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Dixon v. Faucher

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 14, 2018

JAMES DIXON, Plaintiff,
WARDEN FAUCHER, et al., Defendant.



         James Dixon (“Plaintiff”) is incarcerated at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution in Uncasville, Connecticut (“Corrigan”), and proceeding pro se, has sued Warden Faucher, Deputy Warden Cotto, Lieutenant Stadalnik and Correction Officer Ocasio (collectively “Defendants”) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         For the reasons that follow, the Court DISMISSES the Complaint.


         A. Factual Allegations

         On July 12, 2017, Mr. Dixon allegedly attended a hearing at Hartford Superior Court. Compl. at ¶ 1, ECF No. 1. Upon arriving back to Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center (“Corrigan”), he and four other inmates were allegedly held in a room adjacent to the “bullpen.” Id. ¶¶ 3-4. The strip and search room is located within the “bullpen.” Id. ¶ 4. An Admitting and Processing Correctional Officer allegedly called each inmate into the strip-search room to be searched. Id. ¶ 5. On that day, the stripsearches were allegedly conducted by Officer Ocasio. Id. Another Admitting and Processing Officer allegedly stood in the area near the entrance of the strip-search room, but did not completely block the entrance from inmates standing outside of but within view of the room. Id.

         Mr. Dixon alleges that he could see other inmates being strip-searched by Officer Ocasio. Id. He also alleges that, when he entered the strip-search room, he could see the other inmates outside the room. Id. ¶ 6. Mr. Dixon alleges that it was impossible for the Admitting and Processing Officer standing in the door to obstruct the view of the inmates outside the strip-search room because the officer allegedly was six feet tall and weighed between 180-190 pounds. Id. ¶ 7. Mr. Dixon alleges that he is six feet and four inches tall and weighs between 250-260 pounds. Id.

         On July 31, 2017, Mr. Dixon alleges that he submitted an inmate request to Warden Faucher about the incident, which Warden Faucher allegedly forwarded to Lieutenant Stadalnik. Id. ¶ 8. Mr. Dixon alleges that Lieutenant Stadalnik stated he would remedy his inmate request by requiring the Admitting and Processing Officers to place a piece of tape on the floor, a certain distance from the strip-search room, for the inmates, who are not involved in the search, to stand behind so the inmates being searched could not be seen. Id. Lieutenant Stadalnik allegedly did not promise to implement any other remedy to provide inmates privacy during the strip searches. Id. Mr. Dixon alleges that he did not file another inmate request form or pursue further an administrative remedy, in light of Lieutenant Stadalnik's representation that he would remedy the issue. Id. ¶ 10.

         A. Previous Litigation

         Mr. Dixon previously filed an action against several Corrigan Officers in December 2015, alleging that correctional officers improperly strip-searched him on various dates in 2015. Id. at 3-4; see also Dixon v. Santiago, et al., No. 3:15-cv-1575 (JAM), 2015 WL 95822729, at *1-2 (D. Conn. Dec. 30, 2015). On January 13, 2017, the Court dismissed that case under Local Rule 41(b) because the parties had settled. Order of Dismissal, Dixon v. Santiago, No. 3:15-cv-1575 (JAM) (D. Conn. Jan. 13, 2017), ECF No. 46.

         The Settlement Agreement required that the Warden of Corrigan (1) implement a roll-call and revive the training program for the correctional staff regarding the requirements of Administrative Directive 6.7 pertaining to non-emergency strip searches of inmates, and (2) ensure that inmate searches in the Admitting and Processing area and the gym or the exercise room at Corrigan be conducted in areas out of view of individuals not involved in the searches. Settlement Agreement and General Release at 10-16, ECF No. 1-1.


         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), prisoner civil complaints against governmental actors must be reviewed any portion of the 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, ”28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1)-(2), must be dismissed.

         Rule 8 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). A court must accept as true all factual matters alleged in a complaint, although a complaint may not survive unless its factual recitations state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. See, e.g. Ascroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Mastafa v. Chevron Corp., 770 F.3d 170, 177 (2d Cir. 2014). “A claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A complaint that only includes “‘labels and conclusions,' ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a ...

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