United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOSE E. RAMOS, Plaintiff,
SCOTT S. SEMPLE, Commissioner, and WILLIAM MULLIGAN, Warden, Defendants.
RULING ON MOTION TO RE-OPEN AND MOTION TO
A. Bolden United States District Judge.
9, 2018, Jose E. Ramos (“Plaintiff”) filed a
motion to re-open his civil rights lawsuit against Scott S.
Semple and William Mulligan (“Defendants”) under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, in response to this Court's
Initial Review Order dismissing his action for failure to
state a claim. See Motion to Re-Open, filed May 9,
2018 (“Mot.”), ECF No. 13; Initial Review Order,
dated Apr. 24, 2018 (“Init. Rev. Order”), ECF No.
9. Mr. Ramos also filed a motion to strike. Motion to Strike,
dated May 9, 2018, ECF No. 12.
reasons explained below, Mr. Ramos's motions are
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
April 10, 2018, Mr. Ramos sued Defendants under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging: (1) that Defendants violated several
of his federal constitutional rights by denying him access to
the original envelopes from his incoming legal
correspondence; and (2) that Defendant Mulligan interfered
with his attempts to exhaust institutional remedies by
denying his grievance with respect to the
envelopes. See Complaint, dated Apr. 10,
2018 (“Compl.”), ECF No. 1. Mr. Ramos was-and
remains-incarcerated in the custody of the State of
Connecticut Department of Correction at the MacDougall-Walker
Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut.
April 24, 2018, the Court issued an Initial Review Order
dismissing Mr. Ramos's Complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b)(1), finding that the confiscation of the envelopes
from Mr. Ramos' legal mail did not violate his rights
under the Fourth Amendment, Eighth Amendment, the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause, or the Fourteenth
Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. Init. Rev. Order at
Court gave Mr. Ramos leave to file a motion to re-open,
accompanied by a proposed amended complaint, by May 14,
2018-but only if he could “allege facts showing that
the deprivation of his legal envelope violated any
constitutionally protected right.” Id. at 8-9.
9, 2018, Mr. Ramos timely filed a motion to re-open
accompanied by a proposed Amended Complaint. See
Mot.; Pro Se Prisoner Civil Rights Amended Complaint, filed
May 8, 2018 (“Proposed Am. Compl.”), ECF No.
same day, Mr. Ramos also filed a motion to strike an amended
complaint he claims to have filed on April 25, 2018. Motion
to Strike, dated May 9, 2018, ECF No. 12.
1, 2018 and August 29, 2018, Mr. Ramos filed notices seeking
to remind the Court of his pending motions and receive an
update on his case. See ECF Nos. 14-15.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This statute
applies equally to the Court's initial review of
complaints and to its review of proposed amended complaints.
See Abrams v. Erfe, No. 3:17-cv-1570 (CSH),
2018 WL 3238825, at *2 (D. Conn. Jul. 3, 2018)
(“Because the amended complaint will become the
operative compliant in this action, the Court must perform
its mandatory screening of the claims under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A to determine whether they state claims upon which
relief may be granted.”).
reviewing a pro se complaint, the Court must assume
the truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally to
“raise the strongest arguments [they] suggest[
].” Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir.
2007); see also Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399,
403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of
Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006)); Tracy v.
Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010)
(discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
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 Atl. 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. “Despite being subject to liberal interpretation,
a pro se plaintiff's complaint still must