United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
C. Hall United States District Judge
plaintiff, Marques Lindsay (“Lindsay”), incarcerated
at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Center in Suffield,
Connecticut, has filed a Complaint (Doc. No. 1) pro
se under section 1983 of title 42 of the United States
Code. Lindsay sought leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. No. 2). On May 22, 2019, the court
granted Lindsay's application. (Doc. No. 6).
Complaint names six defendants in the caption: 1) former
Commissioner Semple, 2) Commissioner Cook, 3) Director of
Offender Classification and Population Management Miaga, 4)
Director of Security Santiago, 5) Counselor Supervisor
Crandall, and 6) Security Risk Group Coordinator Aldi. Within
the body of the Complaint, Lindsay includes an additional
sixteen defendants: 1) Intelligence Officer Gargano, 2)
Security Risk Group Lieutenant Parnishkul, 2) Security Risk
Group Lieutenant Kelly, 3) Lieutenant Bragdon, 4)
Disciplinary Report Investigator Dousis, 5) Restrictive
Housing Unit Manager Cronin, 6) Correctional Officer Messier,
7) Lieutenant Stadalnik, 8) Correctional Officer Greene, 9)
Correctional Officer Fiore, 10) Lieutenant Michaud, 11)
Registered Nurse Brennan, 12) Doctor Yesu, 13) Deputy Warden
Carlos, 14) Deputy Warden Cotta, 15) Warden Faucher, and 16)
Security Risk Group Coordinator Papoosha. Compl. at 3-7. All
defendants are named in their individual and official
capacities. Lindsay seeks monetary, compensatory, and
punitive damages against the defendants in their individual
and official capacities as well as an injunction directing
the defendants to remove him from Security Risk Group
(“SRG”) programming and place him in “a
general population facility of mental health.” Compl.
section 1915A of title 28 of the United States Code, the
court must review prisoner civil complaints and dismiss any
portion of a 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. 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). Although
detailed allegations are not required, a 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
“[p]ro 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 se litigants). However, notwithstanding this
liberal interpretation, a pro se complaint will not
survive dismissal unless the factual allegations meet the
plausibility standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v.
Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).
February 2, 2016, Lindsay was discharged from the SRG unit of
the Department of Correction. Compl. at 8 ¶ 33. On
October 9, 2018, Lindsay was readmitted to custody and
processed as a pretrial detainee. During intake processing,
Officer Gargano consulted computer records and asked Lindsay
if he was still a member of the SRG Bloods. Lindsay said no.
Officer Gargano told Lindsay that he would be going to a
segregated housing unit. When Lindsay questioned why he was
being punished when he had changed his life and had received
no new disciplinary reports, he was ignored. Id.
evening, Lieutenant Parnishkul escorted Lindsay to a
segregated housing unit. He was directed to remove his
clothing, bend at the waist, spread his buttocks, and cough.
After the strip search, Lindsay was placed in a cell.
Id. ¶ 35. About an hour later, a restrictive
housing unit status order was slipped under Lindsay's
cell door. The notice stated that, because Lindsay was
designated a member of the SRG Bloods, his continued presence
in general population posed a serious threat to the safety
and security of the facility. Id. at 9 ¶ 36.
intake occurred at Bridgeport Correctional Center
(“Bridgeport”). Id. ¶ 37. Lindsay
argues that his placement in segregation violates
Administrative Directive 9.5, Section 43 which provides that
once an inmate is discharged, any penalties or sanctions will
not resume if he is reincarcerated. Id. ¶ 38.
October 10, 2018, Lindsay was required to use shower shoes
belonging to the housing unit to take a shower. Because he
was in a segregated unit, he was unable to purchase his own
shower shoes from the commissary. Id. ¶ 39.
Lindsay also was handcuffed while going to and from the
shower even though he had not been found guilty of a criminal
charge or been issued a disciplinary report. Id.
¶ 40. Lindsay was handcuffed and shackled everywhere he
went in the facility. Id. ¶ 41.
wanted to use the inmate telephone. In the evening of October
10, 2018, he submitted an inmate request to Counselor Guyers
asking for an inmate PIN number. Id. ¶ 42. The
following morning Lindsay questioned Counselor Guyers about
his request. She told him that inmates in the Restrictive
Housing Unit (“RHU”) were permitted phone calls
on Thursdays and that they were given three showers per week.
Counselor Guyers told Lindsay that he had to be careful
because he would be handcuffed while walking to and using the
phone. Lindsay submitted inmate request forms to Officer
Gargano and Lieutenant Parnishkul and then grievances to try
to resolve his perceived punishment. Id. ¶ 43.
