Ruffino v. Trestman et al
PRISCS-INITIAL REVIEW ORDER, Answer deadline updated for Robert Berger to 6/28/2012; Suzanne Ducate to 6/28/2012; Mark Frayne to 6/28/2012; Richard Furey to 6/28/2012; Gerald Gagne to 6/28/2012; Colleen Gallagher to 6/28/2012; Robert Trestman to 6/28/2012; Connie Weiskopf to 6/28/2012., ( Discovery due by 11/19/2012, Dispositive Motions due by 12/18/2012). Signed by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on 4/18/2012. (Payton, R.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
JAKE J. RUFFINO,
ROBERT TRESTMAN, et al.,
Case No. 3:12-cv-435 (VLB)
April 18, 2012
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Plaintiff Jake J. Ruffino, incarcerated and pro se, has filed a complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000), against defendants Robert Trestman, Robert
Berger, Suzanne Ducate, Colleen Gallagher, Connie Weiskopf, Richard Furey,
Gerald Gagne and Mark Frayne in their individual and official capacities. The
plaintiff alleges that these defendants permit various practices and procedures
for provision of mental health care that require inmates discuss their mental
health issues with staff in circumstances that enable other inmates and
correctional staff to listen to the conversations. The plaintiff asserts a violation
of his constitutional right to privacy of health information.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (2000), the court 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. Id.
Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Second Circuit precedent, a
pro se complaint is adequately pled if its allegations, liberally construed, could
“conceivably give rise to a viable claim.” Phillips v. Girdich, 408 F.3d 124, 130 (2d
Cir. 2005). The court must assume the truth of the allegations, and interpret them
liberally to “raise the strongest arguments [they] suggest.” Abbas v. Dixon, 480
F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007). 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 and to demonstrate a right to
relief. Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964-65 (2007)).
Conclusory allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949
(2009). The plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. But “‘[a] document filed pro se
is to be liberally construed and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded,
must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.’” Boykin v. KeyCorp, 521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Erickson
v. Pardus, 127 S. Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007)).
The plaintiff alleges that he is required to converse with mental health
providers through his cell door, over the intercom speaker in the cell and in
rooms equipped with audio and visual monitors. In each situation, other inmates
or correctional staff can listen to his private mental health information. The
plaintiff further alleges that he has brought these violations to the attention of the
defendants, but the practices persist. The court concludes that the complaint
should be served on the defendants.
The Court enters the following orders:
The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Office shall verify the current work
addresses for each defendant with the Department of Correction Office of Legal
Affairs. The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Officer shall mail waiver of service of
process request packets to each defendant at the confirmed addresses within
fourteen (14) days of this Order. The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Office shall report
to the court on the status of those waiver requests on the thirty-fifth (35) day after
mailing. If any defendant fails to return the waiver request, the Pro Se Prisoner
Litigation Office shall make arrangements for in-person service by the U.S.
Marshals Service on the defendant in his individual capacity 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 prepare a summons form
and send an official capacity service packet to the U.S. Marshal Service. The U.S.
Marshal is directed to effect service of the complaint with all exhibits on the
defendants in their official capacities at the Office of the Attorney General, 55 Elm
Street, Hartford, CT 06141, within fourteen (14) days from the date of this order
and to file returns of service within twenty (20) days from the date of this order.
The Pro Se Prisoner Litigation Office shall send a courtesy copy of
the Complaint and this Ruling and Order to the Connecticut Attorney General and
the Department of Correction Office of Legal Affairs.
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.
The 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 they choose to file an answer, they shall admit or deny the allegations and
respond to the cognizable claims recited above. They also may 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 nonmoving 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 absent objection.
So ordered this 18th day of April 2012, at Hartford, Connecticut.
Vanessa L. Bryant
United States District Judge
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