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Dorlette v. Tyburski

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 2, 2018

FAROULH DORLETTE, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER TYBURSKI, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER AND RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Faroulh Dorlette (“Mr. Dorlette” or “Plaintiff”), currently incarcerated at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, and proceeding pro se, filed a Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Correctional Officer Tyburski, Disciplinary Investigator Melendez, Disciplinary Hearing Officer Richardson, District Administrator Angel Quiros and Commissioner Scott Semple.

         On October 17, 2016, the Court dismissed all claims against Tyburski and Semple under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claims would proceed against Melendez, Richardson and Quiros in their individual and official capacities. See Initial Review Order, ECF No. 13. Defendants have now filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint under Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         For the reasons set forth below, the motion to dismiss is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Mr. Dorlette claims that, on October 24, 2014, Officer Tyburski issued him a disciplinary report charging him with attempting to mail an envelope that contained a soup seasoning packet. The plaintiff complains that both the report and the process afforded him in connection with the disciplinary hearing were deficient in multiple ways and alleges that there was no evidence to support the charge. On November 20, 2014, Lieutenant Richardson allegedly found Mr. Dorlette guilty of the charge and sanctioned him to 20 days in punitive segregation and 60 days loss of mail privileges. District Administrator Quiros allegedly failed to respond to Mr. Dorlette's appeal of the disciplinary finding and sanctions.

         Mr. Dorlette claims that Officer Melendez, Lieutenant Richardson and District Administrator Quiros violated his procedural due process rights. Specifically, he alleges that the disciplinary report was vague and unsigned, that Officer Melendez did not specify the evidence which formed the basis of the disciplinary report, that there was no evidence to support a guilty finding by Lieutenant Richardson, and that District Administrator Quiros failed to remedy the situation when he became or should have become aware of the allegedly unsupported guilty finding.

         As a result of the disciplinary proceedings, Mr. Dorlette allegedly remained in punitive segregation for twenty days, and he alleges that the conditions in the restrictive housing unit were significantly more onerous than the conditions in general population. Compl. ¶¶ 17, 19, ECF No. In particular, Mr. Dorlette alleges that the “extreme conditions” that he suffered in punitive segregation included the “use of restraints . . . upon exiting his cell, recreation, showers, etc.” that allegedly caused “shoulder pain and pain in the back” from his getting into position “for restraint application and removal.” Id. ¶ 19. Mr. Dorlette also alleges that, while in punitive segregation, he was deprived of “adequate showers, phone calls, recreation, etc.” Id.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2) (requiring that a plaintiff plead only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief”). A claim is facially plausible if “the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. In other words, to state a plausible claim, a plaintiff's complaint must have “enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence” supporting the claim. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). Although “detailed factual allegations” are not required, a complaint must offer more than “labels and conclusions, ” “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action, ” or “naked assertion[s]” devoid of “further factual enhancement.” Id. at 555, 557.

         In determining whether the plaintiff has met this standard, the Court must accept the allegations in the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. In re NYSE Specialists Sec. Litig., 503 F.3d 89, 95 (2d Cir. 2007); Newman & Schwartz v. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Inc., 102 F.3d 660, 662 (2d Cir. 1996) (citations omitted). In considering a motion to dismiss, “a district court must [also] limit itself to facts stated in the complaint or in documents attached to the complaint as exhibits or incorporated in the complaint by reference.” Newman & Schwartz, 102 F.3d at 662 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The Court notes that the operative Complaint makes a number of references to attached exhibits, yet, Ms. Moorer did not attach exhibits to the Amended Complaint, See ECF No. 56, so the Court relies solely upon the alleged facts in her Amended Complaint.

         Finally, pro 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) (internal quotation marks omitted) (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 the “special solicitude” courts afford pro se litigants).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The defendants move to dismiss all claims in the complaint. In compliance with Local Rule 12(a), the defendants have filed an Order of Notice to Pro Se Litigant informing Mr. Dorlette of his obligation to file a response to the motion to dismiss. See Notice, ECF No. 32-4. Despite this notice, Mr. Dorlette has ...


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