United States District Court, D. Connecticut
Vanessa L. Bryant, United States District Judge.
Kyle Lamar Paschal-Barros, currently confined at Northern
Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, filed this
complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff primarily claims he was denied due process in
connection with a disciplinary charge and classification
decision. Plaintiff names sixteen defendants: Henry Falcone,
William Mulligan, William Fanefth, Nick Rodriguez, Derrick
Molden, Denise Dilworth, Kyle Mitchell, Gregoirio Robles,
Thomas Kenny, Anthony Blekis, Anthony Kacprzyski, CS Davis,
CS Tugie, Jane Doe, Maige, and John Doe. Plaintiff names all
defendants in individual and official capacities.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A (2000), 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. This requirement applies both when the Plaintiff
pays the filing fee and when he proceeds in forma
pauperis. See Carr v. Dvorin, 171 F.3d 115, 116
(2d Cir. 1999) (per curiam).
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).
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. Nevertheless, it is well-established that “pro 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
December 2016, defendants Blekis, Kacprzyski and Kenny
accused Plaintiff of assaulting defendants Blekis and
Kacprzyski. Defendant Jane Doe presided over the disciplinary
hearing. She stated at the hearing that the video footage was
inconclusive but found Plaintiff guilty based on employee
reports. On February 4, 2017, Plaintiff was charged with
offenses stemming from the December 2016 incident.
Garner Correctional Institution Interdisciplinary Team, which
included defendants Falcone, Dilworth, and Mitchell,
recommended to defendant Maige that Plaintiff be classified
to Administrative Segregation. The recommendation was based
on the severity of the December 2016 assault and other
conduct. Defendant Maige assigned defendant Tugie to conduct
a classification hearing.
of mental health symptoms, Plaintiff “was not properly
able to be present during said hearing.” Doc. #1,
¶ 7. Defendant Tugie found the allegations meritorious
and recommended reclassification. Defendant Maige
reclassified Plaintiff to Administrative Segregation and
transferred him to Northern Correctional Institution
(“Northern”), a level 5 correctional facility.
Defendant John Doe denied Plaintiff's appeal.
Administrative Segregation Program is managed by the Northern
Interdisciplinary Team, which includes defendants Davis,
Robles, Molden, Rodriguez, Mulligan, and Fanefth. Prior to
his transfer, Plaintiff had been exposed to prolonged
solitary confinement-like conditions which exacerbated his
mental health conditions. During his stay at Northern, he
struggled to function.
Segregation inmates at Northern are physically isolated. They
are confined to their cells for 22-24 hours per day. They are
allowed out of their cells for one hour of solitary exercise
per weekday. Social contact is dramatically reduced;
prisoners can make only one fifteen-minute social call per
week. There is little environmental stimulation and constant
noise. The program lasts ten months of which inmates are
required to be at Northern for 120 days.
February 19, 2019, a jury found Plaintiff not guilty of the
alleged assaults. Plaintiff informed defendants Robles,
Davis, Molden and Rodriguez of the not guilty verdict and
asked to be removed from Administrative Segregation. They
denied his request, stating that the verdict did not mean
that he did not commit the conduct. Since then,
Plaintiff's status has been reviewed and continued.
Plaintiff's appeal of the review decision was denied.
remained on Phase 1 of the Program from January 13, 2017,
through March 1, 2018, when he was advanced to Phase 2 which
had the same conditions with one additional phone call. On
October 2, 2018, Plaintiff was regressed to Phase 1 and
returned to Northern.
states that he brings eleven claims: (1) denial of due
process by subjecting him to an atypical and significant
hardship, (2) cruel and unusual treatment and punishment, (3)
inhumane treatment, (4) degrading treatment, (5) torture, (6)
denial of equal protection of the laws, (7) false
imprisonment, (8) negligent infliction of emotional distress,
(9) abuse of process, (10) deliberate indifference to his
rights, and (11) arbitrary detention and punishment in
violation of Article first, section 9 of the Connecticut
contends that the defendants denied him due process by
subjecting him to an atypical and significant hardship. He
does not indicate whether his claim relates to the
disciplinary hearing or the classification hearing. As
Plaintiff includes participants in both hearings as
defendants, the Court will consider whether Plaintiff was
denied due process in connection with each hearing.
state a due process claim, Plaintiff must show that he had a
protected liberty interest in remaining free from the
conditions imposed and, if he had such an interest, that the
defendants deprived him of that interest without affording
him due process of law. See Walker v. Fischer, 523
Fed.Appx. 43, 44 (2d Cir. 2013) (citing Giano v.
Selsky, 2238 F.2d 223, 225 (2d Cir. 2001)).
liberty interest in avoiding more restrictive confinement,
such as punitive or administrative segregation, arises under
the Constitution itself. Wilkinson v. Austin, 545
U.S. 209, 221-22 (2005). However, such an interest may arise
if state “statutes or regulations require, in
‘language of an unmistakably mandatory character,'
that a prisoner not suffer a particular deprivation absent
specified predicates.” Tellier v. Fields, 280
F.3d 69, 81 (2d Cir.2000) (quoting Welch v.
Bartlett, 196 F.3d 389, 392 (2d Cir.1999)) (quotation
a cognizable liberty interest exists, the new placement must
“impose[ ] atypical and significant hardship on the
inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life.” Wilkinson, 545 U.S. at 223 (quoting
Sandin v. Conner,515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995)).
“[T]he duration of [segregated] confinement is a
distinct factor bearing on atypicality and must be carefully
considered.” Colon v. Howard,215 F.3d 227,
231 (2d Cir. 2000). A very long period of segregation
confinement-longer than 305 days-is sufficiently atypical to
trigger due process protections. Palmer v. Richards,364 F.3d 60, 65 (2d Cir. 2004). Further, it is not just the
duration of confinement but also the restrictions which
together determine whether conditions are sufficiently
atypical to create a liberty right which an inmate cannot be
denied without pre-deprivation ...