United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS
R. Underhill United States District Judge.
17, 2016, Ja Qure Al-Bukhari a/k/a Jerome Riddick, a
Connecticut Department of Correction inmate, filed a
complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
several officials of the Connecticut Department of Correction
for violating his right to freely exercise his religion under
the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”), 42
U.S.C. § 2000cc, by denying him access to particular
religious books. I issued an Initial Review Order on May 17,
2017 permitting his First Amendment and RLUIPA claims to
proceed against the individual defendants. Initial Review
Order, Doc. No. 24. The defendants answered the complaint on
August 21, 2017. Answer, Doc. No. 38.
January 4, 2017, Al-Bukhari filed an “Emergency Order
to Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order, ” Doc.
No. 12, requesting that I order the defendant to (1) remove
his leg shackles while he showers, (2) permit water in his
cell to run for five minutes at a time to accommodate ritual
washing, and (3) permit him to purchase Halal items from the
commissary. After reviewing the arguments from both parties,
I denied the motion for preliminary injunctive relief because
Al-Bukhari did not establish a substantial likelihood of
irreparable harm in the absence of such relief. Ruling on
Emergency Mot. for TRO, Doc. No. 17. Al-Bukhari filed an
interlocutory appeal, which the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals rejected. Mandate, Doc. No. 50.
following motions are currently pending in this case: (1)
Motions for Preliminary Injunctive Relief, Doc. Nos. 39, 40,
44; (2) Motion to Appoint Counsel, Doc. No. 41; (3) Motion to
Compel Answer, Doc. No. 43; (4) Motion for Extension of Time
to Conduct Discovery, Doc. No. 45; (5) Motion for Extension
of Time to File Reply to Motion for Preliminary Injunctive
Relief, Doc. No. 47; and (6) Motion to Amend/Correct the
Amended Complaint, Doc. No. 49.
Motions for Preliminary Injunctive Relief (Doc. Nos. 39,
has filed three “Emergency Motion[s] for Order[s] to
Show Cause and Temporary Restraining Order[s]” against
the defendants. Doc. Nos. 39, 40, 44. The first two motions
(Doc. Nos. 39, 40) seek orders requiring the defendants to
restore Al-Bukhari's telephone privileges, the loss of
which is allegedly depriving Al-Bukhari of his ability to
contact attorneys in Connecticut's Inmate Legal Aid
Program (“ILAP”) for assistance with his pending
federal cases. The third motion (Doc. No. 44) seeks an order
requiring the defendants to provide Al-Bukhari with his legal
books, materials, and case files, which Al-Bukhari claims the
defendants are withholding. The defendants have not yet
submitted responses to those motions. Thus, I direct the
defendants to file written responses to those three motions
within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this order.
Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Doc. No. 41)
March 16, 2018, Al-Bukhari filed a motion for the appointment
of counsel to represent him in the instant case and in
several other cases currently pending in this court. Mot. for
Pro Bono Appointment of Counsel, Doc. No. 41. In the
case caption of that motion, Al-Bukhari includes the name of
this case and the case numbers of six other cases. The listed
cases are at different procedural stages. The procedural
posture of a case influences whether appointment of counsel
is appropriate. See Holmes v. New York City Dep't of
City Wide Admin. Servs., 2015 WL 1958941, at *1 n.3
(S.D.N.Y. Apr. 30, 2015) (noting that court considered
procedural posture of case and standard governing appointment
of counsel in denying request). Therefore, Al-Bukhari's
motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. No. 41) is
DENIED without prejudice to refiling with an
explanation why appointment of counsel is warranted in this
Motion to Compel (Doc. No. 43)
April 2, 2018, Al-Bukhari filed a motion to compel the
defendants to send him a copy of their answer to the
complaint. Mot. to Compel, Doc. No. 43. Although the
defendants certified that their answer “was filed
electronically [and served by mail on anyone unable to accept
electronic filing];” Answer at 5; Al-Bukhari claims
that he never received a copy of the answer. Al-Bukhari's
motion (Doc. No. 43) is DENIED, but the
Clerk is ordered to mail one copy of the defendant's
answer (Doc. No. 38) to Al-Bukhari at his current address.
Motions for Extension of Time (Doc. Nos. 45, 47)
respect to his first motion for extension of time (Doc. No.
45), Al-Bukhari seeks an extension of time until January 8,
2019 to conduct necessary discovery. In the motion, however,
Al-Bukhari does not explain why the nine-month extension he
seeks is warranted in this particular case; again he included
three other of his cases in the case caption. Therefore, his
motion for extension of time to conduct discovery (Doc. No.
45) is DENIED without prejudice to refiling
with an explanation why an extension is warranted in this
respect to his second motion for extension of time (Doc. No.
47), Al-Bukhari seeks an extension of time to reply to the
defendants' opposition to his motion for injunctive
relief. (Doc. No. 40). The defendants, however, have not yet
responded to Al-Bukhari's motion in this particular case.
Therefore, the second motion for extension of time (Doc. No.
47) is DENIED without prejudice.
Motion to Amend/Correct ...