United States District Court, D. Connecticut
A.M., a minor, by his parents and natural guardians, AUDLEY MUSCHETTE and JUDITH MUSCHETTE
AMERICAN SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF; TOWN OF WEST HARTFORD; PAUL W. GIONFRIDDO, in his individual and official capacities; CHRIS HAMMOND, in his individual and official capacities; ELWIN ESPINOSA, in his individual and official capacities; and CHRISTOPHER LYTH, Lyth, in his individual and official capacities
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Glazer Margolis United States Magistrate Judge.
September 11, 2013, plaintiff, A.M., a minor who is hearing
impaired, commenced this action by his parents and natural
guardians, Audley and Judith Muschette (Dkt. #1), which was
later superseded by an Amended Complaint, filed April 22,
2015 (Dkt. #77), in which plaintiff asserts claims of
excessive force and municipal liability pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, violations of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq. and of the
Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701, and state law
claims of negligence, negligent infliction of emotional
distress, battery, assault, and intentional infliction of
emotional distress, arising out of encounters with defendants
Elwin Espinosa (see Dkts. ##1, 51, 53) and Chris
Hammond, staff members at defendant American School for the
Deaf ["ASD"], and with defendant Town of West
Hartford and its defendant police officers, Paul W.
Gionfriddo and Christopher Lyth [collectively "the West
Hartford Defendants"]. (Dkt. #77; see also
Dkts. ##68, 76). On July 1, 2015, the West Hartford
Defendants filed their Answer and Affirmative Defenses (Dkt.
#82), and on September 30, 2015, defendant ASD filed its
Answer and Affirmative Defenses. (Dkt. #85).
November 12, 2015, plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel (Dkt.
#86), and on December 9, 2015, the West Hartford Defendants
filed a brief in opposition and Motion for Protective Order.
(Dkt. #89; see also Dkt. #90). On January 20, 2016,
Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton referred the
pending motions to this Magistrate Judge (Dkt. #91), and on
March 22, 2016, this Magistrate Judge issued her Ruling on
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and Defendants' Motion
for Protective Order (Dkt. #94)[“March 2016
Ruling”], granting in part and denying in part both
motions. On April 5, 2016, plaintiff filed an Objection in
part to this Magistrate Judge's March 2016 Ruling (Dkt.
#99),  and nine days later, the West Hartford
Defendants filed a brief in opposition. (Dkt.
#101). Seven months later, on November 4, 2016,
Judge Eginton referred the pending Objection, construed as a
Motion for Reconsideration, to this Magistrate Judge. (Dkt.
#109). Under the latest scheduling order, discovery closes on
November 30, 2016, and dispositive motions are to be filed on
or before January 3, 2017. (Dkts. ##107-08).
reasons stated below, plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration (Dkt. #99) is granted, but the Magistrate
Judge largely adheres to her previous conclusions.
to Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7(c)1., a party may move for
reconsideration of a decision or order of this Court by
filing “a memorandum setting forth concisely the
matters or controlling decisions which counsel believes the
Court overlooked in the initial decision or order.” As
the Second Circuit has made clear, the standard for granting
such a motion is “strict, ” and
“reconsideration will generally be denied unless the
moving party can point to controlling decisions or data that
the court overlooked--matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court.” Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc.,
70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995)(citations omitted); see
also Edible Arrangement Int'l, Inc. v.
Incredible Franchise Corp., No. 07 CV 1788 (WWE), 2010
WL 2802368, at *1 (D. Conn. July 13, 2010). Stated another
It is well-established that the function of a motion for
reconsideration is to present the court with an opportunity
to correct manifest errors of law or to consider newly
discovered evidence. The scope of review on motions for
reconsideration is limited to ensure the finality of
decisions and to prevent the practice of a losing party
examining a decision and then plugging gaps of a lost motion
with additional matters . . . . Reconsideration will only be
granted if a party can point to an intervening change of
controlling law, the availability of new evidence, or the
need to correct a clear error or to prevent manifest
A motion for reconsideration may not be used to relitigate an
issue the court has already decided. A motion for
reconsideration is not simply a second bite at the apple for
a party dissatisfied with a court's ruling. . . .
Lego A/S, and Lego Sys., Inc. v. Best-Lock Construction
Toys, Inc., No. 11 CV 1586 (CSH), 2013 WL 1611462 at *2
(D. Conn. Apr. 15, 2013), quoting Morien v. Munich Reins.
