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Ramos v. Malloy

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 27, 2018

JOSE E. RAMOS, Plaintiff,
v.
DANNEL P. MALLOY et al., Defendants.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Jose E. Ramos (“Plaintiff”) currently incarcerated at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, and proceeding pro se, has sued Governor Dannel P. Malloy, the Town of Suffield, Commissioner Scott Semple, Warden William Mulligan, and Lieutenant Roy under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

         Mr. Ramos alleges that he has been denied a book about religion in violation of his First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. He seeks damages as well as declaratory and injunctive relief.

         For the following reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED, but, to the extent that the deficiencies in this Complaint can be remedied, Mr. Ramos may file an Amended Complaint by October 1, 2018.

         I. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         On June 1, 2017, Mr. Ramos alleges a third party ordered a book, All Religions are One by Jeffery Moses, for Mr. Ramos. The third party allegedly instructed Mr. Ramos to contact him, if Mr. Ramos did not receive the book within thirty days, so he could order another copy. Mr. Ramos allegedly did not receive the book. After sixty days, Mr. Ramos claims that he contacted the third party and another copy of the book was ordered. Mr. Ramos alleges that he still has not received the book.

         Mr. Ramos claims that he contacted several Department of Correction employees about the book. On July 20, 2017, he allegedly submitted an inmate request to the grievance counselor and, the following day, filed a grievance. On September 29, 2017, Mr. Ramos allegedly received a response from the grievance coordinator indicating that additional time was needed to investigate the issue. On October 19, 2017, Mr. Ramos allegedly met with a state police trooper who told him that Lieutenant Roy would investigate the issue to determine whether the books were received and, if so, where they were.

         Mr. Ramos commenced this cased on April 6, 2018, and his motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on April 12, 2018.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This Court must review complaints by incarcerated persons 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, a complaint must include sufficient facts to afford a defendants fair notice of the claims and grounds upon which the claims 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). A 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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Mr. Ramos argues that, by depriving him of a book about religion, Defendants have infringed on his religious rights, his right to be treated equally, his right to due process, his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, his right against unreasonable seizure and his right to property as afforded him under the First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, respectively. The Court addresses each contention in turn.

         A. Defendants Malloy, Town of Suffield, ...


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