United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (DOC. NO.
C. Hall United States District Judge
plaintiff, Vance Solman ("Solman"), is incarcerated
at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in
Suffield, Connecticut ("MacDougall-Walker"). He
initiated this action by filing a complaint under section
1983 of title 42 against Captain E. Corl, Industry Manager
Peter Casey, Industry Supervisor Tom Morassini and Industry
February 25, 2016, the court dismissed the claims for
monetary damages against all defendants in their official
capacities pursuant to section 1915A(b)(2) of title 28 and
all claims against defendant Casey, the Fifth Amendment
claims, the Fourteenth Amendment claims, the First Amendment
retaliation claim against defendant Spaar, the First
Amendment association claims, the Eighth Amendment claims,
any claims asserted or relief requested on behalf of
Solman's wife or sons and all state law claims pursuant
to section 1915A(b)(1) of title 28. See Initial Review Order
(Doc. No. 7). The court concluded that the First Amendment
retaliation claims against defendants Corl and Morassini in
their individual and official capacities would proceed.
closed in this action on August 25, 2016. The deadline for
filing motions for summary judgment is January 6, 2017.
See Rul. Mot. Compel (Doc. No. 39).
has filed a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Rule
60(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. He asks the court to re-instate the
retaliation claim against Supervisor Spaar based on evidence
that he recently received from the defendants that he claims
demonstrates that Supervisor Spaar was responsible for
terminating him from his position in the upholstery shop and
knew that he had filed a legal action prior to his
termination from the job.
60(b) motions for relief from a judgment or order are
generally not favored and will not be granted unless the
moving party demonstrates the existence of "exceptional
circumstances." Ruotolo v. City of New York,
514 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks
and citation omitted). Rule 60(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure provides that a court may "relieve a
party . . . from a final judgment, order or proceeding for. .
. (2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable
diligence, could not have been discovered in time to move for
a new trial under Rule 59(b)) The standard under Rule
60(b)(2) is "onerous." United States v.
Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters, 247 F.3d 370, 392 (2d Cir.
2001). To prevail on a motion for relief pursuant to Rule
60(b)(2), a movant must demonstrate that he was
"justifiably ignorant" of the newly discovered
evidence "despite due diligence" prior to the order
of dismissal and that the new evidence was of "such
importance that it probably would have changed the
regard to defendant Spaar, Solman asserted the following
allegations in the Complaint. On February 14, 2013, Solman
began to work in the Correctional Enterprises of Connecticut
upholstery shop at MacDougall-Walker. See Compl.
(Doc. No. 1) at 9, ¶12. He understood that he must
complete a ninety-day probationary period in order to be
assigned to a permanent job in the upholstery shop.
See Id. at 11, ¶¶ 25-26.
time Solman began his probationary period, he was represented
by counsel in a civil rights action against state
correctional officers. See Solman v. Manzi, Case No.
3:10-cv-729(SRU). On April 5, 2013, the attorneys in
Solman's civil action informed the judge that they had
reached a settlement agreement. See Id.
(Doc. No. 110). On April 10, 2013, Solman informed Supervisor
Morassini that the case had settled. See Compl.
(Doc. No. 1) at 10, ¶22.
20, 2013, Solman received a poor work evaluation issued by
Supervisor Morassini. See Id. at 11, ¶
25. Supervisor Spaar signed off on the poor work report even
though Solman claimed that she had previously informed him
that she had been pleased with his work. See
Id. Officials extended Solman's probationary
period for sixty days. See Id. ¶26.
5, 2013, Supervisor Spaar allegedly informed Solman that his
work performance was much better. See id, ¶ 27.
On that same date, the attorneys who represented the
defendants and Solman in his federal civil rights action
signed a stipulation of dismissal pursuant to the settlement
agreement and filed the stipulation with the court. See
Solman v. Manzi, Case No. 3:10-cv-729(SRU) (Doc. No.
18, 2013, Supervisor Morassini informed Solman that he was
being fired from his position in the upholstery shop.
See Compl. (Doc. No. 1) at 11, ¶ 28. On August
23, 2013, prison officials assigned Solman to "very
coveted job" in the gymnasium at MacDougall/Walker.
SeeId. ¶ 30. Solman claimed that
Supervisors Morassini and Spaar fired him from his job in the
upholstery shop in retaliation for settling a civil rights
action against the Department of Correction. As indicated
above, the court dismissed the retaliation ...