United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT (ECF No. 9),
MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL (ECF No. 10), AND MOTION TO
DIRECT DEFENDANTS TO RESPOND (ECF No. 12)
Michael P. Shea United States District Judge
February 28, 2018, the plaintiff, Jayevon Blaine, an inmate
currently confined at MacDougall-Walker Correctional
Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, brought a civil action
pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
University of Connecticut Correctional Managed Health Care
Center and three Department of Correction (“DOC”)
clinical workers, Nurse Rose Walker, Nurse Gina Burns, and
“Dr. Palie, ” for acting with deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs, in violation of
his Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual
punishment, and for medical malpractice. Compl. (ECF No. 1).
This Court permitted his Eighth Amendment claim and medical
malpractice claim to proceed against Burns but denied the
claims against the other defendants. Initial Review Order
(ECF No. 7) at 7.
3, 2018, the plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint
clarifying many of the factual deficiencies of his original
complaint as explained in the Court's Initial Review
Order. Mot. to Amend Compl. (ECF No. 9). He attached an
amended complaint with additional factual allegations against
Burns and eight new defendants: Nurse Hile, Nurse Michaud,
Nurse Andelam, Nurse Lydia, Nurse Collins, Dr. Pillai,
Health Services Administrator Lightner, and
Dr. Farinella. Am. Compl. (ECF No. 9-1). He is suing Burns,
Hile, Michaud, Andelam, and Lydia in their individual
capacities and Collins, Pillai, Lightner, and Farinella in
both their individual and official capacities. Id.
The plaintiff has also moved for the appointment of counsel
to represent him in this case and for an order directing the
defendants to respond to his amended complaint. Mem. of Law
in Supp. of Pl.'s Mot. for Appointment of Counsel
(“Mot. Appoint Counsel”) (ECF No. 10); Mot. to
Direct Defs. To Answer Am. Compl. (ECF No. 12).
the defendants have not yet responded to the initial
complaint, the Court will GRANT the plaintiff's motion to
amend (ECF No. 9) and review the claims stated in the amended
complaint (ECF No. 9-1). However, for reasons that follow,
the motion to appoint counsel (ECF No. 10) is DENIED without
prejudice and the motion directing the defendants to respond
to the amended complaint (ECF No. 12) is DENIED as moot.
Motion to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 9)
plaintiff may amend his complaint once as a matter of right
within twenty-one days after service of the complaint or, if
a responsive pleading is required, within twenty-one days
after service of the responsive pleading. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 15(a); O'dell v. Bill, 13 Civ. 1275
(FJS/TWD), 2015 WL 710544, *44 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 18, 2015). In
all other cases, the plaintiff may amend his complaint only
with the Court's leave. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Rule
15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires
that the Court's permission to amend a complaint
“shall be freely given when justice so requires.”
“In the absence of any apparent or declared reason -
such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part
of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by
amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of the allowance of the amendment,
futility of the amendment, etc. - the leave should, as the
rules require, be ‘freely given.'” Foman
v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). “This relaxed
standard applies with particular force to pro se
litigants.” Pangburn v. Culbertson, 200 F.3d
65, 70 (2d Cir. 1999) (internal quotations omitted).
case, defendant Burns returned her waiver of service of
process on April 11, 2018; see Order No. 8; and the
plaintiff filed the instant motion to amend his complaint on
May 3, 2018. Although the motion was filed over twenty-one
days passed the waiver of service, Burns has not yet
responded to the initial complaint. Therefore, in the
interests of justice, the Court will GRANT the motion to
amend the complaint and review the claims stated therein.
Review of Amended Complaint (ECF No. 9-1)
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review prisoner civil
complaints and dismiss any portion of the complaint that is
frivolous or malicious, that fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. Although
detailed allegations are not required, the complaint must
include sufficient facts to afford the defendants fair notice
of the claims and the grounds upon which they are based and
to demonstrate a right to relief. Bell Atlantic v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Conclusory
allegations are not sufficient. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic, 550
U.S. at 570. Nevertheless, it is well-established that
“[p]ro se complaints ‘must be
construed liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest
arguments that they suggest.'” Sykes v. Bank of
Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013) (quoting
Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471,
474 (2d Cir. 2006)); see also Tracy v. Freshwater,
623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules
of solicitude for pro se litigants).
amended complaint, the plaintiff alleges the following facts:
December 28, 2017, Burns evaluated the plaintiff for a lump
he had on his genitals,  which caused him constant pain. Am.
Compl. ¶ 15. The plaintiff expressed to her that his
pain “was an eight on a scale of one to ten.”
Id. Although Burns referred the plaintiff to see Dr.
Pillai, she refused to provide him any pain medication.
next day, the plaintiff saw Dr. Pillai. Am. Compl. ¶ 16.
The plaintiff told him that the lump hurt when he touched it
or when he would lay on his side. Id. Pillai said
that the plaintiff was “going to have to hav[e] testing
done, ” but he too would not give the plaintiff any
medication for his pain. Id.
January 15, 2018, the plaintiff received his written medical
request back from Nurse Michaud stating that he had been
evaluated. Am. Compl. ¶ 17. However, the ...