United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ANTHONY D. ORR, Plaintiff,
LIEUTENANT MARQUIS, Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea, United States District Judge
November 26, 2018, the plaintiff, Anthony D. Orr, a pro
se inmate currently confined at the Cheshire
Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”) in
Connecticut, brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against six Department of Correction
(“DOC”) officials: Lieutenant Marquis, Correction
Officer John Doe 1, Correction Officer John Doe 2, Nurse Jane
Doe, Warden Erfe, and Correction Officer Rodriguez. Compl.
(ECF No. 1) at 1-2. The plaintiff seeks monetary and
injunctive relief against the defendants for subjecting him
to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to
the United States Constitution. Id. at 14-15. For
the following reasons, the complaint is dismissed in part.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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. 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. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the [C]ourt to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft, 556
U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 556).
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)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater,
623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules
of solicitude for pro se litigants).
of 2018, Warden Erfe ordered that coolers of ice water be
issued to the south block units at Cheshire because the air
conditioner was not working. Compl. ¶ 1. At
approximately 8:45 p.m. on July 28, the plaintiff reported to
the medical line to receive his medications. Id. at
¶ 2. When he left the medical unit and proceed back to
his housing unit, he decided to get a drink of water from the
one of the coolers. Id. at ¶ 3. He entered his
cell, retrieved a cup, and went to the cooler to obtain some
water, but the cooler was empty. Id. at ¶ 4.
Another inmate named Lewis had also attempted to get some
water but could not do so. Id. Lewis and the
plaintiff then lifted the cooler off the table and brought it
to the correction officer's desk. Id. at ¶
their way to the desk, Officer Rodriguez stopped the two
inmates and ordered them to put the cooler back on the table.
Compl. ¶ 6. When the plaintiff explained to Rodriguez
that the warden had issued the cooler for inmate use,
Rodriguez dismissed him saying, “I said no, put it
back.” Id. The two inmates then placed the
cooler back on the table, and the plaintiff asked Rodriguez
to call a lieutenant to the area. Id. at ¶ 7.
The plaintiff heard Rodriguez mutter “something like
‘challenge my authority'” and then saw him
make a phone call. Id. at ¶ 8.
a minute or so later, Lieutenant Marquis arrived in the unit.
Compl. ¶ 9. The plaintiff tried to explain the situation
to Marquis, but Marquis just told the plaintiff to sit down.
Id. Rodriguez then told Marquis “about things
that didn't happen” between him and the plaintiff.
Id. at ¶ 10. Again, the plaintiff tried to
interject, but Marquis told him to sit down. Id.
thereafter, the plaintiff caught out of the corner of his eye
someone quietly walking toward him. Compl. ¶ 12. When he
turned his head to see who the individual was, the plaintiff
saw Marquis holding a can of chemical mace at his face.
Id. The plaintiff raised his hands and attempted to
tell Marquis that he has asthma, but Marquis sprayed him in
his mouth and face. Id. at ¶ 13. Two other
correction officers, John Does 1 and 2, then tackled the
plaintiff to the floor. Id.
plaintiff could not discern how many officers were on top of
him, but it was definitely more than two. Compl. ¶ 14.
While pinned to the floor, the plaintiff yelled that he was
not resisting, but Marquis continued to spray mace into his
mouth while the officers held him down. Id. The
officers then placed handcuffs on the plaintiff, brought him
to his feet, and proceeded to escort him to the restrictive
housing unit (“RHU”). Id. at ¶ 15.
The plaintiff starting yelling that he had only wanted water
and asking why he had been pepper sprayed, but Does 1 and 2
applied more pressure to his handcuffs, which caused him
pain. Id. at ¶ 16. He continued to yell,
“You'r[e] hurting me[!] Why did the [lieutenant]
mace me? I only wanted water! You'[re] hurting my
wrist[!] Stop!” Compl. ¶ 17. At that moment, his
asthma acted up and he yelled that he could not breathe.
they arrived at the RHU, Marquis ordered Does 1 and 2 to
strip search the plaintiff, and the officers complied. Compl.
¶ 18. The officers then placed the plaintiff in the RHU
cell with in-cell “black box” restraints.
Id. Nurse Jane Doe arrived shortly thereafter and
examined the plaintiff's wrist, which was bruised and
swollen. Id. at ¶ 19. She told the plaintiff
that he would “be okay.” Id. No
photographs were taken of the plaintiff's injury.
plaintiff was kept in in-cell restraints for over twenty-four
hours and confined in the RHU for ten days. Compl.
¶¶ 21, 24. He was never provided with any incident
report regarding the use of force or his placement in the
RHU. Id. at ¶ 23. Rodriguez later wrote the
plaintiff a disciplinary ticket for “flagrant
disobedience.” Id. at ¶ 24.
30 and September 5, the plaintiff filed grievances regarding
the use of force on July 28, the latter of which was returned
without disposition because the plaintiff did not seek
informal resolution with the officers involved. Compl. ¶
25. He also wrote a request to Warden Erfe and the deputy
warden that they call the state police to report the assault,
but he never received a response. Id. at ¶ 26.
The plaintiff filed a freedom of information
(“FOI”) request for all reports made in
connection with the July 28 incident, but to date, he has not
received all the requested documents. Id. at ¶
later September of 2018, the plaintiff stopped Warden Erfe in
his housing unit and told him about the assault on July 28
and the tight handcuffs that caused him pain in his wrist.
Compl. ¶ 28. He added that he would like to use the
telephone to call the state police about the assault.