United States District Court, D. Connecticut
VANESSA L. BRYANT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
to the Court's October 15, 2019 Order, plaintiff, Precell
Whitaker, currently confined at Corrigan-Radgowski
Correctional Center in Uncasville, Connecticut, has filed a
second amended complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff names eight defendants in the second
amended complaint: MacDougall CC, John Doe Population
Management, Captain Taylor, Counselor Supervisor Carbone,
Correctional Counselor Crespo, Lieutenant Cuzio, Social
Worker Lisa Simo-Kenzer, and Dr. Martin Cartwright. Plaintiff
seeks damages from the defendants for violation of his rights
under the Eighth Amendment.
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 plaintiff
pays the filing fee and when she 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
he was confined at MacDougall CC, plaintiff was removed from
the non-transfer list without notification. Doc. #20 ¶
1. Plaintiff received third party results indicating a false
positive opiod screening, received an extensive stay in
segregation, and submitted an inmate grievance, lost work,
was subjected to extended jail time, and received many
disciplinary reports since June 2018. Id.
he was transferred, plaintiff was pepper-sprayed. Id.
¶ 2. Correctional policy requires that a warning be
given before a chemical agent is deployed. Id. No
warning was given to plaintiff at Cheshire Correctional
Institution on August 8, 2018 at 7:50 p.m. in the East Block
2 dayroom or in April 28, 2019 at 9:20 a.m. in the North
Block 2 dayroom. Id. On the second date, plaintiff
had complied with staff orders to retreat from the ongoing
situation and had his hands raised in a submitting posture.
his transfer, the Department of Correction has disrupted
plaintiff's contact with “anyone of legal
stand.” Id. ¶ 3. Plaintiff was not
afforded legal calls with Inmate Legal Aid on April 3, 2019,
and March 20, 2019. Id. When the April 3, 2019 call
was not rescheduled, plaintiff sent a letter on April 8,
2019. Id. He did not receive the response dated
April 12, 2019. Id. After several ignored requests
for a legal call, plaintiff was able to speak with Inmate
Legal Aid on April 25, 2019. Id. On May 1, 2019,
plaintiff received correspondence dated April 17, 2019.
Id. Captain Taylor delivers legal mail, and
Counselor Crespo arranges legal calls. Id.
Order dismissing the amended complaint, the Court noted that
plaintiff failed to allege facts to support claims for
retaliation, use of excessive force, deliberate indifference
to medical needs, or denial of access to the courts. The
Court afforded plaintiff an opportunity to file a second
amended complaint to allege facts to correct the various
deficiencies identified with regard to each of his claims.
Liberally construing the allegations, the Court considers the
second amended complaint to assert claims for improper or
retaliatory transfer, use of excessive force, and denial of
access to the courts.
Court ordered that the Clerk send plaintiff an amended
complaint form with the prior Order. Doc. #18 at 7. In that
form, plaintiff was specifically instructed to state who
acted, what they did, when they did it, and how he was
harmed. See Pro Se Prisoner Civil Rights Amended
Complaint Form at 4, available at ctd.uscourts.gov. Plaintiff
has not followed that instruction.
amended complaint, plaintiff alleged that defendant Doe
transferred him because he filed a grievance regarding a
false positive drug test. He now alleges various happenings
before his transfer, including, filing a grievance, the false
positive test, time in segregation, multiple disciplinary
reports, and loss of work.
court previously explained, to state a retaliation claim,
plaintiff must allege facts showing “(1) that the
speech or conduct at issue was protected. (2) that the
defendant took adverse action against the plaintiff, and (3)
that there was a causal connection between the protected
speech and the adverse action.” Burns ...