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Moore v. Jones

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 9, 2020



          Stefan R. Underhill, United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff, William Moore, formerly confined at Osborn Correctional Institution, resides in Middletown, Connecticut. He has filed the instant civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Parole Officers Wendy Jones, Richard Gibbons and John Doe (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking monetary damages from Defendants in their individual capacities. As set forth in his complaint, Moore principally alleges that Defendants remanded him back to a Department of Correction prison facility in retaliation for an inmate grievance that he filed against Jones. Moore asserts claims under the First and Eighth Amendment, as well as claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. For the reasons set forth below, the complaint is dismissed in part.

         I. Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This standard of review “appl[ies] to all civil complaints brought by prisoners against governmental officials or entities regardless of whether the prisoner has paid [a] filing fee.” Shakur v. Selsky, 391 F.3d 106, 112 (2d Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

         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. See Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). In addition, the plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face, ” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, and conclusory allegations will not suffice, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Nevertheless, it is well-established that “[p]ro 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 afforded to pro se litigants).

         II. Allegations

         On July 3, 2017, Department of Correction officials transferred Moore to Sierra House, a community placement facility, where Defendants were assigned.[1] See Compl., Doc. No. 4, at ¶¶ 5, 8. Sierra House contracts with the Department of Correction to house prisoners on parole. See Id. at ¶ 8. During his confinement at Sierra House, Moore enrolled in Gateway Community College as a full-time student and was hired for work study on July 15, 2017. Id. at ¶¶ 9-10. On July 22, 2017, Moore began to work full-time at Price Right. Id. at ¶ 10.

         At an unspecified time, Moore became eligible to be furloughed from Sierra House to a private residence. Id. at ¶ 11. Moore's sponsor, Khalilah Escoffery, visited Sierra House to complete the necessary paperwork for the furlough; Moore's counselor then reviewed and forwarded the paperwork to Parole Officer Jones. Id. at ¶¶ 11, 15.

         On August 29, 2017, Moore was told to notify Price Right that he would be late to work because Jones wanted to speak with him. Id. at ¶ 12. Jones asked Moore questions, and indicated that she had granted his request for transitional parole but had denied his request to be furloughed to his Escoffery's home. See Id. at ¶ 13. Jones specifically stated that she “was not allowing him [to] furlough[] with anyone named Khalilah anything.” Id. When Moore asked for an explanation, Officer Jones became “belligerent and combative, ” and yelled “because [I] can . . . now get the f- outta here.” Id. Plaintiff left feeling “extreme anger.” Id. Moore thereafter filed an inmate grievance regarding Officer Jones's behavior, placing it in the administrative remedy box at Sierra House. Id. at ¶ 14.

         Moore also asked Escoffery to call the New Haven Parole Office to submit his complaint about Officer Jones's conduct. Id. at ¶ 15. The New Haven Office advised Escoffery to contact the Wethersfield Parole Office about the issue, and Escoffery did so. Id.

         On September 1, 2017, the assistant director of Sierra House asked to speak to Moore about his grievance in her office. Id. at ¶ 16. When Moore stepped into her office, Defendants arrested Moore. Id. at ¶ 16. When Moore asked why he was being arrested, Jones replied “[because] you wrote a grievance against me.” Id. at ¶ 18. Gibbons echoed Jones's statement, saying “because[] you complained to the office in Wethersfield about my friend.” Id. at ¶ 19. John Doe then stated, “ain't no one gonna write up any one of us up and not pay, ” and Gibbons reiterated, “you make a complaint against one of us . . . it's the same as having an issue with all of us.” Id. at ¶ 20.

         Jones then said, “we are above the law! We cannot be stopped [because] we are your Judge and jury.” Id. at ¶ 21. Laughing, John Doe continued, “and we find you guilty of being a complainer.” Id. Moore felt “fear” and “depressed.” Id. at ¶¶ 19-20. Defendants proceeded to “take [Moore] to Jail and incarcerated him.” Id. at ¶ 21.

         Jones also wrote a disciplinary incident report against Moore. Id. at ¶ 22. The hearing officer, however, dismissed the report as “fraudulent.” Id.

         III. ...

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