United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER RE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
Jeffery DeAngelis, currently incarcerated at the Osborn
Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this
case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his amended complaint,
he asserts claims for violation of his rights under the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act
and other constitutional violations based on his disability.
In his amended complaint, he names five defendants: ADA
Coordinator Devonia Long, Captain Luis Colon, Warden Gary
Wright, Captain Griffin, and the Department of Correction.
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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This requirement
applies to all prisoner filings regardless whether the
prisoner pays the filing fee. Nicholson v. Lenczewski,
356 F.Supp.2d 157, 159 (D. Conn. 2005) (citing Carr v.
Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam)).
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 plausible right to relief.
Bell Atlantic 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.
September 19, 2017, the plaintiff was transferred from
MacDougall Correctional Institution to Carl Robinson
Correctional Institution (“Robinson”). ECF No. 6,
¶ 6. At Robinson, inmates are required to walk down six
steps and then walk outside across the prison compound to go
to the dining hall. Id., ¶ 7. The plaintiff was
unable to walk to the dining hall. The ADA coordinator at
Robinson sent the plaintiff to the medical unit when
correctional staff informed him of the plaintiff's
difficulty. Id., ¶ 8. On September 27, 2017,
Dr. Wright examined the plaintiff and ordered him transferred
to Osborn Correctional Institution (“Osborn”)
because the plaintiff was unable to walk about the compound
at Robinson. Id., ¶ 9. The plaintiff was
transferred on September 29, 2017. Id., ¶ 10.
his arrival at Osborn, the plaintiff was assigned to E-block,
the housing unit farthest from the dining hall and medical
unit. Id., ¶ 11. He was required to walk the
length of three football fields to the dining hall, a much
further distance than at Robinson. Id., ¶ 12.
September 29, 2017, the plaintiff told Captain Colon about
his disability and inability to walk. The plaintiff asked to
be moved to B-block. Id., ¶ 13. Captain Colon
refused the request for transfer and told the plaintiff to
deal with the situation. Id., ¶ 14. The
plaintiff explained that he has degenerative disc disease
with a disc protrusion displacing the S1 nerve, and that he
must walk with a cane, but Captain Colon refused to transfer
the plaintiff closer to the dining hall. Id., ¶
are permitted twenty minutes to get to the dining hall and
eat their meals. Id., ¶ 16. The plaintiff was
unable to walk all the way to the dining hall without
stopping because his medical condition caused him to
experience severe pain when walking. Id., ¶ 17.
By the time the plaintiff reached the dining hall, it was
closed. He was required to return to his cell without a meal.
Id., ¶ 18.
enter the shower in E-block, the inmate must step over a
30” wall. The shower contains no railings or mats to
prevent inmates from falling. Id., ¶ 19. On
October 1, 2017, the plaintiff asked Captain Colon for a
handicap shower, explaining that recently he had fallen in a
non-handicap shower at another correctional facility.
Id., ¶ 20. Captain Colon denied the request and
told the plaintiff to stop “being so dramatic.”
Id., ¶ 21. On October 8, 2017, the plaintiff
submitted a request for accommodation to Americans with
Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Coordinator Long seeking
permission to use the handicap shower in the medical unit.
Id., ¶ 22. On October 10, 2017, the plaintiff
submitted two additional requests for accommodation, seeking
a single cell and access to recreation without having to
negotiate twenty stairs. Id., ¶ 23.
plaintiff experiences urinary incontinence as a result of his
spinal injuries. This causes him to involuntarily urinate
without warning. Id., ¶ 24. Incidents of
incontinence have caused problems with several past cellmates
and resulted in assaults by two prior cellmates.
Id., ¶ 25.
departmental directives provide that a response to a request
for reasonable accommodation should be received within two
business days, the plaintiff received no response to any of
the request for five weeks. Id., ¶¶ 26-27.
After five weeks, the plaintiff resubmitted the requests.
Id., ¶ 27.
November 22, 2017, the plaintiff fell in the E-block shower,
slamming his head and elbow. Id., ¶¶
28-29. After the plaintiff submitted numerous requests, Dr.
Breton saw the plaintiff for his injuries on December 4,
2017. Id., ¶ 30. Dr. Breton gave the plaintiff
a pass to use the shower in the medical unit. Id.,
¶ 31. Dr. Breton told the plaintiff that ADA Coordinator
Long had never spoken with him regarding the ADA request.
Id., ¶ 32. The plaintiff also spoke to Dr.
Breton about his request for a single cell and the danger
posed by his medical condition. Id., ¶ 33. Dr.
Breton indicated he would speak to Captain Colon and ADA
Coordinator Long to try to get the plaintiff assigned to a
single cell. Id., ¶ 34.
plaintiff wrote to Warden Wright four times complaining that
Captain Colon and ADA Coordinator Long failed to act on, or
respond to, his ADA requests or address his need to be closer
to the medical unit and the dining hall. Warden Wright did
not respond. Id., ¶ 35. On November 28, 2017,
the plaintiff submitted a grievance regarding the distance
from his housing location to the dining hall and medical
unit. Id., ¶ 37. On December 18, 2017, the
plaintiff again asked Captain Colon to transfer him to
B-block. The plaintiff showed Captain Colon the shower pass
and complained about the distance he had to walk to shower.
