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Ramos v. Malloy

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 24, 2018

JOSE E. RAMOS, Plaintiff,
v.
DANNEL P. MALLOY, et al., Defendants.

          INIITAL REVIEW ORDER

          Victor A. Bolden, United States District Judge.

         Jose E. Ramos (“Plaintiff”), currently incarcerated at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed this Complaint pro se against Commissioner Scott Semple and Warden William Mulligan (together, “Defendants”), alleging that, under a new institutional policy, he has been denied the envelopes from his legal mail in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         For the reasons discussed below, Mr. Ramos's Complaint is dismissed. Mr. Ramos may file a motion to reopen the Complaint, accompanied by an amended complaint, within twenty days of this Order.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations

         Mr. Ramos alleges that, on August 14, 2017, he was not provided the envelope from incoming legal correspondence. Compl. ¶ 1, ECF No. 1. When he complained to a counselor, Mr. Ramos was allegedly given a copy of a memorandum issued by the Warden stating that inmates would not be permitted to retain the envelopes from incoming legal correspondence. Id. ¶ 2; Ex. A (“Incoming Legal Mail Memo”). If the inmate needed return address information from the envelope, a copy of the envelope would be provided. Id. Ex. A.

         The same day, Mr. Ramos complained about the new policy to Warden Mulligan. Id. ¶ 3. The Warden told Mr. Ramos that the policy would not be changed. Id. On August 17, 2017, Mr. Ramos filed a grievance. Id. ¶ 4. Warden Mulligan denied the grievance, stating that the facility's new practice was to retain the envelopes from incoming legal correspondence.[1] Id. Mr. Ramos is permitted to retain envelopes from incoming general correspondence. Id.

         B. Procedural History

         Mr. Ramos filed his Complaint on April 10, 2018. Id. His motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on April 13, 2018. ECF No. 7.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court 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. In reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must assume the truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally to “raise the strongest arguments [they] suggest[].” Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). 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 right to relief. Bell Atl. 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 “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) (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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Mr. Ramos argues that Defendants have violated his Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights by depriving him of the envelopes from his legal correspondence. He also contends that Defendant Mulligan has interfered with his attempts to exhaust his administrative remedies by denying a grievance.

         A. Claims Related to ...


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