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Collins v. Brito

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

December 16, 2019

JIQUANE COLLINS, Plaintiff,
v.
BRITO et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. § 1915A

          Jeffrey Alker Meyer, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jiquane Collins is a prisoner of the Connecticut Department of Correction. He has filed a complaint pro se and in forma pauperis under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that prison officials violated his constitutional rights. After an initial review, I conclude that the complaint should be dismissed without prejudice.

         Background

         The complaint names the following four defendants: the Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”); Correctional Officer Brito, Lt. Rivera, and Segregation Counselor Reeves. All of the individual defendants were employed at relevant times at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.

         The complaint alleges with sparse detail the following facts that I accept as true solely for purposes of this initial review order. On April 13, 2019, Collins was assaulted by his cellmate and knocked unconscious. Doc. #7 at 5. Defendant Brito “dragged me by my foot out of my room while I was uncon[sc]ious.” Ibid. “When the C.O. dragged me there was not medical employees around and when LT Rivera came he told [B]rito to chill and let me go and try to wake me up and have me walk to medical.” Ibid. In addition, “when the C.O saw blood they dropped me.” Id. at 6.

         Collins woke up the next day at UConn hospital with a fractured nose and wounds on his head and face. Id. at 5. According to Collins, he knows how Brito removed him from his cell because later “the block I am housed in told me of what was happening.” Id. at 6. He also speculates that “the recorded footage can tell my tale, how acts of cruelty [were] done upon me.” Ibid.

         Collins claims that his rights were violated due to “negligence correctional corruption and plain and s[i]mple cover up due to the fact while being uncon[sc]ious and dragging me out of my room without medical attention present is a direct violation of [protocol], policy and DOC rules as a whole.” Id. at 6. He further claims that his “rights were violated due to negl[i]gence, 8thAmendment rights [and] civil rights.” Ibid.

         In addition, Collins alleges that during his “seg hearing, ” defendant Reeves coerced him into “signing the ticket stating that it was unbeatable ‘just sign' proving DOC standard corruption.” Ibid. Collins does not state when the “seg hearing” took place, with what he was charged, or whether it had any connection to the incident in which he was assaulted by his cellmate.

         Collins seeks “the maximum money damages for this vile assault and cover up by the sum of ‘5, 000, 000 million dollars, '” ibid, that is, five trillion dollars. He also wants “my case to be public, Facebook, CBS, FOX61 News, NBC.” Ibid.

         Discussion

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a prisoner's civil complaint against a governmental entity or governmental actors and “identify cognizable claims or dismiss the compliant, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” If the prisoner is proceeding pro se, the allegations of the complaint must be read liberally to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. See Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010).

         The Supreme Court has set forth a threshold “plausibility” pleading standard for courts to evaluate the adequacy of allegations in federal court complaints. A complaint must allege enough facts-as distinct from legal conclusions-that give rise to plausible grounds for relief. See, e.g., Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Notwithstanding the rule of liberal interpretation of a pro se complaint, a complaint may not survive dismissal if its factual allegations do not meet the basic plausibility standard. See, e.g., Fowlkes v. Ironworkers Local 40, 790 F.3d 378, 387 (2d Cir. 2015).

         Claims against DOC and against individuals in official capacity

         As a threshold matter, I note that Collins has sued the DOC solely for money damages for violating his rights under the U.S. Constitution, a claim that arises under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. But the DOC is not a “person” within the meaning of section 1983, “and thus may not be sued pursuant to this statute regardless of whether a state has waived its sovereign immunity.” Smith v. Conn. Dep't ...


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