United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW OF COMPLAINT AND ORDERS ON PENDING
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Wiggins (“Plaintiff”), pro se and
currently incarcerated at Willard Cybulski Correctional
Institution in Enfield, Connecticut, has filed a Complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Thomas Kulawik,
Chief of the Norwalk Police Department (“NPD”),
for “false arrest and . . . illegal stop and seizure by
members of the [NPD] on more than one occasion during
calendar year 2015.” Compl., Notice of Removal Ex. A,
ECF No. 1. Mr. Wiggins initially filed in state court, and
Defendants removed to this Court, claiming jurisdiction under
28 U.S.C.A. § 1331. See Notice of Removal.
October 17, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to order Mr.
Wiggins to post a cash deposit or bond with recognized
corporate surety in the sum of $500 as security for costs.
Demand for Security for Costs, ECF No. 8. Mr. Wiggins
objected to the motion on November 2, 2017, arguing that he
is indigent and cannot be ordered to post such a bond. Pl.
Obj. to Def. Demand for Security for Costs, ECF No. 9.
Shortly thereafter, Defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that
Mr. Wiggins failed to allege that the criminal proceedings
against him terminated in his favor, which is required for
any claim of false arrest or malicious prosecution. Mot.
Dismiss at 6-7, ECF No. 11 (citing Miles v. City of
Hartford, 445 Fed. App'x 379, 383 (2d Cir. 2011),
Roberts v. Babkiewicz, 582 F.3d 418, 421 (2d Cir.
2009), and Henderson v. Williams, 10-cv-1574 (MPS),
2013 WL 2149698, *3 (D. Conn. May 16, 2013)). Mr. Wiggins had
until March 30, 2018, to respond to Defendants' motion,
see Order, ECF No. 15, but he never submitted a
response. For the following reasons, the Court will
DISMISS the Complaint without prejudice
subject to the refiling of an amended complaint and
DENY Defendants' motions as moot.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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. 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 the grounds upon which they are based and to
demonstrate a right to relief. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
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).
Wiggins alleges that he “was the victim of false arrest
and an illegal stop and seizure by members of the [NPD] on
more than one occasion [in] 2015” and alleges harm
suffered as a result of such conduct. Compl. at 1-3. While a
plaintiff may bring a Fourth Amendment claim under §
1983 for false arrest or malicious prosecution, see
Conroy v. Caron, 275 F.Supp.3d 328, 348 (D. Conn. 2017),
“a plaintiff must plead an unreasonable deprivation of
liberty in violation of the Fourth Amendment and satisfy the
state law elements of the underlying claims.”
Henderson, 2013 WL 2149698, at *3 (quoting
Walker v. Sankhi, 494 Fed. App'x 140, 142 (2d
Cir. 2012)). “Under Connecticut law, a plaintiff
seeking to bring a malicious prosecution or false arrest
claim must furnish proof that the underlying charges were
terminated in his . . . favor.” Id. (citing
Miles, 445 Fed. App'x at 383). Mr. Wiggins's
Complaint fails to meet this standard.
the Complaint does not state any factual allegations against
Defendants. Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure requires any complaint to contain “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” See also Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (“While a complaint attacked by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations, . . . a plaintiff's obligation to provide
the grounds of his entitlement to relief require more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do[.]”)
(quotation marks, citation, and alteration omitted). Mr.
Wiggins's factual allegations therefore are merely legal
there are no factual allegations detailing the circumstances
of an arrest, the crimes with which he was charged, or the
result of any ensuing criminal proceeding, factual
allegations necessary for this lawsuit to continue.
Specifically, Mr. Wiggins must allege that “(1) the
defendant initiated or continued criminal proceedings against
[him]; (2) the criminal proceeding terminated in [his] favor
. . . (3) the defendant acted without probable cause; and (4)
the defendant acted with malice.” Conroy, 275
F.Supp.3d at 348 (quoting Babkiewicz, 582 F.3d at
420). In addition, Mr. Wiggins must allege “that there
was (5) a sufficient post-arraignment liberty restraint to
implicate [his] [F]ourth [A]mendment rights.” Doe
v. Bridgeport Police Dept., 00-cv-2167 (JCH), 2000 WL
33116540, *5 (D. Conn. Nov. 15, 2000) (quoting Rohman v.
N.Y. City Transit Auth., 215 F.3d 208, 215 (2d Cir.
2000)). Because Mr. Wiggins's Complaint fails to make any
of these essential allegations, this case is dismissed under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
Mr. Wiggins's pro se status, however, the Court
will allow Mr. Wiggins to amend his Complaint to allege facts
clearly showing that Defendants violated his Fourth Amendment
of the foregoing reasons, the Complaint is
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to
state a claim upon which relief could be granted under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). To prosecute this case, plaintiff
must, within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, file
an amended complaint. The amended complaint must list all
Defendants in the case caption, in accordance with Rule
10(a), and clearly state the facts surrounding his arrest and
prosecution, which he claims show that Defendants violated
his Fourth Amendment rights, in accordance with Rule 8(a)(2).
Failure to submit an amended complaint that cures the
deficiencies explained above within thirty (30) days of the
date of this Order will result in the dismissal of the case
motion for security for costs, ECF No. 8, and motion to
dismiss, ECF No. 11, are DENIED as moot
subject to refiling in the event the Court ...