United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSE A. JUSINO, Plaintiff,
HEATHER GAW, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Jose A. Jusino, is incarcerated at the
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
(“MacDougall-Walker”). He has filed a civil
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Psychologists
Heather Gaw and Mark Frayne, Director of Psychiatry Craig
Burns, Director of Psychology Thomas Kocienda, Health
Services Administrator Brian Liebel, and Counselor William
Longo. For the reasons set forth below, the court
will dismiss the complaint.
Standard of Review
Pursuant 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. 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).
detailed allegations are not required, “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 a 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 still 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
plaintiff states that he has been diagnosed as suffering from
borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality
disorder, and abnormal brain structure and function.
See Compl., at 4 ¶ 16. His “risk factors
are suicidal ideation, behavior, gestures, threats[, ] and
self-mutilating behavior.” See Id. ¶ 17.
He has been confined in a restrictive housing unit since May
2007. See Id. ¶ 15.
2016, the plaintiff filed a complaint against a number of
mental health and medical providers employed by the
Connecticut Department of Correction, including Dr. Frayne,
Director Burns, and Administrator Liebel. See Id. at
3 (citing Jusino v. Frayne, et al., No. 16cv961(MPS)
(Complaint, ECF No. 1). On August 2, 2016, the court
dismissed the claims against multiple defendants, including
Administrator Liebel, but concluded that the claims of
deliberate indifference to mental health treatment would
proceed against other defendants, including Dr. Frayne and
Director Burns. See Jusino, No. 16cv961(MPS)
(Initial Review Order, ECF No. 10). On January 3, 2018, the
court considered a motion for summary judgment filed by
defendants Frayne, Gagne, Burns, Chaplin, and Forbes and
granted the motion as to the claims against defendants Burns
and Chaplin, but denied the motion as to defendants Frayne,
Gagne, and Forbes. See Id. (Ruling Mot. Summ. J.,
ECF No. 87, at 10-13).
January 3, 2018, the plaintiff submitted a four-page letter
to multiple Department of Correction officials regarding
inaccurate information about his treatment that had been
included in an individualized treatment plan formulated for
him by Dr. Frayne and Director Kocienda. See Compl.
at 4 ¶ 18. On January 12, 2018, without evaluating or
testing the plaintiff, Dr. Frayne and Counselor Longo lowered
the plaintiff's mental health needs score. See
Id. ¶ 20. The plaintiff suggests that his mental
health needs score was lowered to a level below level 3.
See Id. at 7 ¶ 30. The plaintiff contends that
prison officials are not required to provide him with mental
health treatment because of his lower mental health needs
score. See Id. at 4 ¶ 20.
Kocienda serves as a consultant to the Connecticut Department
of Correction and oversees the mental health care provided to
inmates, including the plaintiff. See Id. at 6
¶ 25. On January 22, 2018, Director Kocienda wrote to
the plaintiff and acknowledged that the plaintiff had
“identified mental health needs.” See
Id. at 5 ¶ 24.
March 15, 2018, the plaintiff sent a letter to Directors
Kocienda and Burns regarding the decision to lower his mental
health needs score. See Id. at 5 ¶ 21. Neither
Director Kocienda, nor Director Burns responded to the
plaintiff's letter. See id.
April 23, 2018, the plaintiff met with Psychologist Gaw, who
was employed at Northern, regarding his concerns that he
might be at a future risk of harm due to his mental health
needs score having been lowered. See Id. at 6 ¶
26. Psychologist Gaw informed the plaintiff that there was no
need to raise his mental health needs score and that he would
be receiving mental health treatment from a male mental
health worker. See Id. ¶¶ 27-28. The
plaintiff alleges that the mental health worker assigned to
him was a homosexual and that the mental health worker's
sexual orientation made him feel uncomfortable. See
Id. The plaintiff states that he had been subjected to
sexual abuse in the past and had a “fear of homosexual
male[s].” See id.
10, 2018, the plaintiff sent a complaint to Administrator
Liebel regarding the lowering of his mental health needs
score based on “non-mental health factors” and to
a level that did not require treatment to be provided to him.
Administrator Liebel declined to take any action in response
to the written complaint from the plaintiff and indicated
that the information in the complaint was “just [the
plaintiff's] opinion.” See Id. at 7 ¶
31, 2018, prison officials at Northern transferred the
plaintiff to another facility. See Id. ¶ 31. At
the new facility, prison officials classified the plaintiff
to a more restrictive status based on an incident that had
occurred in 2009. See Id. Because the
plaintiff's mental health needs score was below a level
three, prison officials at the new facility did not offer to
provide the plaintiff with mental health treatment,