Rosa v. Human Rights and Opportunities
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER. For the reasons set forth in the attached Order, the 1 Complaint is DISMISSED, without prejudice to re-filing. Plaintiff shall carefully review the attached Order and comply with all deadlines and requirements therein. The Clerk of the Court shall mail a copy of this Initial Review Order to plaintiff at his address of record. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 8/2/2022. (Katz, S.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Civil No. 3:22CV00893(SALM)
August 2, 2022
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Self-represented plaintiff Alexander Rosa (“plaintiff”) is
a sentenced inmate in the custody of the Connecticut Department
of Correction (“DOC”), currently confined at Garner Correctional
Institution (“Garner”).1 He brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. §1983 against the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights
and Opportunities (“CHRO”), contending that the CHRO accepted
perjured testimony and failed to adequately investigate a claim
he filed. See Doc. #1 at 3-5. As relief, he seeks an injunction
ordering the CHRO and John and Jane Doe employees “to
The Court may “take judicial notice of relevant matters of
public record[.]” Sanchez v. RN Debbie, No. 3:18CV01505(JCH),
2018 WL 5314916, at *2 n.4 (D. Conn. Oct. 26, 2018) (quoting
Giraldo v. Kessler, 694 F.3d 161, 164 (2d Cir. 2012) (quotation
marks omitted)). The Court takes judicial notice of the
Connecticut DOC website, which reflects that plaintiff was
sentenced on May 6, 2019, to a term of imprisonment that has not
expired, and that he is currently confined at Garner. See
Connecticut State Department of Correction, Inmate Information,
81946 (last visited July 27, 2022).
investigate all allegations properly without dismissing the
complaint,” and money damages. Id. at 5.
The Complaint names only one defendant in the caption, the
CHRO. However, the body of the Complaint refers to John Doe and
Jane Doe as defendants. The Court does not construe the
Complaint as having been brought against any individual
defendants, because none were named in the caption of the
Complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(a) (“The title of the
complaint must name all the parties[.]”); Sealed Plaintiff v.
Sealed Defendant, 537 F.3d 185, 188–89 (2d Cir. 2008) (“Pursuant
to Rule 10(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the title
of a complaint must name all the parties. This requirement,
though seemingly pedestrian, serves the vital purpose of
facilitating public scrutiny of judicial proceedings and
therefore cannot be set aside lightly.” (quotation marks
omitted)). Furthermore, plaintiff makes no factual allegations
against any such individuals other than that they “failed to
investigate” his claims.
Under section 1915A of Title 28 of the United States Code,
the Court must review any “complaint in a civil action in which a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a). The
Court then must “dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the
complaint, if” it “is frivolous or malicious, or fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
It is well-established that complaints filed by selfrepresented litigants “‘must be construed liberally and
interpreted to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest.’”
Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting
Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir.
2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d
Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for selfrepresented litigants). However, even self-represented parties
must comply with Rule 8 and the other rules of pleading
applicable in all federal cases. See Harnage v. Lightner, 916
F.3d 138, 141 (2d Cir. 2019); see also Wynder v. McMahon, 360
F.3d 73, 79 n.11 (2d Cir. 2004) (“[T]he basic requirements of
Rule 8 apply to self-represented and counseled plaintiffs
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.
He mentions sections 1985 and 1986 in his Complaint, as well,
but makes no allegations that can be reasonably construed as
asserting claims pursuant to those statutes. See Doc. #1 at 2-5.
Accordingly, the Court construes the Complaint as being brought
pursuant to §1983.
Only a “person” can be sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983. A state
agency is not a “person” who can be sued for damages within the
meaning of §1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep’t of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 71 (1989). The CHRO is an agency of the State of
Connecticut. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §46a-52. It therefore “is not
susceptible to liability under section 1983, both because such
an agency is not a ‘person’ within the meaning of that statute,
and because state agencies are entitled to Eleventh Amendment
immunity.” Bhatia v. Conn. Dep’t of Child. & Fams. (DCF), 317 F.
App’x 51, 52 (2d Cir. 2009) (citations omitted). Therefore,
plaintiff cannot sue the CHRO under 42 U.S.C. §1983. 2
Accordingly, the Complaint [Doc. #1] is DISMISSED, without
prejudice to re-filing, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1915A(b)(1)-(2).
If plaintiff wishes to file an Amended Complaint, he may do
so on or before September 1, 2022. The Amended Complaint must be
captioned “Amended Complaint,” and will completely supersede,
that is, replace, the current Complaint. Before filing an
Amended Complaint, plaintiff shall carefully review this Order
and ensure that any Amended Complaint addresses the deficiencies
Even if the Court construed the Complaint as being brought
pursuant to §1985 and §1986, “[b]y its terms, 42 U.S.C. §1985
also applies only to persons, and the same reasoning underlying
Will, 491 U.S. at 71, applies to suits brought under §1985.”
Evans v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Health, 189 F.3d 460 (2d Cir. 1999)
(unpublished table decision). “[A] claim under 42 U.S.C. §1986
... may not exist absent a viable section 1985 claim.” Rizk v.
City of New York, 462 F. Supp. 3d 203, 227 (E.D.N.Y. 2020)
(citation and quotation marks omitted).
identified herein, and that it contains “sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
If plaintiff fails to file an Amended Complaint by
September 1, 2022, this case will be closed.
Finally, the Court warns plaintiff that the Prison
Litigation Reform Act contains a “three strikes” provision for
inmates, like plaintiff, who seek to proceed in forma pauperis,
without the prepayment of fees or costs:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or
appeal a judgment in a civil action or proceeding [in
forma pauperis] if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior
occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any
facility, brought an action or appeal in a court of the
United States that was dismissed on the grounds that it
is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, unless the prisoner is under
imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. §1915(g). If this action is closed after having been
“dismissed on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” it
will count as one of plaintiff’s “three strikes.” Id. If
plaintiff accumulates “three strikes” he will be barred from
filing any civil action or appeal without prepaying the full
filing fee “unless [he] is under imminent danger of serious
physical injury.” Id.
It is so ordered at Bridgeport, Connecticut, this 2nd day
of August, 2022.
HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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