November 8, 2018, Lindsay was transferred to the SRG program
at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution
(“Corrigan”). He was readmitted as a Blood member
and denied a ninety-day review. Id. ¶ 44. While
at Bridgeport, Lindsay did not meet with the facility
Intelligence Coordinator and did not receive notification of
the revival of his SRG file or notification of the results of
a review. The only form he received notified him that he was
on administrative detention status pending transfer. Lindsay
considers the failure to provided appropriate documentation a
due process failure resulting in an atypical and significant
hardship. Id. ¶ 45.
informed the transport officers that he would have a better
chance to prepare for his criminal case or post bond if he
remained at Bridgeport. The officer threated disciplinary
action which would result in sanctions and suspension of
Lindsay's phone privileges, thereby impeding
Lindsay's ability to prepare his case or post bond.
Lindsay complied with the transport to Corrigan even though
he knew that the facility to which he was going had no law
library and phone calls would be restricted. Id.
entering his cell in the Corrigan RHU SRG unit, Lindsay wrote
to Lieutenant Kelly asking why he was assigned to SRG housing
and complaining about the coldness of his cell. Id.
following evening, Lindsay attended recreation. He was given
state-issued shower shoes. The drain in the shower was
clogged, so Lindsay had to shower while standing in a puddle
of dirty water. He was required to shower, call loved ones,
and contact the unit counselor all in one hour. Upon
returning to his cell, Lindsay submitted a second request to
Lieutenant Kelly about the temperature in his cell. The cold
temperature caused Lindsay to shiver and prevented him from
falling asleep. During the night, Lindsay wrote to the mental
health unit seeking medication for psychiatric reasons and an
anti-depressant. Id. ¶ 48.
November 15, 2018, Lindsay left his cell for court. When he
returned to Corrigan that evening, he had been sentenced and
was no longer a pretrial detainee. Lindsay was housed in the
same cell among sentenced inmates both before and after he
was sentenced. Id. ¶ 49.
the night of November 29, 2018, while all inmates were in
their cells, an unidentified member of the Bloods spoke to
Lindsay through the ventilation system. The voice told
Lindsay that he should “pack [his] belongings and
leave” because the Bloods knew that Lindsay had been
assaulted by many subsets of the Bloods. The voice explained
that they needed “to get in tough with higher-ups who
ordered [Lindsay] murdered, ” and then said,
“We'll get you again.” The voice told Lindsay
that Lindsay had “disrespected beyond repair” and
that he would be “jumped and stabbed by a member”
serving a long sentence. Lindsay believes that this
conversation explained why he was permitted to use the
Bloods-only telephone even though he was not a Blood and why
Blood members followed him around and stayed close to him.
The voice also cautioned Lindsay that, if he left the housing
unit, they would send word to his new housing unit. Lindsay
told the voice that he would remain in the housing unit. He
was unable to sleep that night. Id. ¶ 50.
following morning, Lindsay went to court. Upon his return
that evening he spoke with Lieutenant Bragdon and requested
placement in protective custody. Lindsay stated: “The
Unit is too hot for me. My Name is Loud on the hit list. I
need to clear my head.” Lindsay was sent to RHU and
placed on administrative detention status. A few hours later,
he received a disciplinary report for refusing housing.
Lieutenant Bragdon states in the report that Lindsay had
said, ”I'm not going back to the unit. The Unit is
too loud, and I need to clear my head.” Lindsay
submitted an inmate request to Lieutenant Kelly stating that
he had requested protective custody placement and that the
Lieutenant Bragdon had included false statements in the
disciplinary report. Id. ¶ 51.
December 4, 2018, disciplinary investigator Dousis asked
Lindsay if he was going to sign the disciplinary ticket.
Lindsay told her that he had not refused housing but rather
had requested protective custody placement. Lieutenant
Bragdon had twisted his safety request to support the charge.
Lindsay said that he wanted to be transferred to a facility
with less aggressive inmates where he would not be
threatened. Lindsay told Dousis that, before he was
incarcerated, he had been assaulted by four different subsets
of the Bloods. Following the assault, he experienced a
seizure and awoke in Bridgeport Hospital. He suffered a brain
aneurism, vision damage, long-term memory loss, as well as
bruises and contusions. Dousis encouraged Lindsay to sign the
ticket if he wanted safety. Lindsay did so. Id.
night, Lindsay submitted two inmate requests to Lieutenant
Kelly. In the first request, he wrote about his assault and
seizure in the community on September 28, 2018, and explained
that this was the sole reason for his seeking protective
custody and a less restrictive facility. In the second
request, Lindsay included information about the threat he
received in prison. He also identified the persons who
attacked him in the community, who the attackers were
connected to in Corrigan, and which inmates talked to the
outside sources. He identified who wanted to hurt him and who
wanted to stab him. Id. ¶ 53.
morning of December 5, 2018, Lindsay went to the RHU showers.
