Green v. Murphy et al
PRISCS- INITIAL REVIEW RULING AND ORDER granting 4 Motion to Amend/Correct 1 Complaint. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 4/30/2012. (Payton, R.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
CASE NO. 3:11-cv-720(AWT)
BRIAN K. MURPHY, et al.,
RULING AND ORDER
The plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at Northern
Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut, has filed a
complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
He sues Commissioner of
Correction Brian K. Murphy, District Administrator Michael Lajoie
and Warden Angel Quiros.
He now seeks leave to file an amended
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a
plaintiff may amend his complaint once as of right “within 21
days after serving [the complaint] or . . . [within] 21 days
after service of a” pleading responsive to the complaint “or 21
days after service of a motion” to dismiss, for more definite
statement or to strike.
Rule 15(a)(1), Fed. R. Civ. P.
the complaint has not been served and no answer, motion to
dismiss, for more definite statement or to strike has been filed
by the defendants.
Accordingly, the motion to amend is being
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.”
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).
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.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and
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.
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
(“SRGTM”) and that he was required to participate in a threephase program at Northern.
On or about June 5, 2010, he began
phase one of the program and 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.
claims that he was forced to exercise with his hands cuffed
behind his back from June 5, 2010 until November 8, 2011, when he
advanced to Phase II of the SRGTM program.
The plaintiff alleges
that he has been unable to engage in meaningful exercise with his
hands behind his back and has suffered neck and shoulder pain and
cuts and rashes on his wrists.
The plaintiff seeks declaratory relief as well as monetary
To the extent that the plaintiff sues defendants Lajoie
and Quiros 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 Amended Complaint, the court concludes
that the case should proceed at this time as to the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment claims against all of the defendants in
their individual capacities and against defendants Lajoie and
Quiros in their official capacities to the extent that the
plaintiff seeks declaratory relief.
The court enters the following orders:
The Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint [doc.
# 4] is hereby GRANTED.
The Clerk shall docket the Amended
Complaint attached to the motion to amend.
All claims in the
Amended Complaint against defendants Lajoie and Quiros for
monetary damages in their official capacities are DISMISSED
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2).
The case shall proceed as
to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment claims in the Amended
Complaint against all of the defendants in their individual
capacities and against defendants Lajoie and Quiros in their
official capacities to the extent that the plaintiff seeks
declaratory relief against them.
Within fourteen (14) days of this Order, the U.S.
Marshals Service shall serve the summons, a copy of the Amended
Complaint and this Order on defendants Lajoie and Quiros 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 inperson 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 Amended 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 plaintiff of the status of this action,
along with a copy of this Order.
Defendants shall file their response to the Amended
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
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
It is so ordered.
Dated this 30th day of April 2012, at Hartford, Connecticut.
Alvin W. Thompson
United States District Judge
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