Roman v. Semple et al
PRISCS-INITIAL REVIEW ORDER DISMISSING 1 Complaint filed by Neftali R. Roman The Clerk is directed to enter judment and close this case. Signed by Judge Janet Bond Arterton on 3/11/2013.(Payton, R.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
NEFTALI R. ROMAN,
WARDEN SEMPLE, et al.,
CASE NO. 3:13-cv-305(JBA)
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
The plaintiff, Neftali R. Roman, currently incarcerated at
Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut, has
filed a complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2000).
as defendants Warden Semple, Investigator Correctional Officer J.
Fernandes and Correctional Officer Byars.
As the plaintiff only
seeks damages, the court assumes that all defendants are named
only in their individual capacities.
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.
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.”
636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007).
Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d
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.
Atlantic v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007).
allegations are not sufficient.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
The plaintiff must plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
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, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)).
The plaintiff alleges that on January 19, 2013, at 8:15
p.m., he spoke to defendant Byars about issues the plaintiff was
having with his cell mate.
The plaintiff wanted to have his cell
The plaintiff claims that his cellmate was offering
other inmates coffee the plaintiff had purchased in the
Immediately after the conversation, the plaintiff was
assaulted by his cellmate for not giving him a cup of coffee.
The plaintiff was struck several times on his face.
plaintiff requested medical attention from an unidentified staff
member but he was not seen by a nurse until the next day.
plaintiff asked to speak with the Connecticut State Police but
unidentified persons refused to call them.
Defendant Byars issued the plaintiff a disciplinary report
The plaintiff explained to all three defendants
and the disciplinary hearing officer what happened, but was kept
The court construes the complaint as asserting a claim
against defendant Byars for failure to protect the plaintiff from
harm and a claim against all three defendant for false
Prison officials have a duty to make reasonable efforts to
ensure inmate safety.
This duty includes protecting inmates from
harm at the hands of other inmates.
See Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 832 (1994); Fischl v. Armitage, 128 F.3d 50, 55 (2d
To establish a constitutional violation, a prisoner
must show that the conditions of his incarceration posed a
substantial risk of serious harm and that the prison official was
deliberately indifferent to his safety.
See Farmer, 511 U.S. at
Deliberate indifference exists where the official both
knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate safety.
For example, correctional staff would be on notice of
a substantial risk of serious harm where there has been prior
hostility between inmates, or a prior assault by one inmate on
another, and those inmates are not kept separated.
Ayers v. Coughlin, 780 F.2d 205, 209 (2d Cir. 1985).
The plaintiff alleges only that he argued with his cellmate
about the cellmate offering the plaintiff’s coffee to other
This allegation is insufficient to put defendant Byars
on notice that there was a substantial risk of serious harm to
The court concludes that this allegation is
insufficient to state a claim for failure to protect the
plaintiff from harm.
In addition, the plaintiff alleges that the
incident occurred three minutes after he spoke with defendant
Even if defendant Byars had believed the plaintiff and
agreed to a cell change, this short time would have been
insufficient to arrange a transfer.
The plaintiff also alleges that the defendants did not
credit his version of events and, as a result, he was falsely
accused and kept in segregation.
An inmate does not have a
constitutionally protected right to be free from false
See Boddie v. Schnieder, 105 F.3d 857, 862 (2d Cir.
Inmates also have no constitutionally protected right to
have correctional officials believe their version of events.
There are two recognized exceptions to this rule.
the false accusation is made in retaliation for an inmate
exercising his substantive constitutional rights, the false
accusation rises to the level of a constitutional violation.
id. at 862.
The plaintiff does not allege that he filed
complaints or lawsuits regarding the actions of any of the
Thus, he has not alleged facts showing the exercise
of any conduct that would support an inference of retaliatory
The second exception is where the inmate was not
afforded an opportunity to rebut the false charges.
Coughlin, 45 F.3d 677, 679 (2d Cir. 1995).
See Jones v.
As the plaintiff
refers to the hearing officer, he was afforded a disciplinary
hearing on the fighting charge.
The fact that his version of
events was not believed is insufficient to show that he was not
afforded an opportunity to rebut the charges.
plaintiff’s claim for false accusation fails.
In accordance with the foregoing analysis, the court enters
the following orders:
The complaint is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
The Clerk is directed to enter judgment and close this
SO ORDERED this 11th day of March 2013, at New Haven,
Janet Bond Arterton
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?