United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Scott Jones (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro
se and currently incarcerated at Garner Correctional
Institution in Newtown, Connecticut, has filed a civil
Complaint bringing claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Department of Correction Officer Hubert for violating his
constitutional rights, while he was incarcerated at Cheshire
Correctional Institution. Compl., ECF No. 1. On June 18,
2018, Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted Mr.
Jones's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
See Order No. 11.
following reasons, the Complaint is dismissed in part. Mr.
Jones's First and Eighth Amendment claims are
DISMISSED. The case may proceed on Mr.
Jones's Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim
against Officer Hubert in her individual capacity for
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Jones's Complaint is very difficult to read. As best as
the Court can surmise from his statement of facts, Mr. Jones
is suing Officer Hubert for filing a false disciplinary
report against him. On January 12, 2018, while incarcerated
at Cheshire Correctional Institution, Officer Hubert
allegedly wrote a disciplinary report against Mr. Jones for
standing at his cell door and touching his penis. Compl.
¶ 1. The charge was later dismissed. Id. ¶
2. Nevertheless, Mr. Jones allegedly was placed in
segregation following the incident, until February 23, 2015.
Id. The disciplinary report and Mr. Jones's
subsequent placement in segregation allegedly caused Mr.
Jones mental distress. Id. ¶ 10.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
civil complaints must be reviewed and any portion 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, must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
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). Conclusory
allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The complaint must include
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
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
Jones appears to sue Officer Hubert for retaliating against
him, in violation of his First Amendment right to free
speech, subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment under
the Eighth Amendment, and violating his right to procedural
due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Construed
liberally, Mr. Jones's allegations state a plausible
Fourteenth Amendment claim, but his First and Eighth
Amendment claims are factually insufficient.
First Amendment Retaliation
Jones argues that Officer Hubert retaliated against him. The
Court finds that he has not stated a claim for retaliation
under the First Amendment, and his First Amendment claim for
retaliation therefore is dismissed.
officials may not retaliate against inmates for exercising
their constitutional rights.” Riddick v.
Arnone, 11-cv-631 (SRU), 2012 WL 2716355, *6 (D. Conn.
Jul. 9, 2012). “To prevail on a First Amendment
retaliation claim, [a prisoner] must establish (1) that the
speech or conduct at issue was protected, (2) that the
[official] took adverse action against the [prisoner], and
(3) that there was a causal connection between the protected
[conduct] and the adverse action.” Holland v.
Goord, 758 F.3d 215, 225 (2d Cir. 2014) (internal
quotation marks omitted). “In the prison context,
‘adverse action' is objectively defined as conduct
‘that would deter a similarly situated individual of
ordinary firmness from exercising . . . constitutional
rights.'” O'Diah v. Cully, 08-cv-941,
2013 WL 1914434, at *9 (N.D.N.Y. May 8, 2013) (quoting
Davis v. Goord, 320 ...