United States District Court, D. Connecticut
GERALD J. SILVA, Plaintiff,
M. CANAROZZI, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
Gerald J. Silva, currently incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, filed this
case under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed.
Bureau of Narcotics. 403 U.S. 388 (1971), against seven
defendants: Counselor M. Canarozzi, Counselor G. Hornkohl,
Case Manager J. Draper, Unit Manager S. Moore, Warden D.K.
Williams, Regional Director Michael Carvajal, and Federal
Bureau of Prisons Director Mark S. Inch. Silva contends that
the defendants discriminated and retaliated against him,
denied him due process, and defamed him. He seeks damages and
injunctive relief from the defendants in their individual and
official capacities. For the reasons set forth below, the
complaint is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
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, Silva paid the filing fee.
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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The Court must construe
pro se pleadings liberally, Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), and interpret
them to raise the “strongest arguments that they
suggest.” Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons,
470 F.3d 471, 472 (2d Cir. 2006). To plead a cognizable legal
claim, however, a pro se plaintiff must meet the
standard of facial plausibility. See Hogan v.
Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515 (2d Cir. 2013) (“[A]
pro se complaint must state a plausible claim for
relief.”) (citing Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d
66, 73 (2d Cir. 2009)).
Allegations in the Complaint
February 27, 2018, defendant Canarozzi filed a false incident
report stating that the plaintiff had installed a curtain on
his bed. The curtain had been installed by another inmate on
a bed that was not assigned to Silva. ECF No. 1, ¶ 1.
Defendant Canarozzi falsely stated in the report that he
previously had counseled the plaintiff twice about the
curtain. Id., ¶ 2. Silva considers the report
defamatory-“a permanent ‘black mark' on [his]
otherwise stellar prison record and personal
reputation.” Id., ¶ 3.
Hornkohl and Draper reviewed the report with Silva the
following day. He presented his evidence that the report was
false. Id., ¶ 4. Defendants Hornkohl and Draper
did not agree with his arguments and sanctioned him with loss
of commissary privileges. Id., ¶ 6. Defendants
Hornkohl and Draper did not investigate the charges. Silva
contends that they were negligent and biased against him.
Id., ¶ 7.
Moore reviewed the incident report and sanctions without
investigating. Id., ¶ 9. She did not meet or
communicate with the plaintiff before making her decision.
Id., ¶ 10. Silva exhausted his administrative
remedies by appealing the disciplinary charge to the warden,
Regional Office, and Central Office. Id., ¶ 12.
this incident, “the administration” retaliated
against the plaintiff. He was subjected to unnecessary and
unwarranted urine screenings. One screening was conducted at
4:00 a.m. on June 14, 2018. The plaintiff was awakened from a
deep sleep causing the return of “severe medical
symptoms.” Id., ¶ 15. The plaintiff
characterizes these actions as medical abuse in addition to
retaliation. Id., ¶ 16.
many inmates were hanging temporary partitions, including
complete bed enclosures, when the incident report was filed
and continue to do so, defendant Canarozzi did not discipline
any other inmate. Id., ¶ 17. Because another
inmate continued to hang partitions near the plaintiff's
bed, the plaintiff stopped using his bed for personal and
medical purposes. Id., ¶ 20. This interfered
with the plaintiff's “self-care plans for chronic
medical issues.” Id., ¶ 21.
filed this action under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named
Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
Bivens permits suits against federal officials for
certain constitutional violations in their individual
capacities for money damages. See FDIC v. Meyer, 510
U.S. 471, 485-86 (1994) (Bivens authorized lawsuits
for monetary damages against federal officials in their
individual capacities only); Caraveo v. U.S. Equal
Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, 96 Fed.Appx. 738, 740
(2d Cir. 2004) (“Bivens actions, however, do not lie
against . . . federal employees sued in their official
capacities.”). Bivens allows suits only
against officials who personally commit conduct proscribed by