United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSE E. RAMOS, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT HEALTH CENTER, et al., Defendants.
CORRECTED RULING ON AMENDED COMPLAINT AND PENDING
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Ramos (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se,
is incarcerated in the MacDougall building at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
(“MacDougall”) in Suffield, Connecticut. He has
sued the University of Connecticut Health Center
(“UCONN”), Commissioner Scott Semple, Wardens
Carol Chapdelaine and William Mulligan, Drs. Syed Naqvi and
Kevin McCrystal, Nurse Jane Doe, Nurse Supervisor, and
Medical Supervisor Heidi Greene (collectively
“Defendants”) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Ramos has filed an Amended Complaint. ECF No. 14. He has also
filed a number of motions, including: a motion for service of
the Complaint; a motion for default; two motions for default
judgment; a motion for ruling on the motion for default
judgment; a motion to file an affidavit; a motion for
preliminary injunction; and a motion for copies of documents.
following reasons, the Amended Complaint is
DISMISSED in part and the motion for service
of summons and the Complaint is DENIED as
moot. The remaining pending motions are
Ramos sued Defendants on February 23, 2017, ECF No. 1, and
filed an Amended Complaint on August 29, 2017. ECF No. 14.
Amended Complaint, Mr. Ramos alleges that, in October 2012,
medical staff at Corrigan Correctional Institution
(“Corrigan”) prescribed Motrin to treat his
shoulder pain. Am. Compl., ECF No. 14, at 7 ¶¶ 1-2.
Mr. Ramos claims that the pain stemmed from a shoulder injury
sustained during his arrest. Id. ¶ 1.
in May 2016, Mr. Ramos allegedly did not receive Motrin for
several months. Id. ¶ 3. After prison officials
transferred Mr. Ramos to the Walker building, a physician
prescribed Mr. Ramos Ibuprofen for pain. Id. at 13,
Ex. A. On June 13, 2016, Dr. Naqvi, a physician at
MacDougall, prescribed Mr. Ramos 600 milligrams of Motrin to
be taken twice a day for two months. Id. at 16, Ex.
B. On July 31, 2016, Mr. Ramos submitted two requests to the
medical department at MacDougall. Id. at 13-14, Ex.
A. In the first request, Mr. Ramos sought a bulk medication
prescription for Motrin and to be seen by a doctor.
Id. at 13, Ex. A. He claimed that he had not been
receiving his bulk medication since he had arrived at
MacDougall and was experiencing severe shoulder pain. See
Id. He also informed medical staff that he was supposed
to be doing rubber band exercises. See id.
second request, Mr. Ramos sought bulk pain medication and to
be seen by a doctor or other medical staff member.
Id. at 14, Ex. A. He again informed medical staff
that he was supposed to be doing rubber band exercises.
Id. In response, on an unidentified date in August
2016, a medical staff member scanned an order for Motrin to
the pharmacy, indicated that there was no order to do rubber
band exercises, and put Mr. Ramos on the sick call list to
see a physician. Id.
Ramos states that he did not see a doctor until June 27,
2017. Id. at 8 ¶¶ 7-8. On that date,
correctional staff allegedly woke Mr. Ramos up and escorted
him to the medical department. Id. ¶ 7. Dr.
Kevin McCrystal allegedly informed Mr. Ramos that he was
going to examine him in connection with his asthma condition.
Id. ¶¶ 8-9. Mr. Ramos allegedly informed
Dr. McCrystal and that he had been seeking an appointment
with a physician for a year for other medical conditions.
Id. ¶ 10. Dr. McCrystal allegedly directed Mr.
Ramos to submit a sick call request. Id. ¶ 11.
When Mr. Ramos stated that he had already submitted requests
for treatment, Dr. McCrystal allegedly became upset and
accused Mr. Ramos of being a liar and of changing his story
regarding his requests for treatment. Id.
¶¶ 12-14. Dr. McCrystal allegedly then discontinued
Mr. Ramos's prescription for pain medication.
Id. ¶ 14.
Ramos claims that Defendants violated his First, Eighth,
Ninth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Id. at 9
¶ 21. He seeks monetary damages and injunctive and
declaratory relief. Id. ¶¶ 22-26.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss . . . any portion of [a] 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.” Id. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions, ' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must still include sufficient factual allegations
to meet the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris
v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
Entry of Default and Default Judgment
Rule of Civil Procedure 55 provides a two-step process to
obtain a default judgment. New York v. Green, 420
F.3d 99, 104 (2d Cir. 2005). The first step is to seek entry
of default. Id. “When a party against whom
affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise
defend, a plaintiff may bring that fact to the court's
attention, and Rule 55(a) empowers the clerk of the court to
enter a default against a party that has not appeared or
defended.” Id. “Once default has been
entered, the allegations of the complaint that establish the
defendant's liability are accepted as true, except for
those relating to the amount of damages.” Coles v.
Lieberman, Michaels & Kelly, LLC, No. 10-cv-484S,
2011 WL 3176467, at *1 (W.D.N.Y. July 27, 2011) (citation
omitted); see also Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency,
Inc., 109 F.3d 105, 108 (“It is, of course,
ancient learning that a default judgment deems all the
well-pleaded allegations in the pleadings to be
admitted.”) (citing Greyhound Exhibitgroup, Inc. v.
