United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MATTHEW D. BOLAND, Plaintiff,
LIEUTENANT WILKINS, et al., Defendants.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 30, 2018, the plaintiff, Matthew D. Boland, a
pro se inmate currently confined at the Cheshire
Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”) in
Connecticut, brought a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C.
§§§§ 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1988 against
five Department of Correction (“DOC”) officials:
Lieutenant Wilkins, Correction Officer Orengo, Correction
Officer Duquette, Correction Officer Mulligan, and another
official named Mendez. Compl. (ECF No. 1). The plaintiff
filed an amended complaint on December 14, 2018. Am. Compl.
(ECF No. 7). He claims that the defendants violated his
rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution. Id. at ¶ 1. He is
also raising state law claims of intentional infliction of
emotional distress, assault, and battery. Id. at
¶¶ 14-16. The plaintiff seeks damages against the
defendants in their individual capacities and injunctive
relief against them in their official capacities.
Id. at pp. 14-15. On March 5, 2019, Magistrate Judge
William I. Garfinkel granted the plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. See Order No. 14. For the
following reasons, the amended complaint is dismissed in
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, 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. 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.” Bell Atlantic, 550
U.S. at 570. “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the [C]ourt to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft, 556
U.S. at 678 (citing Bell Atlantic, 550 U.S. at 556).
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
America, 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 se litigants).
March 6, 2016, the plaintiff was housed in the North Block 1
Unit at Cheshire. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 7, 11. At
approximately 10:45 a.m., a “high security
inmate” named Joseph Walker came to the plaintiff's
cell and threatened to harm him. Id. at ¶ 7.
The plaintiff tried to inform Correction Officer Bournival
about the threat, but before he could do so, Walker swung his
fist at the plaintiff's face. Id. Walker missed,
and the plaintiff grabbed him in defense to stop the attack.
officers immediately responded to the cell and ordered the
plaintiff to stop fighting and get on the ground. Am. Compl.
¶ 8. When the plaintiff complied, Officer Orengo placed
his knee into his back and pushed his face onto the floor
with his forearm. Id. Officer Duquette then applied
handcuffs to the plaintiff's wrists behind his back.
Id. The amount of force applied by the officers
damaged a vertebra in the plaintiff's back. Id.
and Duquette brought the plaintiff to his feet and escorted
him out of the unit. Am. Compl. ¶ 9. During the
transport, the plaintiff kicked a food cart out of his way,
which prompted Lieutenant Wilkins to discharge a
“considerable amount” of chemical agent in his
eyes, nose, and mouth “to the point of near
unconsciousness.” Id. Orengo and Duquette then
lifted the plaintiff off the ground and “slam[med] him
into the wall, ” causing a sprain in his right wrist
and tendonitis in his right shoulder which persists to this
day. Id. at ¶ 10.
the attack by Walker and the force used by the defendants,
Dr. Syed Naqvi ordered that the plaintiff be immediately
transported to the UConn Health Center for treatment. Am.
Compl. ¶ 14.
plaintiff claims that the defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment and
his right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by
subjecting him to excessive force after the attack by Walker.
Am. Compl. ¶¶ 8, 13. He is also raising state law
claims for assault, battery, and intentional infliction of
emotional distress. The Court will permit his Eighth
Amendment claim and state law assault and battery claims to
proceed against the defendants in their individual capacities
is well settled . . . that personal involvement of defendants
in alleged constitutional deprivations is a prerequisite to
an award of damages under § 1983.” Wright v.
Smith, 21 F.3d 496, 501 (2d Cir. 1994) (internal
quotation marks omitted); see also Johnson v. Glick,
481 F.2d 1028, 1034 (2d Cir. 1973) (doctrine of
respondeat superior does not suffice for claim of
monetary damages under § 1983). Although he lists them
as defendants to this action, the plaintiff has not alleged
any facts showing ...