United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULINGS ON MOTIONS TO AMEND COMPLAINT AND FOR
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Scott Jones (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro
se and currently incarcerated at Garner Correctional
Institution (“Garner”) in Newtown, Connecticut,
has sued Captain Watson, Dr. Johnny Wu, Dr. Ruiz, and four
unidentified correctional officials (collectively
“Defendants”) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in
their individual and official capacities for damages alleging
deliberate indifference to adequate medical care.
Jones has moved to amend the Complaint and to take discovery.
Court GRANTS the motion to amend and
DENIES the motion to take discovery.
Jones initially sued Defendants in their individual and
official capacities. After initial review, this Court
permitted Mr. Jones' Eighth Amendment claim for
deliberate indifference to serious medical needs to proceed
against Defendants in their individual capacities for
damages. Initial Review Order, ECF No. 8. The Court dismissed
the claim against Defendants in their official capacities
because the Eleventh Amendment bars claims for damages
against state officials in their official capacities, and Mr.
Jones did not seek any injunctive or declaratory relief.
Id. at 4 (citing Kentucky v. Graham, 473
U.S. 159, 170 n.14 (1985); Abrams v. Erfe, No.
3:17-cv-1570 (CSH), 2018 WL 691714, *19 (D. Conn. Feb. 2,
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff
may amend the 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, No. 9:13-cv-1275
(FJS/TWD), 2015 WL 710544, *44 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 18, 2015). In
all other cases, a plaintiff may amend the 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).
26, as amended on December 1, 2015, recognizes that
“[i]nformation is discoverable . . . if it is relevant
to any party's claim or defense and is proportional to
the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Rule 26
Advisory Committee Notes to 2015 Amendments. Even after the
2015 amendments, “[r]elevance is still to be construed
broadly to encompass any matter that bears on, or that
reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on any
party's claim or defense.” Bagley v. Yale
Univ., No. 3:13-cv-01890 (CSH), 2015 WL 8750901, at *7
(D. Conn. Dec. 14, 2015) (citing State Farm Mutual
Automobile Insurance Co. v. Fayda, No. 14 Civ. 9792,
2015 WL 7871037 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 12, 2015)), at *2.
Amending a Pleading
Jones seeks to amend his Complaint. ECF No. 11. He seeks to
clarify various alleged factual errors as stated in the
Court's Initial Review Order, including the following:
(1) all actions of which he complains occurred at Cheshire
Correctional Institution (“Cheshire”), not
Garner; (2) all Defendants, with the exception of Dr. Wu,
work at Cheshire; (3) the Initial Review Order incorrectly
stated that Mr. Jones complained to a correction officer
about Nurse Doe 1's failure to bring him his asthma pumps
when, in fact, he complained to the medical unit about the
mistake; and (4) Mr. Jones only sued Dr. Ruiz in federal
court, not in state court. Id. at 1-2. Mr. Jones
also seeks to add claims against Defendants in their official
capacities for declaratory or injunctive relief so
“that no prisoner [will] be neglected and/or restricted
from [the] use of [asthma] pumps . . . to prevent this from
happening again and maybe causing someone's death next
time.” Id. at 2.
Mr. Jones has filed his motion to amend within twenty-one
days of service of the Complaint, he is entitled to amend as
a matter of right. Thus, the Court will grant the motion. Mr.
Jones however has not actually filed an Amended Complaint
reflecting the changes he wishes to make. Unless and until he
files an Amended Complaint, the Court will not accept any
amendments to the Complaint. Mr. Jones is, therefore, ordered
to file an Amended Complaint with any and all corrections to
his factual allegations within thirty (30) days from
the date of this Order.
Court also reminds Mr. Jones that he must identify the four
John/Jane Doe defendants in order to effect service on those
defendants in their ...