United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Petaway (“Plaintiff”) filed this Complaint
pro se on January 3, 2017, alleging that defendants
violated his rights by failing to provide him with written
notice of disciplinary action, failing to provide reasons or
a written statement of evidence for those actions, and
ultimately taking away good time credit as a result. Compl.,
ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Currently before the Court is Mr.
Petaway's motion for leave to file a dispositive motion,
ECF No. 46 and motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 48.
Petaway has also filed two motions for sanctions. First, Mr.
Petaway seeks sanctions for what he argues is a
“failure to admit” information in response to the
two paragraphs of the Complaint. Pl. Mot. for Sanctions, ECF
No. 51 at 1 (“Rule 37 Mot.”). Second, Mr. Petaway
seeks to sanction opposing counsel “for delay”
because he argues that Defendants' asserted defenses are
“not warranted in ‘law'” and
“frivolous.” Pl. Mot. for Sanctions, ECF No. 62
at 1 (“Rule 11 Mot.”). Finally, Defendants move
to Amend their answer to the Complaint, Def. Mot. to Amend,
ECF No. 57, and for an extension of time to respond to Mr.
Petaway's Summary Judgment motion. ECF No. 58.
reasons described below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to
file and motion for summary judgment will be
DENIED as premature. Additionally, both
motions for sanctions will be DENIED.
Defendants' motion to amend is GRANTED.
Defendants' motion for an extension of time is
DISMISSED as moot.
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment
Petaway filed a notice before this Court arguing that
discovery was complete. Pl. Notice, ECF No. 47. He also moved for
leave to file a dispositive motion, ECF No. 46, and, before
the Court addressed that motion, moved for summary judgment.
ECF No. 48. Mr. Petaway argues that he is entitled to summary
judgment because it is “clear upon a look at any of the
plaintiff's RI.DOC tickets” that they would violate
Mr. Petaway's due process rights. Pl. Br. In Support, ECF
No. 49 at 2. He therefore argues that once the Defendants
violated his Due Process rights when they received these
“tickets” and then took “goodtime”
away. Id. In support of his motion, Mr. Petaway
submitted a declaration with several exhibits attached that
appear to be the tickets at issue in this case. Pl. Decl.,
ECF No. 50.
maintain that “[d]iscovery remains in the infancy
stages” and list several different depositions that are
still outstanding. Defs. Mot for Enlargement of Time, ECF No.
58 at 2-4. Additionally, according to the Scheduling Order in
this case, discovery is not scheduled to be completed in this
case until March 23, 2018. Sched. Order, ECF No. 43.
result, discovery is still pending and therefore summary
judgment is premature at this time. See Crystalline H2O,
Inc. v. Orminski, 105 F.Supp.2d 3, 8 (N.D.N.Y. 2000)
(“The Second Circuit has denied motions for summary
judgment as premature in cases where nonmoving party did not
have ‘a fully adequate opportunity for
discovery.'”); Toussie v. Allstate Insurance
Co., 213 F.Supp.3d 444, 445 (E.D.N.Y. 2016) (“Rule
56(b) allows a summary judgment motion to be made ‘at
any time.' But courts routinely deny motions for summary
judgment as premature when discovery over relevant matters is
motion for summary judgment is denied without prejudice, as
is Mr. Petaway's motion for leave to file a dispositive
Plaintiff's First Motion for Sanctions Regarding
Defendants' “Failure to Admit”
for admission are “not discovery tools, but rather
serve to narrow or reduce the issues for trial.”
Iron Workers Local No. 60 Annuity Pension Fund v. Solvay
Iron Works, Inc., No. 515-cv-0054 (BKS)(DEP), 2017 WL
1458772, at *3 (N.D.N.Y. Apr. 24, 2017). Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 36 governs such requests, providing that a
party “may serve on any other party a written request
to admit, for purposes of the pending action only, the truth
of any matters within the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) . . .
.” The opposing party must respond or “[i]f a
party fails to admit what is requested under Rule 36 and if
the requesting party later proves a document to be genuine or
the matter true, the requesting party may move that the party
who failed to admit pay the reasonable expenses, including
attorney's fees, incurred in making that proof.”
Petaway moves for sanctions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(c), arguing
opposing counsel “has the ‘information' . . .
to respond to Complaint ‘Facts, ' paragraph #6(a)
and (b).” Rule 37 Mot. at 1. He now argues that, because
Defendants allegedly have the information necessary to
respond to these allegations, failure to do so is a
“failure to admit” within the meaning of Rule 37
and therefore “[Attorney] Varunes can respond . . . as
‘admitted.' Rule 37 Mot. at 21.
response, Defendants argue that “Plaintiff's
reliance on Rule 37 is misplaced” because
“defendants answer a complaint; they were never asked
to respond to admissions.” Defs. Objection, ECF No. 55
at 2. Additionally, they argue that, if the motion was
grounded in Fed.R.Civ.P. 11, Mr. Petaway has failed to follow
that Rule's procedural requirements. Id. at 2-3.
Petaway has not demonstrated that he served Defendants with a
request for admission or complied with the requirements of
Rule 37. Additionally, his argument is duplicative of an
earlier motion, in which Mr. Petaway requested the Court
order Defendants to respond to the same paragraph in the
Complaint. Pl. Mot. to Order Def. to Answer, ECF No.
29.The current motion therefore seems only to
address Defendants' response to the Complaint - in which
they left Plaintiff to his proof - and not a Request For