United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
R. Underhill United States District Judge
Wright filed an amended complaint in accordance with my Order
on September 23, 2016. On November 9, 2016, Wright filed a
second amended complaint (“SAC”). The SAC appears
to be identical to the first amended complaint, with the
exception of some additional language that was added to the
jurisdictional statement. On December 6, 2016, I issued an
Initial Review Order (doc. # 62) dismissing all of
Wright's claims. On December 13, 2016, Wright filed a
motion for reconsideration (doc. # 65), followed by a notice
of appeal (doc. # 67). Wright has since filed additional
post-judgment requests for relief (docs. # 69-73). In ruling
on the motion for reconsideration and related motions, I
assume the parties' familiarity with the facts.
standard for granting motions for reconsideration is strict;
motions for 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). Motions for reconsideration
will not be granted where the party merely seeks to
relitigate an issue that has already been decided.
Id. The three major grounds for granting a motion
for reconsideration in the Second Circuit are: (1) an
intervening change of controlling law, (2) the availability
of new evidence, or (3) the need to correct a clear error or
prevent manifest injustice. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Ltd.
v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir.
1992) (citing 18 Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller &
Edward H. Cooper, Federal Practice & Procedure
primary function of a motion for reconsideration “is to
present the court with an opportunity to correct manifest
errors of law or fact or to consider newly discovered
evidence.” LoSacco v. City of Middletown, 822
F.Supp. 870, 876 (D. Conn. 1993), aff'd, 33 F.3d
50 (2d Cir. 1994). A court is permitted to reconsider its
ruling if such ruling overlooked controlling data or law
that, had it been considered, would have altered the
court's conclusion. Shrader, 70 F.3d at 257.
motion for reconsideration appears to challenge various
aspects of my ruling. First, Wright challenges my conclusion
regarding whether he can bring a section 1983 claim for the
denial of Risk Reduction Earned Credit (“RREC”)
and parole eligibility. Wright does not point to any
controlling law that compels a contrary conclusion. Moreover,
Wright does not point to any specific portion of my decision
that constitutes a clear error. Instead, Wright contends that
he may bring a section 1983 claim for damages resulting from
illegal administrative procedures, unconstitutional parole
procedures, and the parole board's determination of
parole eligibility. See Mot. Reconsid. at 4 (citing
Superintendent, Massachusetts Corr. Inst., Walpole v.
Hill, 472 U.S. 445 (1985)) (doc. # 65). There is no
claim in Wright's SAC that relates to the procedures used
to determine Wright's parole eligibility. Rather, Wright
admits that he is ineligible for RREC and parole because he
was convicted of a class A felony on or after July 1, 1981.
SAC at 4 (doc. # 57). Wright challenges the constitutionality
of the statute, not the procedures used to determine his
parole eligibility. I have held that Wright's due process
challenge fails because the state has not done anything to
give him a protected interest in RREC or parole eligibility.
See Tellier v. Fields, 280 F.3d 69, 81 (2d Cir.
also contends that I erred with respect to his Universal
Declaration of Human Rights claims. Wright does not point to
any law that establishes a cause of action based on a
violation of that international treaty. Accordingly, such
claims fail. See Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, 542 U.S.
692, 734-35 (2004) (explaining that the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights is an international agreement that does not
give rise to legal obligations because it is merely a
“statement of principles”).
other claims do not seem to be relevant to this case, nor do
they cause me to reconsider my prior ruling. Wright contends
that detention beyond the termination of a sentence
constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, and that the Ex
Post Facto Clause prohibits retroactive application of
sentencing guidelines if such guideline disadvantages the
defendant. Neither of those claims is at issue in this case.
Wright also contends that the court erred in the manner in
which it directed service of process on the defendants. The
court is not required to serve the defendants until it has
conducted an initial review of the complaint. I conducted the
initial review and ordered the case to be dismissed, so it
was proper not to direct the U.S. Marshals to serve the
defendants. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Finally,
Wright contends that he should have been permitted to amend
his SAC to cure its deficiencies. I decline to reconsider my
decision to dismiss Wright's SAC with prejudice and note
that I have the discretion to dismiss with prejudice a
complaint by means of an initial review order. See Vann
v. Comm'r of N.Y. City Dep't of Correction, 496
F. App'x 113, 116 (2d Cir. 2012). Dismissal with
prejudice is proper because Wright has been given multiple
opportunities to amend his complaint and any further attempts
would be futile.
foregoing reasons, Wright's motion for reconsideration
(doc. # 65) is denied. Wright's related motions (docs. #
69, 71, 72) are denied for substantially the same reasons.
Wright's motion for a copy of the docket sheet (doc. #
70) is granted, and Wright's request for a status
conference (doc. # 73) is denied as moot.