E.L.U.L. Realty Corp., 973 F.2d 155, 158 (2d Cir. 1992)
(“While a party's default is deemed to constitute a
concession of all well pleaded allegations of liability, it
is not considered an admission of damages.”)).
second step is to seek a default judgment under Rule 55(b).
“Rule 55(b)(1) allows the clerk to enter a default
judgment if the plaintiff's claim is for a sum certain
and the defendant has failed to appear and is not an infant
or incompetent person. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(1).
‘In all other cases, ' Rule 55(b)(2) governs, and
it requires a party seeking a judgment by default to apply to
the court for entry of a default judgment.” New
York v. Green, 420 F.3d 99, 104 (2d Cir. 2005). Under
Rule 55(b)(2), a court must determine whether liability is
appropriate, based on the facts alleged in the Complaints.
Coles, 2011 WL 3176467, at *1 (citation omitted);
accord United States v. Bunbury, 15-cv-3764 (JS),
2015 9050581, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 15, 2015) (“[I]n
determining a motion for default judgment, the Court is
responsible for ensuring that the pleadings provide an
appropriate basis for liability.” (citing United
States v. Kemp, No. 15-cv-02419 (PKC), 2015 WL 6620624,
at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 30, 2015))). The court “may
conduct hearings . . . when, to enter or effectuate judgment,
it needs to:  conduct an accounting;  determine the
amount of damages;  establish the trust of any allegation
by evidence; or  investigate any other matter.”
injunctive relief “is an ‘extraordinary and
drastic remedy . . . that should not be granted unless the
movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of
persuasion.” Moore v. Consol. Edison Co. of New
York, Inc., 409 F.3d 506, 510 (2d Cir. 2005) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). To warrant preliminary
injunctive relief, the moving party must demonstrate (a) that
he or she will suffer “irreparable harm” in the
absence of an injunction, and (b) either (1) a
“likelihood of success on the merits or (2)
sufficiently serious questions going to the merits [of the
case] to make them a fair ground for litigation and a balance
of hardships tipping decidedly toward the party requesting
preliminary injunctive relief.” Cacchillo v.
Insmed, Inc., 638 F.3d 401, 405-06 (2d Cir. 2011)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
party seeks a permanent injunction, he or she “must
demonstrate (1) irreparable harm . . . and (2) actual success
on the merits.” Ognibene v. Parkes, 671 F.3d
174, 182 (2d Cir. 2012). Thus, the standard for a permanent
injunction is similar to the standard for a preliminary
injunction, but a plaintiff must show actual success rather
than a likelihood of success. See Amoco Prod. Co. v.
Vill. of Gambell, 480 U.S. 531, 546 n.12 (1987).
University of Connecticut
state a claim under section 1983, Mr. Ramos 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). The Supreme Court has held that a state agency is not
a person within the meaning of section 1983. See Will v.
Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989) (state and state agencies not persons within meaning
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983).
UCONN is a state agency, it is not considered to be a person
subject to suit under section 1983. See Gaby v. Board of
Trustees of Community Technical Colleges, 348 F.3d 62,
63 (2d Cir. 2003) (per curiam) (noting decisions holding that
state universities and their boards of trustees are not
persons within the meaning of section 1983); Stewart v.
John Dempsey Hospital, No. 3:03-cv-1703 (WWE), 2004 WL
78145, at *2 (D. Conn. Jan. 9, 2004) (holding that John
Dempsey Hospital University of Connecticut Health Center is
not a person within the meaning of section 1983); Jolly
v. Correctional Managed Health Care, No. 3:04-cv-1582
(RNC), 2009 WL 233667, at *3 (D. Conn. Jan. 30, 2009)
(holding that Correctional Managed Health Care, as “a
division of a state agency, the University of Connecticut
Health Center, ” is not a person within the meaning of
§ 1983), aff'd, 375 Fed. App'x 67 (2d
Cir. 2010); Cassells v. Univ. Hosp. at Stony Brook,
No. 86 C 0698, 1987 WL 3717, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 1987)
(“[P]laintiff's section 1983 claim against State
University and University Hospital must fall because neither
is a “person” within the meaning of section
consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1), Mr. Ramos's
claims against UCONN are dismissed as lacking a basis in law.
Semple, Chapdelaine, Mulligan, Greene, Nurse Supervisor and
Ramos describes Scott Semple as the Commissioner of
Correction and Carol Chapdelaine and William Mulligan as
Wardens of MacDougall. None of these Defendants are medical
providers. Mr. Ramos also does not mention any of these
Defendants in the body of the Complaint. As a result, Mr.
Ramos has not alleged that Commissioner Semple, Warden
Mulligan, or Warden Chapdelaine violated his federally or
constitutionally protected rights.
Ramos also names Medical Supervisor Heidi Greene, a Nursing
Supervisor and a Jane Doe Nurse as defendants. He identifies
them as employees at MacDougall. He does not, however, refer
to or mention these defendants in the body of the Complaint.
Thus, Mr. Ramos has not alleged that Nurse Supervisor, Nurse
Jane Doe, ...