United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Anthony Deegan, is incarcerated at the Garner
Correctional Institution. He has filed a civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Correctional
Officer John Doe #1 (“Officer #1”), Correctional
Officer John Doe #2 (“Officer #2”), Lieutenant
John Doe #3 (“Lieutenant #3”), and Nurse Jane Doe
#1 (“Nurse #1”). He also seeks the appointment of
pro bono counsel. For the reasons set forth below,
the court will dismiss the complaint in part and will grant
the motion for appointment of counsel.
Standard of Review
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the court must review prisoner
civil complaints against governmental actors and
“dismiss ... any portion of [a] complaint [that] is
frivolous, malicious, or 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. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2).
detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face. A
claim has facial plausibility when a plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A
complaint that includes only “‘labels and
conclusions,' ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action' or ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement, '” does not meet the facial
plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 557 (2007)).
Although courts still have an obligation to interpret
“a pro se complaint liberally, ” the
complaint must include sufficient factual allegations to meet
the standard of facial plausibility. See Harris v.
Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations
October 3, 2018, at Cheshire Correctional Institution,
Officers #1 and #2 opened the door to Inmate Hallett's
cell on the bottom tier of North Block #3, Inmate Hallett
exited his cell, and proceeded up the stairs to the top tier
to find the plaintiff. See Compl. at 4 ¶¶
15-17. At that time, the plaintiff was using the telephone on
the top tier. Id. ¶ 15. Id. Inmate
Hallett located the plaintiff and began to assault him.
Id. ¶ 17. The plaintiff attempted to defend
himself. Id. at 5 ¶ 19.
#1 and #2 called a code to summon other staff members to the
area where the plaintiff and Inmate Hallett were fighting.
Id. ¶ 18. Officers #1 and #2 attempted to break
up the fight before additional staff members arrived.
Id. ¶ 19.
plaintiff put his hands up when Officers #1 and #2 directed
him to stop fighting. Id. ¶ 20. At that point,
Officers #1 and #2 sprayed the plaintiff in the face and
upper body with a chemical agent. Id. ¶ 21.
Although the plaintiff was not resisting or acting in an
aggressive manner, Officers #1 and #2 threw him on the
ground. Id. ¶ 22.
Lieutenant #3 arrived at the scene, he escorted the plaintiff
to the medical area. Id. at 7 ¶ 31. The
plaintiff complained of head pain and pain from the effects
of the chemical agent. Id. Nurse #1 conducted a
limited medical exam and cleared the plaintiff to be placed
in a cell in the restrictive housing unit. Id.
¶¶ 31-32. Nurse #1 did not provide the plaintiff
with any treatment. Id. ¶ 32. Nor did she refer
the plaintiff to be seen by a doctor regarding his complaints
of head pain. Id.
the plaintiff's escort to the restrictive housing unit,
Lieutenant #3 ordered other correctional employees to
decontaminate him from the effects of the chemical agent.
Id. ¶ 33. The correctional employees placed the
plaintiff in a shower for a few seconds. Id. This
limited attempt to decontaminate the plaintiff was
unsuccessful and the plaintiff continued to experience pain
from the chemical agent residue on his skin after he arrived
in the restrictive housing unit. Id. ¶ 34.
the incident involving his altercation with Inmate Hallett,
the plaintiff has suffered from pain due to an injury he
sustained to his head. Id. ¶ 35. In addition,
he has experienced and sought treatment for chronic headaches
and intermittent photosensitivity. Id.
plaintiff contends that the defendants violated his Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments rights in various ways. Officers #1
and #2 used excessive force against him, Lieutenant #3 failed
to intervene to protect him from the use of force by Officers
#1 and #2, Officers #1 and #2 and Lieutenant #3 were
deliberately indifferent to his health and safety by failing
to protect him from harm, and Lieutenant #3 and Nurse #1 were
deliberately indifferent to his medical needs and health. The
plaintiff also alleges that the conduct of Officers #1 and #2
constituted assault and battery under Connecticut law. He