United States District Court, D. Connecticut
VICTOR C. ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
ANGEL QUIROS, et al. Defendants.
REVIEW OF AMENDED COMPLAINT
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge.
2, 2018, the plaintiff, Victor C. Anderson, an inmate
currently confined at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution (“MWCI”) in Suffield, Connecticut,
brought a civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for damages against five employees of the Connecticut
Department of Correction: District Administrator Angel
Quiros, Lieutenant Chevalur, Correction Officer Bennett,
Disciplinary Hearing Officer John Doe 1, and Disciplinary
Investigator John Doe 2. Compl. (ECF No. 1). The complaint
asserted a claim against Bennett under the Eighth Amendment
for failing to protect the plaintiff from harm and a claim
against Doe 1 and Quiros under the Fourteenth Amendment for
violating his right to procedural due process. See
Id. at 4. The Court dismissed the complaint without
prejudice for failure to state a plausible claim under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A against any of the defendants. Initial
Review Order (ECF No. 8). However, the Court permitted the
plaintiff one opportunity to file an amended complaint that
cured the factual deficiencies of the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment claims as explained in its Initial Review Order.
Id. at 9.
26, 2018, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint against
Bennett, Doe 1, and Quiros. Am. Compl. (ECF No. 9). However,
as shown below, the allegations in his amended complaint
still fail to state plausible claims under the Eighth or
Fourteenth Amendments. Therefore, the Court will dismiss the
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the 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. 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 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.” Bell Atlantic, 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).
Amended Factual Allegations
7:00 p.m. on December 17, 2017, the plaintiff exited his cell
and entered the kitchenette area at MWCI to make a cup of
coffee. Am. Compl. ¶ 1. While standing in the
kitchenette, another inmate asked the plaintiff to leave the
area so that he could cut another inmate's hair.
Id. at ¶ 2. He also asked the plaintiff to
watch Correction Officer Bennett. Id. The plaintiff
agreed and moved to a nearby railing to chat with another
inmate named David Kent. Id. at ¶ 3. There, the
plaintiff had a direct view of Bennett in the television
chatting with Kent, the plaintiff discreetly watched Bennett,
who was in the nearby television room watching a sporting
event and socializing with inmates. Am. Compl. ¶ 4. The
plaintiff told the inmate in the kitchenette what Bennett was
doing and that he could proceed with the haircut.
Id. at ¶ 5.
continued to watch Bennett and chat with Kent, another inmate
named Jose Vazquez approached the plaintiff from behind and
punched him in the back of his leg. Am. Compl. ¶ 6. The
strike caused the plaintiff to twist and fall to the ground
in pain, spilling the cup of coffee he was holding.
Id. at ¶ 7. The plaintiff then took three steps
while holding onto the railing and threw the remainder of his
coffee at Vazquez. Id. at ¶ 8. Afterward, the
plaintiff looked toward the television room and noticed
Bennett looking at him “with a confused look on his
face.” Id. at ¶ 9. Bennett came out of
the television room as the plaintiff began walking back up to
his cell. Id. at ¶ 10. Bennett saw Vazquez
covered in coffee and proceeded to lock down the block.
Id. Shortly thereafter, several correctional
officials apprehended the plaintiff and brought him to a
restrictive housing unit (“RHU”) for assaulting
Vazquez. Id. at ¶ 11. The plaintiff remained in
the RHU for twenty-three days without a hearing. Id.
January 11, 2018, correction officials called the plaintiff
for a disciplinary hearing on the incident with Vazquez. Am.
Compl. ¶ 12. The plaintiff had not been given prior
notice of the hearing. Id. When he responded to the
call, the plaintiff learned from Officer Doe 1 that the video
from the incident had not yet been reviewed. Id. The
plaintiff told Doe 1 that inmate Kent could testify as a
witness on his behalf, but Doe 1 did not take note of
Kent's name. Id. at ¶ 13. Doe 1 suspended
the disciplinary hearing for one week to allow time to review
the video from the incident. Id. at ¶ 14.
week later, Doe 1 called the plaintiff and resumed the
hearing. Am. Compl. ¶ 15. He informed the plaintiff that
there was no surveillance footage of the area where Vazquez
allegedly had assaulted him because it was out of the view of
the security cameras. Id. at ¶ 16. The
plaintiff expressed concern over how there could be areas
that were not surveilled in a high-level facility like MWCI.
Id. at ¶ 17. He also asked about producing Kent
as a witness to the incident. Id. Doe 1 told him
that “it is not worth his time to speak with the
witness” and that he should not worry about the missing
camera footage. Id. at ¶ 18. Doe 1 then found
the plaintiff guilty of assaulting Vazquez and “imposed
sanctions.” Id. at ¶ 19.
plaintiff appealed the disciplinary finding on January 22,
2018. Am. Compl. ¶ 20. He received a response from
District Administrator Quiros affirming the finding.
Id. Quiros did not speak with the plaintiff's
date, the plaintiff suffers from ongoing medical issues from
the incident with Vazquez, including a pronounced limp. Am.
Compl. ¶ 21. He has since been ...