Am., Inc., 270 F.R.D. 65, 69 (D. Conn. 2010)(internal
quotations & citations omitted).
case, plaintiff objects to this Magistrate Judge's
determination that responses to Interrogatories Nos. 4, 13
and 18, and Requests for Production Nos. 3-5, and 13 are
required only as they relate to the April 30, 2013 incident,
and objects to this Magistrate Judge's denial of
plaintiff's motion to compel responses to Requests for
Production Nos. 91 and 95 on the basis that they do not
relate to the claims alleged in the Amended Complaint. (Dkt.
#99, at 2-3).
INTERROGATORIES NOS. 4, 13 & 18 AND REQUESTS FOR
PRODUCTION NOS. 3-5 & 13
Motion for Reconsideration, plaintiff appropriately observes,
with respect to Interrogatories Nos. 4, 13 and 18, and
Requests for Production Nos. 3-5 and 13, that “[b]y
limiting [d]efendant's responses [to the April 30, 2013
incident], the Magistrate Judge agreed with the Town's
position that [p]laintiff's claims against the [West
Hartford Defendants] arise from the April 30, 2013 incident
alone.” (Dkt. #99, at 4). However, without establishing
proper grounds for the Court to reconsider its prior order,
plaintiff then reiterates the same argument posited in the
underlying Motion to Compel. Plaintiff has not identified
controlling decisions that the Court has overlooked, but
rather, plaintiff seeks a different result. Accordingly,
plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration does not fall
within the limited scope of review available for such
motions. However, in an abundance of caution, plaintiff's
arguments will be addressed again below.
stated in this Court's March 2016 Ruling, the case law in
the Second Circuit regarding interactions such as the one
between the West Hartford Defendants and A.M. remains
undecided. (March 2016 Ruling at 5-7; see Williams v. City of
New York, 121 F.Supp.3d 354, 365, n.12 (S.D.N.Y. 2015)). This
is a premise to which plaintiff does not object in the
current motion. As this Magistrate Judge then found:
“At the discovery stage, it is not for the Court to
decide whether plaintiff's cause of action exists”
as it relates to the incidents alleged in the Amended
Complaint, but rather, the Court must determine whether the
information plaintiff seeks is “relevant to . . . [his]
claim[s] . . . and proportional to the needs of the
case[.]” (March 2016 Ruling at 7, quoting
the Court did in the March 2016 Ruling, the Court directs
plaintiff's attention to his allegations in the Amended
Complaint. Plaintiff asserts a claim for municipal liability
arising out the acts “complained of in [the]
paragraphs” in which the April 30, 2013 incident is
alleged. (See Dkt. #77, at 12-15). To establish
municipal liability, “there must be ‘a direct
causal link between a municipal policy or custom, and the
alleged constitutional deprivation.'” Gonzalez
v. Waterbury Police Dept., No. 12 CV 478 (SRU), 2016 WL
953211, at *2 (D. Conn. Mar. 11, 2016), quoting City of
Canton v. Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989)(additional
citation omitted). In their Objections and Responses, the
West Hartford Defendants have responded that they were aware
that plaintiff is deaf, and they utilized the ASD personnel
to communicate with plaintiff. (See Dkt. #86, Exh.
B, at 7-8). Plaintiff alleges that he was tasered and
handcuffed, and “[a]s a result of his traumatic
encounter with the Town of West Hartford police
officers . . . [p]laintiff has suffered serious and permanent
injuries . . . . " (Dkt. #77, ¶¶ 2,
5)(emphasis added). Plaintiff has not alleged facts of any
similar constitutional violations. See Russo v. City of
Hartford, 341 F.Supp.2d 85, 109 (D. Conn.
2004). Even assuming that a constitutional
deprivation exists under the circumstances of this case,
plaintiff's requests are not proportionate to the needs
of the case. Plaintiff does not allege any constitutional
violations by the West Hartford Defendants against plaintiff
other than on the dates asserted in the Amended Complaint, or
against any other person affiliated with ASD, yet his
discovery requests seek information regarding contacts with
the West Hartford Defendants on “all occasions prior
and thereafter from 2010-present[, ]” and “each
and every date that ASD has contacted [the West Hartford
Defendants] to have the police come to the school regarding
plaintiff[, ]” presumably regardless of whether such
occasions, if any, involve encounters with the police that