He did not see the personal shower slippers that Corrigan had
issued him, and so used recycled shower slippers. The water
was freezing. Lindsay complained to Unit Manager Cronin about
being housed in a cold cell after a freezing shower.
Id. ¶ 54.
December 6, 2018, Lindsay met with Lieutenant Kelly. Lindsay
described the recent threat and explained his reasons for
seeking protective custody. He told Lieutenant Kelly that his
injuries from the prior assault prevented him from being able
to defend himself if he was assaulted again. Lieutenant Kelly
persuaded Lindsay to remain at Corrigan and transfer to a
different housing unit. Id. ¶ 55. That evening,
Lindsay felt paranoid and experienced feelings of suicide and
homicide. He wrote to the mental health unit seeking
medication. Id. ¶ 56.
December 7, 2018, Lindsay moved from echo-unit to bravo-unit.
Upon entering his cell, his cellmate asked what gang he
belonged to. Lindsay said that he was not a gang member. His
cellmate told him that they would be having recreation next.
Lindsay was unable to take a shower because there were no
state-issued shower shoes in his property bag. When Lindsay
tried to use the phone, Blood members told him he could not
use their phone but had to use the neutral phone. However, an
inmate interceded and permitted Lindsay to use the Blood
phone because the neutral phones were already being used.
Lindsay used the phone for the entire hour of recreation.
Lindsay understood that the Bloods in bravo-unit knew that he
had refused to be “friendly extorted” in the
community, i.e., had refused to contribute money
that was used to financially assist Blood members and their
families. Id. ¶ 57.
that night, the inmate in the cell next to Lindsay told him
that he should pack his property and leave the unit. The
inmate told Lindsay, “you are a plate, you are to be
[e]aten, ” “you disobeyed your end of the
deal.” The voice sounded like the inmate who had
permitted Lindsay to use the phone. The inmate told Lindsay
that he would be “eaten” when the doors opened
for recreation the next day. That night, however, inmates in
the unit were involved in an altercation with the extraction
team and the unit was put on lockdown. Id. ¶
was scheduled to go to court on December 10, 2018. Upon his
return to Corrigan, Lindsay told Officer Messier that the
Bloods in both housing units wanted to harm him and that
Lieutenant Kelly had disregarded his plea for safety. Lindsay
told Officer Messier that he wanted to be placed in
protective custody as soon as possible. Officer Messier told
Lindsay that he was going to get a disciplinary report for
refusing housing. Lindsay replied that he was not refusing
housing and asked that a lieutenant be called. Id.
Stadalnik arrived soon after to escort Lindsay to RHU.
Lindsay felt safe in RHU even though he had to use communal
shower shoes and the water and air temperatures were cold.
Lieutenant Stadalnik delivered the disciplinary report but no
restrictive housing unit status report telling Lindsay what
his status was. Lindsay told Lieutenant Stadalnik that he was
seeking safety not refusing housing, but Lieutenant Stadalnik
just walked off. Id. ¶ 60.
December 11, 2018, a week after his first request, Lindsay
submitted a request for mental health treatment. He stated
that his mother had died and his friend had committed
suicide. He requested medication and noted that he had been
on different medication in the community. Id. ¶
61. On December 13, 2018, Nurse Brennan returned
Lindsay's mental health requests dated November 10, 2018,
and December 11, 2018. Regarding the November request, Nurse
Brennan stated that she was unable to renew medications that
were not current. Regarding the December request, Nurse
Brennan asked Lindsay to list his current medications and
identify the pharmacy he used, and also to identify where in
New Haven he had been receiving mental health therapy.
Lindsay states that he had included this information in his
request. Id. ¶ 62.
December 14, 2018, Dr. Yesu toured the housing unit. Lindsay
stopped Dr. Yesu as he passed the cell door. Lindsay
described the injuries from the assault in the community and
stated that RHU and the threats he has received affected his
mental health. Lindsay stated that he knew who had ordered
the assault but not the identities of the persons who
attacked him. He also stated that the mental health unit was
aware that he was hearing voices in his head, but it had not
provided medication to treat this condition. Id.
afternoon, Lindsay was brought to a confidential area in the
RHU to speak with Lieutenant Kelly. He was handcuffed to a
chair that was bolted to the floor. Lindsay told Lieutenant
Kelly that he could not remain in echo-unit or bravo-unit. He
stated that he was not supposed to be in RHU at any time
since his readmission. Lindsay stated that he would submit ...