United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL AND FOR
JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
A. Bolden United States District Judge
Eric Ramos (“Plaintiff”) filed this lawsuit on
October 2, 2015, asserting claims under the First and
Fourteenth Amendments as well as under the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act, (“RLUIPA”),
and 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq. See
generally Compl., ECF No. 1. Following a settlement
conference, the parties voluntarily dismissed the case, with
prejudice and without costs or fees. See Notice of
Voluntary Dismissal, ECF No. 93. The Court subsequently
dismissed the case. See Order Dismissing Case, ECF
Ramos now moves for a judgment on the pleadings
“and/or” a motion to compel because he claims
that Defendants breached the settlement agreement by
requiring him to sign a W-9 form. Pl. Mot. at 1, ECF No. 96.
He seeks compliance with the settlement agreement, and an
additional $30, 000.
reasons discussed below, the motion is
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Ramos is currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution in Suffield, Connecticut
(“MacDougall-Walker”). See Amend. Compl.
¶ 3, ECF No. 76. Defendants include the current and
former Commissioners of the State of Connecticut Department
of Corrections (“DOC”), as well as the director
of religious services for the department. Id.
¶¶ 4-7. Each defendant is sued in their individual
and official capacity. Id. ¶ 8.
Ramos alleges that he requested religious tarot cards from
prison officials. Id. ¶ 9. He claims that the
cards were shipped from a bookseller, but he was informed
three months later that the cards were sent back to the
bookseller because he had not filed out the proper forms.
Id. ¶¶ 10, 14-15. Several months later, he
ordered a second set of cards from Avanti Enterprises, Inc.
Id. ¶ 17. He alleges that the Department of
Corrections took money out of his inmate trust account, but
he had not received the cards by the time he initiated the
lawsuit. Id. ¶¶ 18-20
Ramos filed the initial Complaint in this lawsuit on October
2, 2015. He asserted claims under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments as well as under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act, (“RLUIPA”) 42
U.S.C. § 2000cc, et seq. against the Department
of Correction, Reverend Bruno, Counselor Arcouette and John
Doe Commissioner of the Department of Correction. See
Court dismissed all claims for monetary damages against the
defendants in their official capacities under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b)(2) and all other claims against the
Department of Correction and Counselor Arcouette under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1). See Initial Review Order
at 7, ECF No. 9. The Court concluded, however, that the First
Amendment free exercise claim, the Fourteenth Amendment equal
protection claim and RLUIPA claim would proceed against the
Commissioner of Correction and Reverend Bruno in their
individual and official capacities. Id. The Court
also noted that the U.S. Marshal could not serve the
Commissioner, unless he was identified by name, id.
at 8. Mr. Ramos subsequently identified the Commissioner as
Leo C. Arnone, and the Clerk added Mr. Arnone as a defendant.
See Notice, ECF No. 13; Order, ECF No. 16.
Ramos then moved to amend the Complaint and filed two
proposed supplemental complaints. See Mot. Leave
Amend., ECF No. 22; Proposed Suppl. Compl., ECF No. 44;
Second Proposed Suppl. Compl., ECF No. 48. He also filed two
motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 44, 48. Defendants
moved to dismiss. See Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 29.
Court granted leave to amend, but ordered that the
supplemental complaints be removed from the docket because
they added allegations unrelated to those raised in the
initial Complaint. See Ruling on Motions to Amend,
to Dismiss, for Summ. J. and Proposed Suppl. Compl. at 4, 12,
ECF No. 71. The Court also denied both motions for summary
judgment and the motion to dismiss, without prejudice to
renewal after the filing of the Amended Complaint.
Id. at 12-15.
Court also “warn[ed] Mr. Ramos that he has not been
granted leave to add any of the new claims from his proposed
supplemental complaint.” Id. at 15. The Court
directed Mr. Ramos to file an amended complaint identifying
himself as the plaintiff, Commissioner Arnone, Commissioner
Dzurenda, Deputy Commissioner Scott Semple, and Reverend
Bruno as defendants. It also instructed Mr. Ramos to
“include the First Amendment free exercise and RLUIPA
claims, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection
claim as asserted in the complaint against Reverend Bruno and
Commissioner Arnone and the deprivation of property claim and
the free exercise of religion claim as asserted in the
proposed amended complaint against ...