United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHADWICK J. ST. LOUIS, Plaintiff,
McCLAIN, ET AL. Defendants.
ORDER DISMISSING AMENDED COMPLAINT
W. THOMPSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 24, 2018, the plaintiff, Chadwick J. St. Louis, an
inmate currently housed at the Garner Correctional
Institution (“Garner”) in Newtown, Connecticut,
filed a complaint pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against eight Connecticut Department of Correction
(“DOC”) and Correctional Managed Health Care
officials for violating his constitutional rights. See Compl.
[Doc.#1]. The court dismissed his complaint with leave to
amend because it improperly joined four unrelated causes of
action, in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20.
But the court gave the plaintiff an opportunity to amend his
complaint stating one of those four causes of action. See
Initial Review Order [Doc.#8]. On November 14, 2018, the
plaintiff filed an amended complaint. Am. Compl. [Doc.#9].
However, as discussed below, the amended complaint fails to
state a plausible claim for relief.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, this 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 America, 723
F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Triestman v. Fed.
Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)).
February 15, 2018, Correctional Officer McLain issued the
plaintiff a disciplinary report (“DR”) for
conspiring to convey contraband into MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution (“MWCI”), a Class-A
offense, in violation of DOC Administrative Directive
Am. Compl. ¶ 1; Pl.'s Ex. A [Doc.#9 at 11]. The DR
had the wrong date, time, and location of the alleged
violation and lacked sufficient evidentiary support. Am.
Compl. ¶¶ 6, 8. Moreover, conspiring to convey
contraband into a DOC facility is not listed as an offense
under Administrative Directive 9.5. Id. at ¶ 8.
Roy “reviewed and signed off” on the DR, but he
“was not impartial” in evaluating the DR because
he is the “intelligence/security lieutenant” to
whom McLain directly reports. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1, 7.
It was Roy's duty to ensure that the DR was supported by
sufficient evidence. Id. at 7.
plaintiff was placed in segregation shortly after McLain
issued the DR. Am. Compl. ¶ 1. He pleaded not guilty to
the charge but was told that he would remain in segregation
until after his DR hearing. Am. Compl. ¶ 2.
March 15, 2018, the plaintiff met with Disciplinary Hearing
Officer Prior. Am. Compl. ¶ 2. The plaintiff gave Prior
a copy of his written defense to the DR. Id.;
Pl.'s Ex. B [Doc.#9 at 12]. He was subsequently found
guilty of the DR and received as sanctions fifteen days of
punitive segregation, thirty days loss of visitation, and
thirty days loss of mail privileges. Am. Compl. ¶ 2. On
March 19, 2018, he was transferred from MWCI to Garner.
plaintiff appealed the DR finding to District Administrator
Angel Quiros, contending that Prior's finding of guilt
violated due process. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3, 9; Pl.'s
Ex. C [Doc.#19 at 13]. He attached to his appeal the written
defense that he had previously given to Prior. Am. Comp.
¶ 3. Quiros denied the plaintiff's appeal,
concluding that Prior's finding of guilt was reasonable
based on the evidence presented at the DR hearing, including
video surveillance footage, and that no due process violation
occurred. Id. at ¶¶ 3, 10; Pl.'s Ex. D
[Doc.#9 at 14].
at Garner, the plaintiff was informed that, in addition to
the sanctions he received at MWCI, his contact visits were
suspended for two years because he had been found guilty of a
Class-A offense. Am. Compl. ¶ 4. The plaintiff filed an
administrative appeal with respect to this decision, but the
appeal was denied. Id.; Pl.'s Ex. E [Doc.#9 at
result of the DR finding, the plaintiff spent a total of
thirty-three days in segregation. Am. Compl. at 17. While in
segregation, he was denied his personal property, including
his television, radio, clocks, clothes, mail, and commissary
items, church services, phone privileges, recreation, and
contact visits. Id. Due to his diagnosed
post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) and
hypertension, the plaintiff suffered severe emotional
distress, “extreme anxiety, ” and “a great
loss of quality of life.” Id.
plaintiff claims that the defendants, McLain, Roy, Prior, and
Quiros, violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights to due
process and equal protection of the laws and his Eighth
Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment by
placing him in segregation and denying him various privileges
based on an unsubstantiated DR. Am. Compl. at 17. He seeks
monetary, injunctive, and ...