United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Charles S. Haight, Jr. Senior United States District Judge.
plaintiff, Courtney Green, currently incarcerated at Osborn
Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, has filed a
complaint pro se pursuant 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He
names as defendants Lieutenant Tavernier and Correctional
Officer Tuggle. Green contends that defendant Tavernier
retaliated against him in violation of the First Amendment
and subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of
confinement in violation of the Eighth Amendment. He alleges
that both defendants subjected him to unreasonable searches
in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Green seeks damages
from the defendants in their individual capacities.
factual allegations contained in Plaintiff's complaint
are recounted below, recited in the light most favorable to
26, 2018, Green underwent a surgical procedure for a chronic
anal fissure. Doc. 1 (“Compl.”) ¶ 1. Before
discharging him, the surgeon ordered that Green be issued a
pass to have a pillow to sit on when he returned to the
correctional facility. Id. ¶ 2. The facility
doctor issued Green a pass permitting him to sit on a pillow
for thirty days. Id. ¶¶ 2-3.
June 27, 2018, through July 1, 2018, defendant Tavernier
refused to honor the pillow pass and denied Green access to
the dining hall with his pillow. Id. ¶ 3.
Although she verified the pass with the medical department,
defendant Tavernier would not permit Green to enter the
dining hall with his pillow and refused permission for Green
to receive his meals in his cell-even after Green informed
her that the pillow was a standard, state-issued pillow and
allowed Tavernier to inspect the pillow for contraband.
Id. ¶ 4. On June 27, 2018, defendant Tavernier
told Green that he would receive a disciplinary charge if he
returned to the dining hall with the pillow. Id.
¶ 6. Green would not enter the dining hall without his
pillow because he viewed sitting on a hard surface as
unreasonable in light of his recent surgery and issuance of
the pass. Id. Green was not able to enter the dining
hall to eat from June 27, 2018 through July 1, 2018.
Id. The lack of his therapeutic high fiber diet
caused Green to experience severe constipation, rectal pain
and rectal bleeding, along with fatigue from not eating for
five days. Id. ¶ 7.
2, 2018, Green saw Deputy Warden Snyder and told him that
defendant Tavernier was denying him access to the dining
hall. Id. ¶ 8. He showed Deputy Warden Snyder
the pillow pass. Id. Deputy Warden Snyder told Green
that he would look into the matter. Id. ¶ 9. A
few hours later, Green was called to the medical unit and
issued a pass to receive his meals in his cell. Id.
Green filed a grievance against defendant Tavernier which was
denied initially and on appeal. Id. ¶ 11. After
Green filed the grievance, he ran into Tavernier in a
hallway, and she glared harshly at him. Id.
August 18, 2018, defendant Tavernier entered Green's cell
with unit officer Iyare. Id. ¶ 13. Defendant
Tavernier accused Green of telling Iyare that he discarded a
shaving razor in the trash. Id. Green denied the
accusation. Id. Defendant Tavernier then ordered
Green to accompany her to the medical unit. Id.
¶ 14. En route, Green commented that defendant Tavernier
did not believe that he had a razor blade because he was not
searched in his cell and the housing unit was operating
normally. Id. ¶ 15.
medical unit, defendant Tavernier ordered defendant Tuggle to
strip search Green in the bathroom. Id. ¶ 16.
Defendant Tuggle did not close the bathroom door.
Id. Green asked that the door be closed partially
because he would be in full view of any nurses that might
leave their adjacent office during the search. Id.
Defendant Tuggle denied the request and ordered Green to
remove his clothes. Id. ¶ 17. While Green was
naked, two nurses left their office. Id. They saw
him and laughed while they walked to the treatment room.
Id. Defendant Tuggle did not find a razor blade
during the search. Id. ¶ 18.
the strip search, Green was sent to the medical unit holding
cell while his cell was searched. Id. While Green
waited, defendant Tavernier went to contact Officer Spence,
the officer who distributed the razors in the housing unit.
Id. ¶ 19. After approximately forty minutes,
Green was ordered to return to his cell. Id. ¶
20. While escorting him to his cell, defendant Tavernier told
Green that Officer Spence denied reporting any missing
razors. Id. ¶ 21-22. Defendant Tavernier began
insulting Green. Id. In response, he stated that she
was upset because he had filed a grievance against her.
Id. ¶ 23. Defendant Tavernier told Green,
“this is how I do things when you write me up, and
I'm going to make it my job to get you.”
found his cell in shambles. Id. ¶ 24. His
property was spread over the floor and bunk and his mattress
was in the corridor. Id. Green wrote Inmate Requests
to several supervisory officers complaining about the strip
search. Id. ¶ 25.
August 19, 2018, Green reported to his hallway detail job.
Id. ¶ 27. Defendant Tavernier pointed at Green
and spoke aggressively with Officer Kalhotra, the officer who
supervised Green's work assignment. Id.
¶¶ 28-29. In accordance with the recreation
schedule for unit workers, Green went to the weight platform
during evening recreation. Id. ¶ 31. Defendant
Tavernier glared at Green during recreation for approximately
35 minutes. Id. ¶¶ 31-35.
was returning to his cell at the conclusion of the recreation
period, Green was directed to Officer Kalhotra's desk.
Id. ¶ 36. Officer Kalhotra told Green that
defendant Tavernier had ordered him to issue Green an out of
place disciplinary infraction. Id. ¶ 37.
Officer Kalhotra stated that he disagreed with the charge but
had to issue the report. Id. ¶¶ 37-38.
had been assigned to J-block because he needed a
handicap-accessible shower. Id. ¶¶ 41-42.
On August 20, 2018, Green was told that he was moving to
D-block. Id. ¶ 30. He was issued a pass to go
to D-block to get the moving cart. Id. ¶ 40.
Captain Colon, the unit manager of D-block, told Green that
he could not move to D-block because the showers were not
handicap accessible. Id. ¶ 40. Captain Colon
asked whether the unit manager in J-block was aware of the
move. Id. ¶ 43. Green said that defendant
Tavernier had arranged the move and related his history with
defendant Tavernier. Id. ¶ 43-44. Captain Colon
cancelled the move and directed Green to return to J-block.
Id. ¶¶ 45-46.
that day, Green spoke with Captain Chapdelaine, the second
shift commander, about defendant Tavernier's actions.
Id. ¶ 52. Captain Chapdelaine told Green that
he was aware of the issues and stated that defendant
Tavernier had ordered Officer Kalhotra to issue Green a
negative performance evaluation. Id. ¶ 53.
Captain Chapdelaine said he would speak to Captain Manning,
the first shift commander, because defendant Tavernier was
technically a first shift lieutenant. Id. ¶ 54.
Captain Chapdelaine also stated that he would talk to
defendant Tavernier, because he had spoken to Officer
Kalhotra who had no complaints about the manner in which
Green had fulfilled his hallway detail assignment.
Id. ¶ 56. On August 28, 2018, the hearing
officer deferred the disciplinary infraction on the out of
place charge. Id. ¶ 55, 58. On September 7,
2018, Green spoke to shift commander Captain Manning, who
informed Green that he had heard about the razor incident and
was aware that there had never been a missing razor.
Id. ¶ 59. Captain Manning also stated that he
had received ...