United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JOHN L. CONLEY, Plaintiff,
OFFICER BRYSGEL, ET AL., Defendants.
RULING AND ORDER
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Conley (“Plaintiff”), currently confined at
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Institution, moved to amend
his Complaint on November 28, 2017. ECF No. 27. For the
following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is GRANTED
IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
Court assumes familiarity with the factual background of the
case and provides the procedural background that is necessary
to decide this motion to amend.
Conley filed his Complaint on February 22, 2017. Compl., ECF
No. 1. On May 9, 2017, the Court issued an Initial Review
Order, which dismissed some of the claims in the Complaint.
IRO, ECF No. 7. Defendants filed an Answer on August 28,
2017. Answer, ECF No. 17. Mr. Conley moved to amend the
Complaint on November 28, 2017. Mot. to Amend, ECF No. 27.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), a party may amend its
pleading as of right within twenty-one days after serving it
or “if the pleading is one to which a responsive
pleading is required, [within] 21 days after service of a
responsive pleading or 21 days after service of a
motion” to dismiss, a motion for a more definite
statement, or a motion to strike, whichever is earlier.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). “In all other cases, a party may
amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written
consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). “The court should freely give leave when
justice so requires.” Id. The district court
has broad discretion to decide a motion to amend. Local
802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York v. Parker
Meridien Hotel, 145 F.3d 85, 89 (2d Cir. 1998).
Conley filed his motion to amend more than twenty-one days
after Defendants filed an Answer to the Complaint; he
therefore may not amend as of right. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 15(a)(1). The Court thus will consider whether to
grant Mr. Conley's motion to amend with the Court's
leave under Rule 15(a)(2).
determining whether to grant a motion to amend under Rule
15(a)(2), the Court considers five factors: (1) whether
granting the motion will cause undue delay; (2) whether the
movant acts in bad faith or has a dilatory motive; (3)
whether the movant has repeatedly failed to cure deficiencies
in previously allowed amendments; (4) whether granting the
motion will cause undue prejudice to the opposing party; and
(5) whether the amendment is futile. Doe v. Simonds,
No. 3:12-cv-508 (JBA), 2012 WL 3463985, at *1 (D. Conn. Aug.
15, 2012) (citing Local 802, Associated Musicians of
Greater New York, 145 F.3d at 89); see also Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962) (establishing five
Mr. Conley seeks to increase the amount of monetary damages
sought from the defendants. Mot. to Amend. at 1. The
Complaint includes a request for $20, 000.00 in compensatory
damages and $80, 000.00 in punitive damages. Compl.
¶¶ 32-33. In its Initial Review Order, the Court
dismissed Mr. Conley's claims for monetary damages
against Defendants in their official capacities. See
IRO at 6. The requests for injunctive and declaratory relief
from Defendants in their official capacities and the request
for money damage from Defendants in their individual
capacities remain. Id. at 7. Mr. Conley seeks to
revise the amount of monetary relief sought from Defendants
in their individual capacities to a total amount of monetary
relief, including both punitive and compensatory damages, to
$200, 000.00. To the extent that Mr. Conley seeks to revise
the request for monetary damages sought from Defendants in
their individual capacities to $200, 000.00, the motion to
amend is granted.
second paragraph on the first page of the motion to amend
includes a sentence regarding Mr. Conley's belief that he
has a “right of equal protection & [to be] free
from discrimination under the 14th & 1st
Amendment[s].” Mot. Amend at 1. Mr. Conley does not
otherwise elaborate on this statement. The Complaint included
only Eighth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
claims under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1985, 1986. Compl.
¶¶ 25-29. On May 9, 2017, the Court dismissed the
sections 1985 and 1986 claims. IRO at 5-6. The Court also
determined that the Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
to safety and excessive force claims brought under section
1983 should proceed against Officer Brysgel, and the Eighth
Amendment deliberate indifference to safety and failure to
protect claims brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 should
proceed against Captain Black. Id. at 4-5.
Mr. Conley seeks leave to add a Fourteenth Amendment claim
and a First Amendment claim to the Complaint, there are no
facts in the motion to support either claim and there is no
proposed Amended Complaint attached to the motion. Mr. Conley
also has not explained his reason for moving to amend six
months after the Court's Initial Review Order, or offered
any basis to amend at this late stage of the litigation. The
Court concludes that justice does not require the Court to
permit Mr. Conley to amend the Complaint to add unsupported
First and Fourteenth Amendment claims. See Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”).
Court notes that the second paragraph on the first page of
the motion to amend also includes references to
“several inferentials, ” including witness
declarations, which Mr. Conley has not forwarded to the
Court. See Mot. Amend, ECF No. 27 at 1. If Mr.
Conley wants to file exhibits or declarations in support of
the allegations in the Complaint, the motion is denied
without prejudice. It is not necessary for Mr. Conley to
support his Complaint with exhibits or declarations. He may,
however, submit any documents or declarations which support