United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
A. DOOLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jean Karlo Conquistador (“Conquistador”),
currently confined at Garner Correctional Institution in
Newtown, Connecticut, filed this complaint pro se
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Conquistador asserts claims for
deliberate indifference to safety and failure to protect him
from harm as well as retaliation against one defendant,
Lieutenant Adamaitis. Conquistador seeks damages and
declaratory relief against defendant Adamaitis in his
individual and official capacities. The complaint was
received on March 22, 2019, and Conquistador's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis was granted on April 10,
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. Id. In 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
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010)
(discussing special rules of solicitude for pro se
litigants). 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.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570.
2, 2018, at Hartford Correctional Institution, Conquistador
told Lieutenant Adamaitis that gang members had threatened to
attack him as soon as his cell door was opened. Doc. No. 1,
¶ 1. Conquistador asked to be moved to a different
cell.for his own safety. Id., ¶ 2. In response,
Lieutenant Adamaitis stated “we're all men here,
” and walked away. Id., ¶ 3.
time later, an inmate entered Conquistador's cell,
stabbed him in the head, and punched him numerous times.
Id., ¶ 5. An officer escorted Conquistador to
the medical unit where medical staff members treated his
injuries. Id., ¶ 6. Mental health staff placed
Conquistador on suicide watch. Id., ¶ 7.
3, 2018, mental health staff discharged Conquistador to
general population. Id., ¶ 8. Later that day,
Conquistador questioned Lieutenant Adamaitis about his
decision not to transfer him to a different housing unit for
his safety. Lieutenant Adamaitis stated that he did not like
Conquistador because Conquistador had filed lawsuits against
the Department of Correction in the past. Id.,
¶ 9. Lieutenant Adamaitis refused to answer any other
questions and told Conquistador to “get the f*** out of
[my] face.” Id., ¶ 10.
Indifference to Risk of Harm/Safety and Failure to
Conquistador was not sentenced until October 2018, he was a
pretrial detainee in July 2018, when the alleged events
occurred. Thus, he properly brings his deliberate
indifference and failure to protect claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment. See Darnell v. Pineiro, 849
F.3d 17, 29 (2d Cir. 2017) (rights of pretrial detainees are
considered under the Fourteenth Amendment while rights of
sentenced prisoners are considered under the Eighth
Amendment). To state a claim for deliberate indifference to
safety or failure to protect from harm, Conquistador must
allege facts satisfying two elements. He must show that he
suffered a sufficiently serious constitutional deprivation
and that Lieutenant Adamaitis acted with deliberate
indifference. See Christian v. Warden of O.B.C.C.,
No. 17 Civ. 2587 (GBD)(BCM), 2018 WL 1441401, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.
Mar. 22, 2018).
Kingsley v. Hendrickson, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct.
2466, 2473 (2015), the Supreme Court held that a pretrial
detainee's claim for use of excessive force, the
officer's conduct is assessed using only an objective
standard. In Darnell, the Second Circuit held that
the reasoning from Kingsley should be applied to
other inmate claims, to include claims of deliberate
indifference to safety or failure to protect from harm. 849
F.3d at 35 & 33 n.9; see also, e.g., Hodge v. City of
New York, No. 19-CV-2474(CM), 2019 WL 1455170, at *2
(S.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2019) (applying Darnell to claim
for deliberate indifference to risk of harm claim).
Accordingly, “a pretrial detainee must prove that the
defendant acted intentionally to impose the alleged
condition, or recklessly failed to act with reasonable care
to mitigate the risk that the condition posed to the pretrial
detainee even though the defendant-official knew, or should
have known, that condition imposed an excessive risk to
health or safety. Id. at 35.
alleges that he told Lieutenant Adamaitis about the threat to
attack him. In response, Lieutenant Adamaitis refused to move
Conquistador to another housing unit and did nothing to
ensure his safety. Conquistador has sufficiently alleged that
Lieutenant Adamaitis was aware that other inmates posed a
serious risk of harm to Conquistador and recklessly failed to
act with reasonable care to mitigate the risk of harm. The