United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING RE: COMPLAINT AND PENDING MOTIONS
C. HALL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Victor Rosa (“Rosa”), is confined at
Garner Correctional Institution. He has filed a civil rights
complaint pro se pursuant to section 1983 of title
42 of the United States Code against New Britain Superior
Court Judge Alexander (“Judge Alexander”) and
Public Defender Ashley Richards (“Attorney
Richards”) as well as motions for default, for
default judgment, and to proceed in forma pauperis.
Judge Alexander has filed a Motion to Dismiss. For the
reasons set forth below, Rosa's Motions will be denied,
the Complaint will be dismissed with leave to amend, and
Judge Alexander's Motion to Dismiss will be dismissed
without prejudice as moot.
“Motion of Response, of Relief by Defendant, Monetary
Relief of (300, 000), Of Objection” (“Motion for
Default”), Rosa claims that he served both defendants
with a summons. See Motion for Default (Doc. No. 14)
at 1. Rosa seeks entry of default against the defendants for
failure to respond to the Complaint.
Alexander signed a Waiver of Service of Summons form on
December 6, 2018, and filed an appearance and a Motion to
Dismiss on January 2, 2019. See (Doc. Nos. 19-21).
The docket reflects no evidence that Attorney Richards was
served with a copy of the Complaint. Thus, neither Attorney
Richards, nor Judge Alexander, is in default for failure to
appear or plead. Accordingly, the Motion for Default is
second motion, Rosa requests the entry of a default judgment
against the defendants in the amount of $300, 000 for failure
to respond to the Complaint. See Motion Default
Judgment (Doc. No. 16) at 1. Because neither Judge Alexander,
nor Attorney Richards, is in default for failure to plead,
the Motion for Default Judgment is denied.
third motion, Rosa seeks leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. See Mot. Proceed IFP (Doc. No. 17).
Because the court has already granted Rosa leave to proceed
in forma pauperis, see Order (Doc. No. 15),
the Motion is denied as moot.
alleges that on June 2, 2018, New Britain police officers
stopped and searched him without a search warrant and
arrested him multiple charges based on a complaint that he
had threatened an individual with a gun. See
Complaint (Doc. No. 1) at 6. He contends that Judge Alexander
and Attorney Richards violated his Eighth Amendment rights in
connection with his plea of guilty to the charge or charges
for which he was arrested. Id. at 4.
Standard of Review
to section 1915A(b) of title 28 of the United States Code,
the court must review prisoner civil complaints against
governmental actors and “dismiss . . . any portion of
[a] complaint [that] is frivolous, malicious, or 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.” See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(A)(b). This standard of review “appl[ies] to all
civil complaints brought by prisoners against governmental
officials or entities regardless of whether the prisoner has
paid [a] filing fee.” Shakur v. Selsky, 391
F.3d 106, 112 (2d Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks and
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a
complaint contain “a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although detailed allegations are not
required, a complaint must “contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. 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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted). A complaint that includes only
“‘labels and conclusions,' ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action' or
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must still include sufficient factual allegations
to meet the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris
v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
alleges that on June 2, 2018, he was outside talking to a
friend when another individual interrupted his conversation.
See Compl. at 6. As soon as Rosa walked away from
his friend and the other individual, New Britain police
officers stopped and searched Rosa and then arrested him on
multiple criminal charges. See id. at 3, 6.
Rosa's arrest was based on a complaint made by an