Mack v. Johnson et al
PRISCS-INITIAL REVIEW ORDER DISMISSING 1 Complaint filed by Anthony Mack.The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of the defendants and close this case.. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 11/16/2012. (Payton, R.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
LT. JOHNSON, et al.,
Case No. 3:12-cv-1235(AWT)
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
The plaintiff, who is currently incarcerated at the Garner
Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut, has filed a
complaint pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000).
plaintiff alleges that the defendants, Lieutenants Johnson and
Kavanaugh, threatened to plant a weapon in his cell, causing him
to experience mental stress.
The plaintiff seeks compensatory
damages for pain and suffering.
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.
In reviewing a pro se complaint, the court must assume the
truth of the allegations, and interpret them liberally to “raise
the strongest arguments [they] suggest.”
F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007).
Abbas v. Dixon, 480
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, 555-56 (2007).
Conclusory allegations are not sufficient.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 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.’”
KeyCorp, 521 F.3d 202, 214 (2d Cir. 2008) (quoting Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
The plaintiff alleges that, on June 13, 2012, he was
involved in a physical altercation with his cellmate.
questioned by the defendants, he stated that nothing had happened
so he could avoid a disciplinary charge.
When the defendants
indicated that they would move the plaintiff from A-block to Cblock, the plaintiff refused to move and demanded that the
defendants move his cellmate.
The defendants stated that the
cellmate could not return to C-block.
The plaintiff then asked
to remain in A-block but move to a cell on the lower tier.
defendants agreed but told the plaintiff that if anyone attacked
the cellmate, they would plant a knife on the plaintiff and
pursue outside charges against him.
As a result of the threat,
the plaintiff has experienced panic attacks and flashbacks.
Verbal harassment and threats do not rise to the level of a
See Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334,
1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (“Verbal threats are not constitutional
violations cognizable under § 1983.”); Cotz v. Mastroeni, 476 F.
Supp. 2d 332, 372 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (holding that verbal harassment
and threats, regardless of how inappropriate, unprofessional or
reprehensible, do not violate a federally protected right and are
not cognizable under section 1983).
Accordingly, the complaint
is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).
In addition, “[n]o Federal civil action may be brought by a
prisoner confined in a jail, prison, or other correctional
facility, for mental or emotional injury suffered while in
custody without a prior showing of physical injury.”
42 U.S.C. §
See Thompson v. Carter, 284 F.3d 411, 417-18 (2d Cir.
2002) (restricting application of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) to
As the plaintiff appears to seek
compensatory damages only, section 1997e(e) also bars his suit.
In accordance with the foregoing analysis, the court enters
the following orders:
The complaint is hereby DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of the
defendants and close this case.
It is so ordered.
Dated this 16th day of November 2012, at Hartford,
Alvin W. Thompson
United States District Judge
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