Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Leniart v. Chapdelaine

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

July 31, 2018

DOUGLAS LENIART, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN CHAPDELAINE, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          STEFAN R. UNDERHILL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Douglas Leniart-a prisoner currently incarcerated at Northern Correctional Institution- filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Warden Chapdelaine, Deputy Warden Mudano, Captains Bayman and Saulus, and Correctional Officers Kravies and Bertrane. Leniart also has moved for appointment of counsel and for disclosure of confidential information. For the reasons set forth below, I deny Leniart's motions and dismiss his complaint in part.

         I. Motions for Appointment of Counsel and for Disclosure of Confidential Information [Docs. Nos. 8 & 9]

         Leniart has filed a motion designated as “Motion for the court to appoint legal service by a court appointed lawyer.” Leniart asserts no facts, allegations or information in support of the motion. To the extent that Leniart seeks the appointment of pro bono counsel, I deny his motion without prejudice. Leniart fails to indicate whether he has made any attempts to find an attorney willing to represent him or an attorney who might be willing to provide him with legal assistance. Leniart may renew the motion at a later stage of the litigation after he has made attempts to secure the assistance or representation of counsel.

         Leniart has filed a second motion designated as “Motion for disclosure and discovery for confidential information and documents.” Leniart asserts no facts, allegations or information in support of the motion. Nor are there any discovery requests attached to the motion. Accordingly, there is no basis on which to grant relief, and I deny Leniart's motion.

         II. Complaint [Doc. No. 1]

         Under section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I 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 plausible 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 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).

         Leniart alleges that prior to January 3, 2017, he had been placed in phase one of the Security Risk Group program at Walker Correctional Institution (“Walker”) because he was a member of the Los Solidos gang. See Compl., Doc. No. 1, at ¶ 3. In phase one of the Security Risk Group program, inmates from different gangs are not to be housed in the same cell. See Id. at ¶ 5. As of January 3, 2017, Kravies and Bertrane had worked in the block in which Leniart had been housed at Walker for over a year and knew that Leniart was a member of the Los Solidos gang. See Id. at ¶¶ 3-4.

         On January 3, 2017, in preparing to transfer all inmates who had been placed in phase one of the Security Risk Group program at Walker to Northern Correctional Institution, Correctional Officers Kravies and Bertrane moved Leniart to a holding cell with an inmate who was a member of gang called the Bloods. See Id. at ¶¶ 4-5. When Leniart and his cellmate informed Kravies and Bertrane that they could not be housed together because they were from different gangs, the officers told them to “have fun.” See Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. At some point during his confinement in the holding cell, Leniart's cellmate slipped his handcuffs and assaulted Leniart in the face using the handcuffs. See Id. at ¶ 6. Prison officials transported Leniart to the University of Connecticut Health Center and medical personnel stitched up his wounds. See Id. ¶ 8. Leniart has scars from his injuries and continues to suffer from headaches and neck pain. See Id. at ¶¶ 7- 9. For relief, Leniart seeks $150, 000 in damages.

         A. Official Capacity Claims

         The Eleventh Amendment bars lawsuits against states absent an express waiver of immunity by the states or abrogation of the immunity by Congress. See Va. Office for Prot. & Advocacy v. Stewart, 563 U.S. 247, 254 (2011). That immunity extends to suits against state officials in their official capacities. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 (1985) (Eleventh Amendment prohibition on damages actions against states “remains in effect when State officials are sued for damages in their official capacity”). Leniart has not alleged, nor are there facts to suggest that the State of Connecticut or any defendant in his or her official capacity has waived its immunity from suit under section 1983. In addition, section 1983 does not abrogate the immunity of the states, including Connecticut. Quern v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 342 (1979).

         Accordingly, I dismiss Leniart's claims for monetary damages against the defendants in their official capacities as barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).

         B. Individual Capacity Claims

         1. Chapdelaine, Mudano, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.