United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
plaintiff, Freddie Trowell, was incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
(“MacDougall-Walker”) when he initiated this
action, but now resides in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He has
filed a civil rights complaint against Correctional Officer
to 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. This standard of review is
applicable when an inmate is proceeding in forma
pauperis as well as when an inmate has paid the filing
fee. See Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999)
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). Although a plaintiff need not include
detailed allegations, “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 the 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 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
November 8, 2017, during recreation at MacDougall-Walker, the
plaintiff entered another inmate's cell to speak with
him. See Compl., ECF No. 1, at 4. At some point
during the plaintiff's conversation with the inmate,
Correctional Officer Theodarakis directed the plaintiff to
move away from the cell door. See Id. The plaintiff
obeyed the order and stepped back from the door. Correctional
Officer Theodarakis then yelled at the plaintiff, called him
a “faggot” and “quere ass, ” and
again directed the plaintiff to step back from the cell door.
See Id. Correctional Officer Theodarakis warned the
plaintiff that any further failure to step back from the cell
door would result in an order directing him to return to his
own cell. See Id. In the margin on page five of the
complaint, the plaintiff refers to an inmate, Samuel Davis
#79895, who allegedly witnessed what occurred on November 8,
2017. There are no further allegations with regard to this
plaintiff mentions that on another previous occasion,
Correctional Officer Theodarakis had verbally harassed him in
a similar manner. See Id. After that incident, the
plaintiff filed a complaint with MacDougall-Walker prison
officials about Correctional Officer Theodarakis's verbal
harassment. See id.
plaintiff claims that Officer Theodarakis verbally harassed
and discriminated against him on two occasions. He seeks
declaratory and injunctive relief and monetary damages.
plaintiff alleges that Officer Theodarakis yelled at him and
called him names pertaining to his sexual orientation. He
contends that this conduct constituted discrimination and
verbal harassment in violation of his rights under the
Constitution and laws of the United States. The Eighth
Amendment prohibits the infliction of “cruel and
unusual punishments.” U.S. Const. amend. VIII. Although
the Constitution does not require “comfortable”
prison conditions, the Eighth Amendment imposes certain
duties on prison officials, to provide for inmates' basic
human needs including: “adequate food, clothing,
shelter,  medical care, and . . . safety. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832-33 (1994) (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted).
state a deliberate indifference to health or safety claim or
a conditions claim under the Eighth Amendment, an inmate must
demonstrate both an objective and a subjective element. To
meet the objective element, an inmate must allege that he was
incarcerated under conditions that resulted in a
“sufficiently serious” deprivation, such as the
denial of a “life necessit[y]” or a
“substantial risk of serious harm.” Id.
at 834 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). To
meet the subjective element, an inmate must allege that the
defendant prison officials possessed culpable intent, that
is, the officials knew that he faced a substantial risk to
his health or safety and disregarded that risk by failing to
take corrective action. See Id. at 834, 837.
well-settled that verbal harassment and threats do not rise
to the level of a constitutional violation. See Cole v.
Fischer, 379 Fed.Appx. 40, 43 (2d Cir. 2010)
(“Verbal harassment, standing alone, does not amount to
a constitutional deprivation.”); Cuoco v.
Moritsugu,222 F.3d 99, 109 (2d Cir. 2000) (noting that
“rudeness and name-calling does not rise to the level
of a constitutional violation”); Purcell v.
Coughlin, 790 F.2d 263, 265 (2d Cir. 1986) (Verbal
harassment and name calling, absent physical injury, are not
constitutional violations cognizable under § 1983);
Cotz v. Mastroeni, 476 F.Supp.2d 332, 372 (S.D.N.Y.
2007) (holding that ...