United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHARLES C. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
HARTFORD, et al. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE: MOTIONS TO DISMISS (DE#S
A. DOOLEY JUDGE
Statement of the Case
December 18, 2017, the plaintiff, Charles C. Williams, a
prisoner in the custody of the Connecticut Department of
Correction (“DOC”), filed a complaint pro
se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the city of
Hartford, Hartford Police Detective Cheryl Gogins, and DOC
Correction Officer Nancy Quiros. He filed an amended
complaint on July 9, 2018. After initial review, the Court,
Thompson, J., permitted the plaintiff's First
Amendment retaliation claim to proceed against Gogins and his
Fourth Amendment unreasonable search claim to proceed against
Gogins and Quiros. Initial Review Order at 11-13. The Court
dismissed the claim against the city of Hartford.
Id. at 6.
October 15 and 24, 2018, Gogins and Quiros filed separate
motions to dismiss the claims against them under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The plaintiff filed memoranda in
opposition to both motions. For the following reasons, the
Gogins Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED. The Quiros Motion to
Dismiss is GRANTED in part.
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), “a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has
facial plausibility when . . . [the] plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the [C]ourt to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant[s] [are] liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. The plausibility
standard is not a probability requirement; the complaint must
show, not merely allege, that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. See id.
all allegations contained in the complaint are assumed to be
true, this tenet is ‘inapplicable to legal
conclusions.'” LaMagna v. Brown, 474
Fed.Appx. 788, 789 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Ashcroft,
556 U.S. at 678). See also Amaker v. New York State Dept.
of Corr. Servs., 435 Fed.Appx. 52, 54 (2d Cir. 2011)
(same). Accordingly, the Court is not “bound to accept
conclusory allegations or legal conclusions masquerading as
factual conclusions.” Faber v. Metro. Life Ins.
Co., 648 F.3d 98, 104 (2d Cir. 2011) (quoting Rolon
v. Henneman, 517 F.3d 140, 149 (2d Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Consequently, “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). This is true whether the plaintiff has
counsel or appears pro se. Chavis v. Chappius, 618
F.3d 162, 170 (2d Cir. 2010). However, “[w]here . . .
the complaint was filed pro se, it must be construed
liberally with ‘special solicitude' and interpreted
to raise the strongest claims that it suggests.”
Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515 (2d Cir. 2013)
(quoting Hill v. Curcione, 657 F.3d 116, 122 (2d
17, 2015, the plaintiff filed a civil rights action against
Gogins and the Hartford Police Department (“HPD”)
for false arrest, malicious prosecution, defamation, libel,
and other claims stemming from his 2013 arrest for sexual
assault and unlawful restraint. Williams v. Hartford
Police Dept., No. 3:15-CV-933 (AWT). The Court,
Thompson, J., dismissed that case with prejudice
after concluding that the plaintiff had attempted to defraud
the Court by deliberately falsifying an exhibit and
submitting sworn verifications in support of the false
exhibit. Williams, No. 3:15-CV-933, Order No.
2016, while his first civil rights case was pending in this
Court, the plaintiff alleges that Quiros intercepted some of
his outgoing “legal” mail and e-mailed it as an
attachment to Gogins. The plaintiff attached to his
opposition memoranda a copy of the e-mail exchange between
Quiros and Gogins. In the e-mail, dated July 23, 2015, Quiros
stated the following to Gogins:
Not sure where the case is right now. But the facility
intercepted a letter that I/M Williams tried sending out as
legal mail. Please see attached. Please let me know if I
should release the letter or hold it for evidence.
responded later that afternoon stating:
Thank you for apprising me of this letter by above mentioned
I will need to obtain the original letter for my files. Could
you advise me how I can ascertain it[?] Is there paperwork
that I need to complete or can the ...