United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C.
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Harlie Thompson is a prisoner in the custody of the
Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”). He
has filed a complaint pro se and in forma
pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that
he was subject to the use of excessive force and denied his
constitutional rights in connection with a disciplinary
investigation and hearing. On the basis of an initial review
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A, I conclude that Thompson
has not alleged plausible grounds for relief against any of
the four defendants he has named in his complaint.
Accordingly, I will dismiss his complaint without prejudice
to timely filing of an amended complaint.
complaint names four defendants: Lieutenants Michaud and
Ballaro of the Corrigan Correctional Institution
(“Corrigan”), and Lieutenant Perez and Officer
Leone of Northern Correctional Institution
(“Northern”). The following facts as alleged in
the complaint are assumed to be true solely for purposes of
my initial evaluation of the complaint.
March 7, 2019, unnamed prison officials at Corrigan
Correctional Institution (“Corrigan”) extracted
Thompson from his cell because he had covered his cell window
while he was using the bathroom. See Doc. #1 at 5
(¶ 1). During the extraction, the officers kicked and
punched Thompson in the face. Id. at 6. The officers
used force against Thompson because he was allegedly
resisting and because he had participated in a protest
involving the prison commissary. Id. at 5 (¶
1). As officers escorted Thompson down the hall in handcuffs
and leg shackles, someone sprayed a chemical agent in
Thompson's face. Id. (¶ 2).
was taken away and transferred from Corrigan to Northern,
and, when he arrived there, he had bruises and swelling on
his eyes, face, and wrist. Id. at 5-6 (¶¶
3-4). Thompson submitted two requests to the medical unit for
treatment but did not receive medical care for these
injuries. Id. at 6 (¶ 4), 7 (fourth bullet
March 11, 2019, Thompson received a disciplinary report.
Id. at 6 (¶ 5). The complaint does not further
describe the basis for the disciplinary report. On March 12,
2019, Thompson and three other accused inmates decided to
challenge the disciplinary charge at a hearing. Id.
(¶ 6). Officer Leone asked the inmates “if we
wanted to [be] witnesses for each other.”
Ibid. Thompson declined this opportunity.
Ibid. Officer Leone did not offer Thompson the
assistance of an advisor. Ibid. (stating that
Thompson “never denied the use of an advisor, nor was I
given the opportunity to be appointed one by Officer
complaint further alleges that Thompson “was housed in
Northern C.I.'s seg unit for 20 days, which is past the
14 calendar day limit, without receiving restrictive housing
order, hearing notice prior to hearing, notification of
hearing continuance, and never received a pending
investigation form from the sending facility (Corrigan C.I.)
in the first place.” Ibid. (¶ 7)
March 27, 2019, Thompson participated in a disciplinary
hearing. Id. (¶ 8). But Thompson objected that
Officer Leone as the investigator was not allowed under DOC
Administrative Directive 9.5 to attend the hearing. In
addition, Thompson maintains that the same administrative
directive provides that “a receiving [facility] picks
up the process where the sending unit left off with the
disciplinary report, not the investigation.”
Id. (¶¶ 8-9).
complaint alleges that Lt. Perez was the disciplinary hearing
officer (DHO) for the hearing. Perez disregarded
Thompson's objections to Leone's presence and to the
investigation, saying that “none of what I said
matters, all that matters is the ticket is saying I took part
in the incident.” Id. (¶ 9).
was found guilty, and his appeal was denied “because
they knew if it was approved both facilit[ies] would have a
lot of explaining to do, even though [they] still do because
the unit manager didn't deliver the disciplinary report,
nor did the unit administrator review the case within 72
hours.” Id. (¶ 10).
alleges that he filed grievances about the incident.
Id. at 7. The complaint seeks compensatory money
damages for $500, 000 for the attack by three officers on him
in his cell. Id. at 6.
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 complaint, 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 ...