Captain Colon refused the request. Id., ¶¶
38-40. On December 22, 2017, Captain Colon told the plaintiff
that the warden had ordered his transfer to B-block because
of the grievance. Id., ¶ 41.
the time he was in E-block, the plaintiff was unable to go to
the dining hall or outside recreation and was required to use
the non-handicap E-block shower. Id., ¶ 42. To
get outside, inmates had to negotiate twenty steep concrete
steps. There were sixteen steps to get to the gym. As a
result, disabled inmates in E-block are confined to their
cells for 23 hours per day. Id., ¶ 43. Inmates
housed in B-block had an additional hour of out-of-cell time.
Id., ¶ 44.
in B-block, the plaintiff had problems with his cellmate
because the plaintiff was unable to control his bladder.
Id., ¶ 46. On December 28, 2017, the plaintiff
submitted a request to Captain Griffin asking for a cell
change. Id., ¶ 47.
same day he wrote to ADA Coordinator Long asking about his
unanswered requests. Id., ¶ 48. On January 5,
2018, the plaintiff wrote to then Deputy Warden Wright
complaining that ADA Coordinator Long refused to address his
ADA requests. Id., ¶ 49. On January 8, 2018,
ADA Coordinator Long called the plaintiff to her office and
told him that he would not get a single cell or permission to
shower in the medical unit. The plaintiff informed her that
Dr. Breton had already given him a shower pass. Id.,
¶ 50. ADA Coordinator Long became angry and told the
plaintiff that he would not get a single cell and that the
Department of Correction would not build him a ramp to go to
recreation. Id., ¶ 51-53. She said that she
would look into the plaintiff's claim that Dr. Breton had
written to Dr. Farinella and Assistant Attorney General
Madeline Melchionne about his request for a single cell.
Id., ¶ 54-55. On January 13, 2018, Warden
Faneuff approved the ADA request to shower in the medical
unit. Id., ¶ 57-58.
January 17 and 23, 2018, the plaintiff wrote to Captain
Griffin again asking for a cell change because of problems
with his cellmate over the plaintiff's urinary
incontinence. Id., ¶¶ 59, 61. On January
29, 2018, the plaintiff saw Dr. Wright. Id., ¶
62. In addition to ordering a follow-up surgical consult with
an orthopedic specialist, Dr. Wright indicated that he would
follow-up with ADA Coordinator Long regarding the
plaintiff's request for a single cell. Id.,
¶ 63. On February 2, 2018, the plaintiff informed ADA
Coordinator Long that Dr. Wright was aware of his request for
a single cell and would be speaking to her. Id.,
¶ 64. On February 23, 2018, ADA Coordinator Long
indicated that she had emailed Dr. Wright. Id.,
February 28, 2018, the plaintiff was incontinent and urinated
on himself and his cellmate's sneakers. In response, his
cellmate punched the plaintiff in the face and repeatedly
kicked him. Id., ¶ 66. On March 9, 2018,
Captain Griffin stated that he was moving the plaintiff out
of B-block because of the plaintiff's repeated complaints
to Warden Wright regarding the denial of a cell change.
Id., ¶ 67.
March 10, 2018, the plaintiff was ordered to move to C-block.
Id., ¶ 68. The plaintiff objected to the move
and asked to speak to a lieutenant. Id., ¶ 69.
The lieutenant cancelled the order to move to C-block and
moved the plaintiff to J-one, a unit closer to the dining
hall than C-block. Id., ¶ 70.
is a dormitory room without walls or privacy. Id.,
¶ 72. The bathroom is one room with no stall doors or
walls for privacy should the plaintiff be incontinent.
Id. Other inmates and staff of both sexes can view
inmates using the bathroom. Id., ¶ 73. Dr.
Wright ordered that the plaintiff utilize a catheter
connected to a leg bag to collect urine. Id., ¶
74. On March 18, 2018, the plaintiff wrote to Warden Wright
complaining about the five-month delay in addressing his ADA
request for a single cell. The plaintiff stated that he
needed a single call because there was no area in J-one for
him to change the catheter in private. Id., ¶
75. On March 21, 2018, the plaintiff wrote to Captain Colon
in his capacity as back-up ADA Coordinator. Id.,
April 6, 2018, the plaintiff met with Health Services
Administrator (“HSA”) Richard Furey who noted the
plaintiff's need for privacy to change the catheter. HSA
Furey also noted that the plaintiff has a pass to shower in
the medical unit and that B-block is close to the medical
unit. HSA Furey contacted Captain Griffin for permission to
return the plaintiff to B-block. Id., ¶¶
78-79. Captain Griffin was on vacation, so HSA Furey arranged
the transfer with Captain Manning and Counselor Supervisor
Moore. Id., ¶¶ 80-83. On April 10, 2018,
HSA Furey told the plaintiff that he would return to B-block
when a bed became available. Id., ¶ 82. The
plaintiff returned to B-block on April 11, 2018. His cell was
directly across from the medical unit. Id., ¶
April 18, 2018, Captain Griffin returned from vacation. He
complained that B-block was not a medical unit and the
plaintiff needed to have a job to be housed in B-block.
Captain Griffin said that, because the plaintiff was
disabled, he would transfer him to another housing unit.
Id., ¶ 85. The plaintiff explained that Captain
Manning and HSA Furey had moved him to the unit and asked to
stay. Id., ¶ 86. Captain Griffin stated that he
was not going to make one of his workers share a cell with
someone who urinates on himself. Id., ...