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MacAluso v. Nassau County Correctional Center

United States District Court, E.D. New York

April 8, 2014

NASSAU COUNTY CORRECTIONAL CENTER, MICHAEL SPOSATO, Sheriff of Nassau County Correctional Center, Individually and in his/their official capacity, NASSAU COUNTY, State of New York, OFFICER REID, Nassau County Correctional Officer of Unit (E2-D46), CORPORAL ROBINSON, Nassau County Correctional Officer of Unit (E2-D46), ARMOR CORRECTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES, INC., NASSAU UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, Emergency Room/Administrative Office, RICARDO MARSDEN, Inmate, assaultant, Defendants.


SANDRA J. FEUERSTEM, District Judge.

On October 31, 2013, incarcerated pro se plaintiff Vincent Macaluso, Jr., ("plaintiff") filed a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") against the Nassau County Correctional Center ("NCCC"), Sheriff Michael Sposato ("Sheriff Sposato"), Nassau County, Nassau County Corrections Officer Reid ("Reid"), Corporal Robinson ("Robinson"), Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc. ("Armor"), Nassau University Medical Center Emergency Room ("NHCC"), [1] and inmate Ricardo Marsden ("Marsden") (collectively, "defendants"), accompanied by an application to proceed in forma pauperis. [2] Upon review of plaintiff's declaration in support of his application to proceed in forma pauperis, the Court finds that plaintiff's financial status qualifies him to commence this action without prepayment of the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). Accordingly, the application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted. However, for the reasons that follow, the complaint is sua sponte dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and 1915A(b)(1).

I. The Complaint[2]

Plaintiff alleges that, on or about November 2, 2012, he was assaulted by fellow inmate, Ricardo Marsden, while housed in the E2-D46 cell block at NCCC, because of his cooperation with state officials against Marsden. (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 5A). Plaintiff claims that neither Reid nor Robinson were at their assigned post in the E2-D46 cell block during the assault, which occurred due to a "lack of security at the abandoned security post/officer stations in each cell block." ( Id. ¶ 3). According to plaintiff, he was "half unconscious" and "both [his] eyes were blacked out and swollen to the degree [he] could not see." ( Id. ).

Plaintiff was escorted to the medical unit within the NCCC, which is operated by Armor, where a doctor determined that plaintiff's nose was broken. ( Id. ¶ 4). Instead of "fixing the broken nose, " plaintiff alleges that the Armor doctor "ordered [him] sent to the hospital next door, the Nassau University Medical Center, emergency room." ( Id. ). At the NUMC emergency room, nurses and a doctor "ordered ex-ray's and a catscan [sic]" and "left me still covered in blood waiting in the emergency room hallway... for (4) or (5) hours." ( Id. ¶ 5). According to plaintiff, a doctor then advised plaintiff that "there was no truma [sic] to the head, but, [plaintiff] had a fracture[d] nose." ( Id. ). Plaintiff claims that he was discharged "without [medical staff] ever even touching me or reconnecting or repositioning my nose." ( Id. ).

As a result, plaintiff claims he now suffers from a "wide varity [sic] of injuries, " including breathing problems, constant nasal clogging, a runny nose, nose bleeds, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, depression, "serious paranoia, " and "fears of being murdered, attacked again and/or retaliated upon by the notorious prior killings committed by Nassau County Sheriffs correctional officers." ( Id. ). Plaintiff seeks entry of a restraining order preventing plaintiff from being housed at the NCCC "or around any of the[] defendants including one inmate convicted murderer, Ricardo Marsden." ( Id. ¶ 6). Plaintiff demands five million dollars ($5, 000, 000.00) in damages against each defendant, for a total award of forty million dollars ($40, 000, 000.00). ( Id. ).

II. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Under both the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), a district court must dismiss a complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, 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. §§ 1915A(b), 1915(e)(2)(B); see Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (finding both Section 1915 and Section 1915A to be applicable to a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis ).

It is axiomatic that district courts are required to read pro se complaints liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007)(quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106, 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976)); Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d 509, 515 (2d Cir. 2013), and to construe them "to raise the strongest arguments that they suggest." Gerstenbluth v. Credit Suisse Sec. (USA) LLC, 728 F.3d 139, 142-43 (2d Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Moreover, at the pleadings stage of the proceeding, the Court must assume the truth of "all well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations in the complaint." Harrington v. Cnty. of Suffolk, 607 F.3d 31, 33 (2d Cir. 2010); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

Nevertheless, a complaint must plead sufficient facts "to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). While the plausibility standard "does not require detailed factual allegations, " it "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678. "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557); accord Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. ex rel. Saint Vincent Catholic Med. Ctr. Ret. Plan v. Morgan Stanley Inv. Mgmt. Inc., 712 F.3d 705, 717 (2d Cir. 2013). The plausibility standard requires "more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 678; see also In re Amaranth Natural Gas Commodities Litig., 730 F.3d 170, 180 (2d Cir. 2013).

B. Section 1983

Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code provides, in relevant part:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States... to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the ...

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