Prall v. Hartford Prosecutors
To prove that defendants violated 42 United States §1983, a plaintiff must establish a person who acted under color of state law violated his federally protected rights. The plaintiff inmate, Tormu Prall, who was incarcerated in New Jersey, alleged that the defendants ordered law enforcement agents to permit corrections officials or other inmates to attack him, to deny proper medical treatment and to remove his gold teeth. The plaintiff brought a civil-rights complaint, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, against 297 unidentified Hartford prosecutors, detective and agents, as well as Department of Correction workers and Superior Court judges. The District Court found that because Prall's amended complaint did not include the Department of Correction workers and Superior Court judges, Prall withdrew his claims against those defendants. The District Court dismissed Prall's claims against the Hartford prosecutors as an office, because the Office of the Chief State's Attorney, which employs the prosecutors, is a state agency, and state agencies do not qualify as "persons," for purposes of §1983. Exhibits established that Prall is litigating his claims in New Jersey courts, and the District Court denied Prall's request for emergency relief. The District Court dismissed Prall's §1983 claims and granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment. The 2nd Circuit reviewed de novo. After an independent review of the record and law, the 2nd Circuit concluded that the District Court did not abuse its discretion when it dismissed Prall's claims and granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment. The 2nd Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, Arterton, J.