United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea, United States District Judge
Raymond McLaughlin, currently incarcerated at the Donald W.
Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island,
filed this case under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics. 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The
plaintiff names five defendants: the United States, former
United States Attorney Deidre Daly, Assistant United States
Attorney Henry Kopel, IRS Agent Michael Dragon,
IRS Agent Gus. The plaintiff contends that the defendants
falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned him. All individual
defendants are named in individual and official capacities.
The plaintiff seeks damages and a declaration that his Fourth
Amendment rights have been violated.
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. This requirement
applies to all prisoner filings regardless whether the
prisoner pays the filing fee. Nicholson v.
Lenczewski, 356 F.Supp.2d 157, 159 (D. Conn. 2005)
(citing Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115 (2d Cir. 1999)
(per curiam)). Here, the plaintiff paid the filing fee.
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 plausible 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. “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
8, 2017, IRS Agents Dragon and Gus arrested the plaintiff.
ECF No. 1, ¶¶ 10-11. Since July 23, 2018, he has
been confined at the Donald Wyatt, Detention Facility.
Id., ¶ 12.
first defendant is the United States. Any claim against the
United States for violation of the plaintiff's Fourth
Amendment rights is barred by sovereign immunity. See
Castro v. United States, 34 F.3d 106, 110 (2d Cir. 1994)
(United States has not waived sovereign immunity for claims
that government employees committed constitutional torts).
Accordingly, the claims against the United States are
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2). See
Grant v. United States, 2018 WL 3574865, at *4 (S.D.N.Y.
July 25, 2018) (dismissing Fourth Amendment claim against the
United States for lack of subject matter jurisdiction).
remaining defendants are federal employees, the Court
considers this action to be filed under Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics. 403
U.S. 388 (1971), which permits suits against federal
officials in their individual capacities for violation of
constitutional rights. As Bivens permits suits
against federal officials only in their individual
capacities, all claims against the remaining defendants in
their official capacities are dismissed.
Fourth Amendment provides that “[t]he right of the
people to be secure in their persons ... against unreasonable
searches and seizures shall not be violated....” U.S.
Const. Amend. IV. Bivens claims for false arrest and
or false imprisonment are based on the Fourth Amendment's
right to be free from unreasonable seizures, including arrest
without probable cause. Claims for false arrest and false
imprisonment, whether brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
pursuant to Bivens, or under state law, are analyzed
under the laws of the state in which the plaintiff was
allegedly illegally arrested or imprisoned. See Davis v.
Rodriguez, 364 F.3d 424, 433 (2d Cir.2004) (“In
analyzing 1983 claims for unconstitutional false arrest, we
have generally looked to the law of the state in which the
arrest occurred.”) (citing cases); El Badrawi v.
Department of Homeland Sec., 579 F.Supp.2d 249, 269 (D.
Conn. 2008) (“The elements of false arrest/false
imprisonment under Connecticut law are essentially the same
elements needed to articulate a Fourth Amendment
violation.”) (citations omitted); Davis v. United
States, 430 F.Supp.2d 67, 79, 80 (D. Conn. 2006) (false
arrest claims filed “pursuant to § 1983 or
Bivens are governed by state substantive law”)
well-established that the existence of probable cause is a
complete defense to claims for false arrest and false
imprisonment under both federal and Connecticut law. See
Tyus v. Newton, No. 3:13-cv-1486(SRU), 2015 WL 5306550,
at *7 (D. Conn. Sept. 10, 2015) (citations omitted). Probable
cause for an arrest is established by conviction for the
charge underlying the arrest. Corsini v. Brodsky,
731 Fed.Appx. 15, 18 (2d Cir. 2018) (citing Cameron v.
Forgarty, 806 F.2d 380, 388-89 (2d Cir. 1986)). Further,
favorable termination is an element of a federal claim for
false arrest or false imprisonment. Jordan v. Town of
Windsor, No. 3:17-cv-427(MPS), 2018 WL 1211202, at *6
(D. Conn. Mar. 8, 2018) (citations omitted); see also
Miles v. City of Hartford, 445 Fed.Appx. 379, 383 (2d
Cir. 2011) (“Favorable termination is an element of a
Section 1983 claim sounding in false imprisonment or false
Court takes judicial notice of the plaintiff's federal
criminal case, United States of America v.
McLaughlin, No. 3:17-cr-129(MPS), which was filed on
June 8, 2017, the same day he was arrested. See Rothman
v. Gregor, 220 F.3d 81, 92 (2d Cir. 2000) (taking
judicial notice of court documents); Johnson v.
Pugh, No. 11-CV-385(RRM)(MDG), 2013 WL 3013661, at *2
(E.D.N.Y. June 18, 2013) (taking judicial notice of
plaintiff's conviction in action for false arrest). The
plaintiff was convicted on one count of the indictment filed.
As he was convicted on one of the charges for which he was
arrested, the plaintiff's false arrest and false
imprisonment claims necessarily fail. III.
Conclusion The complaint is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
Clerk is directed to enter judgment and close this case.