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Former Connecticut Prisoner's ADA and RA Complaint Survives Motion to Dismiss

By Derek Gilna

Former Connecticut state prisoner Richard Rogues' Section 1983 lawsuit for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act (RA) has survived a motion to dismiss filed by defendants, including state prison commission officials and officials at Cheshire Correctional Institution (Cheshire) in Connecticut.

The prisoner, who suffered from a myriad of physical and mental disorders affecting his ability to walk, had sued these officials for damages in their personal capacities, and sought to hold them personally responsible, under the legal doctrine of "respondent superior." Defendants' Motion to dismiss averred that the Eleventh Amendment barred the state from being held liable unless it had previously waived its sovereign immunity. The defendants also asserted that the prisoner had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies pursuant to the Prisoner Legal Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. Section 1997e(a).

The Connecticut District Court, Judge Hall presiding, ruled that the prisoner's release from state custody mooted his ADA, Section 1983, and RA claims for injunctive relief; that the Eleventh Amendment barred the count against the former Connecticut Commissioner of Correction in his official capacity; but further stated that the fact issues included in the complaint precluded summary judgment in defendants' favor on the § 1983 claims against the corrections officers' supervisor and for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. See: Roque v. Armstrong, 3:02-CV-1808(JCH), U.S. District Court of Connecticut, (2005).

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Related legal case

Roque v. Armstrong