United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
C. Hall United States District Judge
plaintiff, Deshawn Tyson (“Tyson”), incarcerated
at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in
Suffield, Connecticut, has filed a Complaint (Doc. No. 1)
pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Tyson sought
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See
Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis (Doc.
Nos. 2, 7). On October 18, 2018, the court granted
Tyson's application. Order (Doc. No. 8).
Complaint names four defendants: PA Kevin McCrystal,
Warden William Mulligan, Lieutenant Jane Davis, and
Correctional Officer John Doe. Tyson contends that the
defendants required him to walk about the facility for over a
week without shoes, thereby violating his rights under the
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and also denied him proper
medical treatment for a fall sustained while he was without
section 1915A of title 28 of the United States Code, 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In reviewing a
pro se complaint, the court must assume the truth of
the allegations, and interpret them liberally to “raise
the strongest arguments [they] suggest[ ].” Abbas
v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). Although
detailed allegations are not required, a 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.” 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). However, notwithstanding this
liberal interpretation, a pro se complaint will not
survive dismissal unless the factual allegations meet the
plausibility standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v.
Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).
September 26, 2017, Tyson was strip searched and removed from
his cell for a cell search. Compl. at 8. Defendant Davis
ordered a correctional officer to confiscate Tyson's
shoes under the “false pretense that the shoes were
fome [sic].” Id. Tyson had no other sneakers
and was forced to wear his shower shoes at all times. Exhibit
2, Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 18. On October 1, 2017, after a
week without his sneakers, Tyson slipped and fell. Compl. at
8; Exhibit 11, Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 50. He was injured
seriously enough to require medical assistance and a
wheelchair for transport to the medical unit. Compl. at 8.
Tyson was issued Motrin 200mg for three days and told to stay
in bed. Id.; Exhibit 3, Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 21.
His shoes were not returned. Compl. at 8.
response to many grievances and requests, the Warden,
defendant Mulligan, stated that Tyson had signed a form
agreeing that the shoes were contraband. Id. at 9.
Tyson disagrees with this statement. Id. After
several more communications, Tyson's shoes were returned
to him on January 9, 2018. Id. at 10; Exhibit 12,
Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 54. Tyson has attached to his
Complaint medical grievances complaining about severe back
pain as a result of the fall. Exhibit 11, Compl. (Doc. No. 1)
at 44, 45, 47, 48, 50. He also attached reports indicating
that defendant McCrystal saw him the day of the incident and
also on several other occasions. Exhibit 3, Compl. (Doc. No.
1) at 25; Exhibit 11, Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 45.
alleges that defendants Mulligan, Davis, and Doe violated his
Fourteenth Amendment right to due process by depriving him of
his shoes and subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment
in violation of the Eighth Amendment for requiring him to
walk without shoes for a period of time. See
Compl. at 2, 11. Tyson also alleges that defendant McCrystal
was deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need by
failing to properly treat his injury from the fall. See
id. at 11.
argues that defendants Mulligan, Davis, and Doe deprived him
of property without due process of law when they confiscated
his sneakers. See id. at 2, 11. The Due Process
Clause protects against the deprivation of a protected
property interest. See Harrington v. Cty. of
Suffolk, 607 F.3d 31, 34 (2d Cir. 2010). A prisoner can
state a due process claim for loss or destruction of
property, however, only if the state has not created adequate
post-deprivation remedies. See Edwards v. Erfe, 588
Fed.Appx. 79, 80 (2d Cir. 2015) (citing Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984)).
provides a remedy for lost or destroyed property. Under
Connecticut General Statutes § 4-141, et seq.,
a prisoner may bring a claim against the Connecticut Claims
Commission unless there is another administrative remedy for
his claim. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 4-142. The
Department of Correction has established an administrative
remedy for lost or destroyed property. See
Department of Correction Administrative Directive 9.6(16)(B),
http://portal.ct.gov/DOC/AD/AD-Chapter-9 (last visited Oct.
22, 2018). Thus, a prisoner first must utilize the
administrative remedy and then can proceed to the Claims
Commission if his claim is denied. See Riddick v.
Semple, 731 Fed.Appx. 11, 13 (2d Cir. 2018).
sneakers were confiscated. Compl. at 8. After a time,
however, the sneakers were returned to him. Id. at
10. Thus, his sneakers were not lost or destroyed. In
addition, the Department of Correction and State of
Connecticut provide adequate post-deprivation remedies.
Indeed, Tyson utilized the Department of Correction remedies
while seeking the return of his sneakers. See
generally Exhibit 7, Compl. (Doc. No. 1) (lost/damaged
property investigation form). Thus, the state and
institutional remedies were adequate. The court concludes