United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge.
Christopher Brown is a prisoner in the custody of the
Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”). He
filed a complaint pro se and in forma
pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against certain DOC
officials alleging that he was wrongly subjected to
restrictive housing. Doc. #1. After conducting an initial
review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I dismissed the
complaint but permitted Brown an opportunity to file a motion
for reconsideration with a proposed amended complaint.
See Brown v. Faucher, 2019 WL 3231205 (D. Conn.
has now moved for reconsideration along with the filing of a
proposed amended complaint. Doc. #13. For the reasons stated
below, I will DENY the motion for reconsideration on the
ground that the amended complaint does not allege facts that
give rise to plausible grounds for relief.
following facts are alleged in the amended complaint and are
accepted as true only for purposes of this ruling. Brown was
confined at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
(“Corrigan”) at the time of the events alleged in
the amended complaint. Doc. #13 at 6 (¶ 28). His amended
complaint names the following defendants: Corrigan
Correctional Center Warden Faucher, District Administrator
Edward Maldonado, and Lieutenants Cronin and Conjer. Doc. #13
at 3 (¶¶ 2-6).
has classified Brown as a “seriously mentally ill
inmate.” Id. at 2 (¶ 7). He has been
diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline
personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder.
Ibid. (¶ 8). He also suffers from suicidal
ideations. Ibid. (¶ 9).
August 17, 2017, at approximately 8:15 a.m., Counselor Crane,
the grievance coordinator, entered Brown's housing unit
to collect the grievances from the designated boxes. Doc. #13
at 6 (¶ 29). Crane found an anonymous inmate request
form with the following written message: “I should just
knock you out you dumb white hoe.” Id. at 20.
Crane interpreted the message as threatening and reported it
to the unit manager, Lieutenant Cronin. Ibid.
receiving the inmate request form, Cronin launched an
investigation to determine who wrote the message and placed
the form in the grievance box. Doc. #13 at 7 (¶ 30).
After reviewing the video surveillance system, Cronin
determined that another prisoner in Brown's unit, Armand
Beiaj, had gone to Brown's cell, and Brown had passed him
the form through the door crack. Id. (¶ 31);
id. at 21. Afterward, Beiaj walked directly to the
grievance box and dropped the form inside. Id.
(¶ 35); id. at 21. The original inmate request
and DVD with the surveillance footage were both stored as
evidence in a facility safe. Id. (¶ 32);
id. at 21.
result of the investigation, Beiaj was issued a Class A
disciplinary report for accessory to commit assault on a DOC
employee and placed in a restrictive housing unit
(“RHU”) on administrative detention status. Doc.
#13 at 7 (¶ 33); id. at 21. Although he was not
issued a disciplinary report for the threatening message,
Brown was also placed in “segregation on administrative
detention” pending the outcome of the investigation.
Id. (¶¶ 33-34). Brown contends that the
video surveillance footage does not show him passing anything
to Beiaj. Id. at 8 (¶ 37). He believes that his
placement in segregation was done in retaliation for the
numerous lawsuits he has filed against Corrigan personnel.
Id. (¶ 38).
was placed in “punitive solitary confinement”
with nothing but his socks, boxers, and T-shirt. Doc. #13 at
3 (¶ 12). The cell did not have any windows, chairs, or
clocks. Id. at 3 (¶ 12), 8 (¶ 39). He was
forced to eat all his meals in his cell and was deprived of
“all property, ” phone calls, and contact visits.
Ibid. Brown was subjected to 23- to 24-hour lockdown
and had to be escorted with handcuffs and chains every time
he left his cell. Id. at 3 (¶ 12). He was also
excluded from participating in any religious or work-related
programs. Ibid. He was not given any mental health
treatment, and the conditions caused a detriment to his
pre-existing mental health problems. Id. at 8
housed in solitary confinement, Brown sought to preserve the
camera footage and other evidence from the August 17 incident
via inmate request form. Doc. #13 at 9 (¶ 41), 23. He
also sought “proper Due Process by requesting that the
proper chain of custody who authorized [his confinement]
sign off on [his] placement.” Id. (¶ 42).
Brown later learned that Cronin did not have the authority to
place him in segregation because, pursuant to DOC
regulations, such a decision may only come from a shift
commander, the warden, the deputy warden, or the director of
offender classification. Id. (¶¶ 48-49);
id. at 26.
August 31, 2017, Brown filed a request to challenge
Cronin's decision to place him in segregation.
Id. (¶ 50); id. at 27. After
confirming that it was Cronin who ordered the placement,
Brown filed a grievance against him for placing him in
segregation without a hearing or an explanation of the
reasons for his placement. Id. at 10 (¶ 51);
id. at 28. Brown also contended that Cronin did not
have the authority to order his placement in segregation.
Id. at 28.
September 27, 2017, the grievance was denied on the ground
that Brown's placement in segregation on administrative
detention status was authorized under DOC Administrative
Directive 9.4, § 3(B)(2). Ibid. That provision
defines “Administrative Detention” as
“[p]lacement of an inmate in a [RHU] that results in
segregation of the inmate . . . [f]or investigation of an
allegation or information involving the inmate in the
commission of a crime, or of activities jeopardizing the
security of the facility or the safety of staff or inmates
that could result in placement on punitive or administrative
segregation or transfer to high security.”
appealed the denial of the grievance to District
Administrator Maldonado. Id. at 10 (¶ 52), 29.
But Maldonado denied the appeal, reasoning that Brown's
administrative detention status was authorized ...