United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
R. Underhill, United States District Judge.
Demetrous Holder has filed the instant civil rights action
against Chief State Marshal Brian Wright and the State
Marshal Commission (collectively, “Defendants”),
claiming that he was injured when he fell down the stairs
while in the custody of Connecticut State Marshals. Holder
asserts First and Eighth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C
§ 1983 against Defendants, and seeks monetary damages.
For the reasons set forth below, the complaint is
dismissed with leave to amend.
Standard of Review
section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code, 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). 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).
April 25, 2019, Connecticut State Marshals transported Holder
in handcuffs and leg shackles from Corrigan-Radgowski to the
New London Superior Court, Geographical Area 10, 112 Broad
Street in New London, Connecticut. See Compl., Doc.
No. 1, at 2, 4. At approximately 2:00 p.m., State Marshals
Thompson and Lee Ann Vertefeuille were present with Holder at
the top of a flight of stairs in the courthouse. See
Id. at 4. Holder was restrained in handcuffs and leg
shackles, and was holding an envelope containing legal
documents. See Id. The area at the top of the stairs
were wet, as were the stairs. See Id. Neither
Thompson nor Vertefeuille walked beside Holder as Holder
descended the stairs. See Id. Holder slipped and
fell, hitting a brick wall and injuring his neck and back.
See Id. Thompson did not seek medical attention for
Holder following the fall. See Id. at 5. Instead,
Thompson escorted Holder to the prison van, to be transported
back to Corrigan-Radgowski. See id.
State Marshal Commission
the State Marshal Commission does not qualify as a
“person” under section 1983, I must dismiss all
claims asserted against it. See 42 U.S.C. §
1983 (“Every person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom or usage, of any State . . .
subjects or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United
States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured
by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party
injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper
proceeding for redress. . . .”).
State Marshal Commission is an entity within the
Administrative Services Department. See Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 6-38b(k) (“The [State Marshal [C]ommission
shall be within the Department of Administrative
Services”). The Administrative Services Department is,
in turn, a department within the executive branch of the
State of Connecticut. See Conn. Gen. Stat. 4-38c
(“There shall be within the executive branch of state
government the following departments: . . . Department of
Administrative Services . . . .”).
entity that is part of a department within the executive
branch of Connecticut's government, the State Marshal
Commission is not a person subject to liability under section
1983. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State
Police, 491 U.S. 58, 63, 70-71 (1989) (“States
[and] governmental entities that are considered arms of the
State” are not persons within meaning of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
All claims asserted against the State Marshal Commission are
therefore dismissed because they lack an arguable legal
basis. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
Chief Marshal Brian Wright
also dismiss all claims asserted against Chief Marshal Brian
Wright. A plaintiff seeking to recover money damages under
section 1983 from a defendant in his or her individual
capacity “must show, inter alia, the
defendant's personal involvement in the alleged
constitutional deprivation.” Grullon v. City of New
Haven, 720 F.3d 133, 138 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal
citations omitted). Thus, “liability for supervisory
government officials cannot be premised on a theory of
respondeat superior because § 1983 requires
individual, personalized liability on the part of ...