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Morgan v. Dzurenda

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

April 21, 2016

LLOYD GEORGE MORGAN, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
COMMISSIONER DZURENDA, ET AL., Defendants.

RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS [Doc. Nos. 63, 75, 76, 78, 80, 81, 85, 86]

VICTOR A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff, Lloyd George Morgan, Jr., is currently confined at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut (“Garner”). Pending before the Court are Plaintiff’s motions for consideration and remedy, motions for default, and motion for extension of time and Defendants’ motions to submit unsigned affidavit and motion to stay. For the reasons set forth below, the motion for extension of time is granted in part and the remaining motions are denied.

I. Motion for Consideration, Intervention and Remedy [Doc. No. 63]

Mr. Morgan complains about interference with his legal mail from November 1, 2015 to December 1, 2015 at Corrigan Correctional Institution (“Corrigan”) and from December 3, 2015 to December 22, 2015 at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution (“MacDougall”). He also contends that “he has received threats that if he litigates this case or file[s] other cases he will be assaulted or killed by prison officials.” Mot. Consideration, Intervention and Remedy, Doc. No. 63 at 4. He asks the Court to investigate his allegations regarding mail interference and to transport him to Court to meet with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.

The allegations in the motion are unrelated to the allegations in the Complaint [Doc. No. 1]. The allegations that remain in the case are related to Mr. Morgan’s confinement at Carl Robinson and Osborn Correctional Institutions from July 2013 through May 2014. See Initial Review Order, Doc. No. 11.

Preliminary injunctive relief “is an extraordinary and drastic remedy . . . that should not be granted unless the movant, by a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.” Moore v. Consol. Edison Co. of New York, Inc., 409 F.3d 506, 510 (2d Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks omitted). In this Circuit the standard for injunctive relief is well established. To warrant preliminary injunctive relief, the moving party must demonstrate (a) that he or she will suffer “irreparable harm” in the absence of an injunction, and (b) “either (1) a likelihood of success on the merits or (2) sufficiently serious questions going to the merits [of the case] to make them a fair ground for litigation and a balance of hardships tipping decidedly toward the party requesting preliminary injunctive relief.” Cacchillo v. Insmed, Inc., 638 F.3d 401, 405-06 (2d Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted).

The Second Circuit has held that an inmate’s requests for injunctive and declaratory relief against correctional staff or conditions of confinement at a particular correctional institution become moot when the inmate is discharged or transferred to a different correctional institution. See Shepherd v. Goord, 662 F.3d 603, 610 (2d Cir. 2011) (“‘In this circuit, an inmate’s transfer from a prison facility generally moots claims for declaratory or injunctive relief against officials at that facility.’”) (quoting Salahuddin v. Goord, 467 F.3d 263, 272 (2d Cir. 2006)); Martin-Trigona v. Shiff, 702 F.2d 380, 386 (2d Cir. 1983) (“The hallmark of a moot case or controversy is that the relief sought can no longer be given or is no longer needed.”). Mr. Morgan is no longer confined at Corrigan or MacDougall. He is now incarcerated at Garner. Thus, the relief sought by Mr. Morgan relating to conditions at Corrigan and MacDougall and to correctional employees who are not defendants in the case is no longer needed.

In addition, it would be inappropriate for the Court to grant a request for injunctive relief that is unrelated to the claims and the defendants in the Complaint. See De Beers Consol. Mines Ltd. v. United States, 325 U.S. 212, 220 (1945) (preliminary injunction appropriate to grant intermediate relief of “the same character as that which relief may be granted finally, ” but inappropriate where the injunction “deals with a matter lying wholly outside the issues in the suit.”); Omega World Travel, Inc. v. Trans World Airlines, 111 F.3d 14, 16 (4th Cir. 1997) (“a preliminary injunction may never issue to prevent an injury or harm which not even the moving party contends was caused by the wrong claimed in the underlying action”); Lewis v. Johnson, No. 08-cv-482, 2010 WL 1268024, at *3 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2010) (denying motion for preliminary injunction based on actions taken by staff at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in 2010 where complaint alleged wrongdoing by staff at Franklin and Upstate Correctional Facilities in 2006 and 2007). The Court notes that Mr. Morgan is litigating his claims regarding conditions of confinement at Corrigan and MacDougall from August 2015 to December 2015 in another case he filed in this Court in January 2016. See Morgan v. Semple, Case No. 3:16-cv-225 (VAB). Accordingly, the request seeking consideration, intervention and injunctive relief in connection with events that occurred at Corrigan and MacDougall from November to December 2015 is denied.

Mr. Morgan also asks the Court to reconsider his request that pro bono counsel be appointed to represent him in this case. In April and July 2015, Mr. Morgan filed motions for appointment of counsel. On August 24, 2015, the Court denied the motions on the ground that it could not determine whether it was likely that Mr. Morgan would succeed on the merits of his claims and on the ground that he had not made efforts to contact the Inmate Legal Aid Program with regard to any questions he had about litigating the case. See Ruling Pending Mots., Doc. No. 48. To the extent that Mr. Morgan seeks reconsideration of that ruling, the request is untimely and is denied. See Rule 7(c), D. Conn. L. Civ. R. (“Motions for Reconsideration shall be filed and served within fourteen (14) days of the filing of the decision or order from which relief is sought . . . .”).

Even if the Court were to construe this motion as a renewed motion for appointment of counsel, Mr. Morgan has not shown that he cannot secure legal assistance on his own. He has recently filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint with the assistance of an attorney from the Inmate Legal Aid Program.

The motion for consideration, intervention and remedy is denied to the extent that it seeks reconsideration of the Court’s ruling denying his prior motion for appointment of counsel and to the extent that it could be construed as a renewed motion for appointment of counsel. Accordingly, the motion for consideration, intervention and remedy is denied in all respects.

II. Motion for Relief From Judgment and for Consideration and Objection to Motion for Extension of Time [Doc. No. 78] Defendants’ Motion for Stay [Doc. No. 85]

Plaintiff has filed a three-part motion. Defendants have filed a motion seeking to be relieved of the obligation to respond to Plaintiff’s motion for relief from judgment and consideration.

Mr. Morgan first objects to Defendants’ motion for extension of time to file a motion for summary judgment. He claims that Defendants have had more than enough time to file a motion for summary judgment and that he would be prejudiced if the Court were to grant Defendants an ...


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