See id.
November 3, 2016, Assistant Federal Public Defender James
Maguire visited Style. See Id. at 8-9. Style claims
that Attorney Maguire apologized for falsely informing
correctional officers that one of his children had passed
away. See Id. at 9. Style asked Attorney Maguire to
leave because he did not want Maguire to act as his attorney
and had allegedly already tried to fire Maguire as his
attorney on two previous occasions. See id.
December 21, 2016, Captain Green spoke with Style regarding
the investigation into the information that had been
disseminated about his children's wellbeing. See
Id. Captain Green informed Style that the message that a
child had passed away had been intended for another inmate
who met with Attorney Maguire on October 31, 2016. See
Id. at 8-9. On December 23, 2016, Style received a
written reply from Warden Faneuff confirming that the
information regarding the death of a child had been
mistakenly disseminated to Style instead of to the proper
inmate. See Compl., Exs., Doc. No. 1-1 at 27. Warden
Faneuff apologized for any distress the incident had caused
Style. See id.
wrote to Commissioner Semple regarding the October 31, 2016
incident. See Compl., Doc. No. 1 at 9. On January
27, 2017, Warden Faneuff and another officer allegedly
verbally threatened and harassed Style in Warden
Faneuff's office. See id.
claims that Hartford Correctional officials delayed delivery
of legal papers that had been sent to him at the facility on
December 15, 2016. See Id. Style received the legal
mail on December 27, 2016. The legal mail had already been
opened outside of his presence. See id.
claims that the U.S. Marshals knew about the incident that
occurred on October 31, 2016 and that he was not receiving
medical and dental treatment at Hartford Correctional.
See Id. On January 24, 2017, Judge Covello
authorized a transfer of Style from Hartford Correctional to
a federal prison facility. See Id. The ...