Gardner v. Murphy et al
PRISCS - INITIAL REVIEW ORDER, Answer updated for Michael Lajoie to 10/11/2011; Brian K. Murphy to 10/11/2011; Angel Quiros to 10/11/2011., ( Discovery due by 3/1/2012, Dispositive Motions due by 4/2/2012). Signed by Judge Christopher F. Droney on 7/29/11. (Corriette, M.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
CASE NO. 3:11-cv-572(CFD)
BRIAN K. MURPHY, et al.,
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
The plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Northern Correctional Institution in
Somers, Connecticut, has filed a complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
plaintiff sues Commissioner of Correction Brian K. Murphy, District Administrator
Michael Lajoie and Warden Angel Quiros.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must review prisoner civil
complaints against governmental actors and “dismiss ... any portion of [a] complaint
[that] is frivolous, malicious, or 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.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Although detailed allegations are not required, “a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, ___ U.S. ___, 129 S. Ct. 1937,
1949 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A complaint that includes
only “‘labels and conclusions,’ ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action’ or ‘naked assertion[s]’ devoid of ‘further factual enhancement,’ ” does not meet
the facial plausibility standard. Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555, 557 (2007)). Although courts still have an obligation to liberally construe a pro se
complaint, see Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009), the complaint must
include sufficient factual allegations to meet the standard of facial plausibility.
The plaintiff alleges that the Department of Correction designated him as a
Security Risk Group Safety Threat Member and that he was required to participate in a
three-phase program at Northern. During phase one of the program, the plaintiff was
permitted one hour out of his cell to exercise. During the other twenty-three hours, he
was confined to his cell.
In October 2009, Commissioner Brian Murphy authorized a new policy requiring
inmates in the phase program at Northern to be handcuffed behind their backs during
recreation. He claims that he was forced to exercise with his hands cuffed behind his
back from February 16, 2010 to March 31, 2010 and from October 7, 2010 to March 7,
2011. The plaintiff alleges that during these time periods he was unable to engage in
The plaintiff seeks injunctive relief as well as monetary damages. To the extent
that plaintiff sues the defendants in their official capacities, the claims for money
damages are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. See Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S.
159 (1985) (Eleventh Amendment, which protects the state from suits for monetary
relief, also protects state officials sued for damages in their official capacity); Quern v.
Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 342 (1979) (Section 1983 does not override a state’s Eleventh
Amendment immunity). The claims for money damages against the defendants in their
official capacities are dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).
After reviewing the complaint, the court concludes that the case should proceed
at this time as to the claims against all defendants in their individual capacities and
against all defendants in their official capacities to the extent that plaintiff seeks
injunctive and declaratory relief.
The court enters the following orders:
The claims against all defendants for monetary damages in their official
capacities are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2). The claims in the
complaint shall proceed against all defendants in their individual capacities and against
all defendants in their official capacities to the extent that plaintiff seeks injunctive and
declaratory relief against them.
Within fourteen (14) days of this order, the U.S. Marshals Service
shall serve the summons, a copy of the Complaint [doc. #1] and this Order on the
defendants in their official capacities by delivering the necessary documents in person
to the Office of the Attorney General, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06141.
Within fourteen (14) days of this Order, the Pro Se Prisoner Litigation
Office shall ascertain from the Department of Correction Office of Legal Affairs the
current work addresses for the defendants and mail waiver of service of process
request packets to each defendant in his or her individual capacity at his or her current
work address. On the thirty-fifth (35th) day after mailing, the Pro Se Office shall report
to the court on the status of all waiver requests. If any defendant fails to return the
waiver request, the Clerk shall make arrangements for in-person service by the U.S.
Marshals Service and the defendant shall be required to pay the costs of such service
in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(d).
The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Office shall send a courtesy copy of the
complaint and this Order to the Connecticut Attorney General and the Department of
Correction Legal Affairs Unit.
The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Office shall send written notice to the
of the status of this action, along with a copy of this Order.
Defendants shall file their response to the complaint, either an answer or
motion to dismiss, within seventy (70) days from the date of this order. If the
defendants choose to file an answer, they shall admit or deny the allegations and
respond to the cognizable claims recited above. They may also include any and all
additional defenses permitted by the Federal Rules.
Discovery, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26 through 37,
shall be completed within seven months (210 days) from the date of this order.
Discovery requests need not be filed with the court.
All motions for summary judgment shall be filed within eight months (240
days) from the date of this order.
Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 7(a), a non-moving party must respond to a
dispositive motion within twenty-one (21) days of the date the motion was filed. If no
response is filed, or the response is not timely, the dispositive motion can be granted
Dated this 29th day of July, 2011, at Hartford, Connecticut.
/s/ Christopher F. Droney
Christopher F. Droney
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?