United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOHN S. KAMINSKI, Plaintiff,
SEMPLE, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill United States District Judge
Kaminski (“Kaminski”), currently confined at
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield,
Connecticut, filed this complaint pro se under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the provision of legal
assistance to Connecticut inmates. He names three defendants:
former Commissioner Semple; former Attorney General George
Jepsen; and Attorney Walter Bansley IV, the Inmate Legal
Assistance Contractor. Kaminski seeks declaratory relief
only. ECF No. 1 at 30. Kaminski asserts a claim for denial of
due process and violation of his right of access to the
courts through the denial of access to legal resources.
Kaminski's complaint was received on January 31, 2019,
and his motion to proceed in forma pauperis was
granted on February 6, 2019.
section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, I 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. 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. 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 Am., 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
does not include in his complaint a concise statement of the
facts underlying his claims. A state criminal matter,
#04-0214486, was nolled shortly after Kaminski was sentenced
in another matter in 2004. The nolle was entered through an
agreement between Kaminski's attorney, Martin Rizzi, and
the prosecutor, Paul Rotiroti. ECF No. 1 at 9, 33. Kaminski
believes that the nolled case supports his challenge to his
nolled case was overlooked by appointed appellate counsel,
Arthur Ledford; first appointed habeas counsel, John Drapp;
and second appointed habeas counsel, Jennifer Smith.
Id. at 33. Kaminski filed a motion for removal of
second habeas counsel. Id. at 8. The court permitted
counsel to file an Anders brief and withdraw her
representation. Id. Proceeding pro se,
Kaminski discovered the nolled case. Id. at 15.
proceeding pro se, Kaminski filed a petition for
writ of mandamus in state court to obtain access to legal
research materials. The petition was denied. Id. at
states that he sues defendants Semple and Jepsen on his
claims for denial of access to the courts and denial of due
process only for declaratory relief. ECF No. 1 at 1, 30.
relief operates prospectively. It is intended to enable
parties to adjudicate claims before either party suffers
significant damages. Orr v. Waterbury Police
Dep't, 2018 WL 780218, at *7 (D. Conn. Feb. 8, 2018)
(citations omitted). In Orr, the court dismissed the
request for declaratory relief because the request related
only to past actions; the plaintiff had not identified any
legal issue that could be resolved by declaratory relief.
states that he has named defendants Semple and Jepsen because
they were serving as Commissioner of Correction and Attorney
General during the relevant period. Id. at 26-27.
This indicates that Kaminski is seeking declaratory relief
relating to past actions. Thus, the request is inappropriate
and the claims against defendants Semple and Jepsen are
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
names Attorney Walter Bansley IV, in his capacity as the
Inmate Legal Assistance Contractor. In that capacity,
Attorney Bansley provides legal assistance to inmates in
civil cases just as the public ...