United States District Court, D. Connecticut
LORETTA J. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
DANNEL MALLOY, ET AL. Defendant.
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
MICHAEL P. SHEA, U.S.D.J.
October 16, 2017, the plaintiff, Loretta J. Davis, brought a
civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against a litany of defendants for violating her rights under
the Fourteenth and First Amendments to the United States
Constitution, for intentional infliction of emotional
distress, and negligent supervision/failure to supervise.
(ECF No. 1; ECF No. 3). On February 5, 2018, the Court
dismissed the complaint, finding that the plaintiff's
federal law claims failed as a matter of law and declining to
exercise jurisdiction over her remaining intentional
infliction of emotional distress claim. (ECF No. 11). The
Court permitted the plaintiff to submit a motion to reopen
along with an amended complaint that (1) does not join
multiple, unrelated claims; and (2) sets out cognizable
federal-law claims. (Id.) Further, the Court
notified the plaintiff that failure to comply with these
instructions would result in dismissal of the case with
March 6, 2018, the plaintiff filed a motion to reopen and
file an amended complaint. (ECF No. 18). For the reasons set
forth below, the plaintiff's motion to reopen the case is
denied and the amended complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(ECF No. 8). As such, “the court shall dismiss the case
at any time” if the action “is frivolous or
malicious; fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted; or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
plaintiff is pro se, so I construe her pleadings
liberally. Sealed Plaintiff v. Sealed Defendant, 537
F.3d 185, 191 (2d Cir. 2008). “[A] pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Nevertheless,
even a pro se plaintiff 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. A claim has
“facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
Court's Initial Review Order, dated February 5, 2018, the
Court explained that the plaintiff's complaint set out a
series of unrelated claims and therefore failed to comply
with Rule 20. (ECF No. 11 at 2-4). The Court informed the
plaintiff that if she chose to file an amended complaint,
such complaint should “not join multiple, unrelated
claims.” (ECF No. 11). However, the plaintiff's
amended complaint still fails to comply with Rule 20.
permits joinder of claims against multiple defendants only if
two criteria are satisfied: (1) the claims “aris[e] out
of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences;” and (2) “any
question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise
in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). “In
construing the term ‘transaction or occurrence'
under Rule 20, many courts have drawn guidance from the use
of the same term in Rule 13(a), applying to compulsory
counterclaims.” Melvin v. Connecticut, No.
3:16-CV-537 (RNC), 2016 WL 3264155, at *2 (D. Conn. June 14,
2016) (quoting Barnhart v. Town of Parma, 252 F.R.D.
156, 160 (W.D.N.Y. 2008) (citation omitted)). The Second
Circuit has noted in the Rule 13 context that whether
separate claims arise out of “the same
‘transaction or occurrence'” turns upon
“whether the essential facts of the various claims are
so logically connected that considerations of judicial
economy and fairness dictate that all the issues be resolved
in one lawsuit.” Harris v. Steinem, 571 F.2d
119, 123 (2d Cir. 1978).
the plaintiff's original complaint, her amended complaint
sets forth a number of “separate and unrelated
[allegations], with [various events] occurring at different
times for different reasons with regard to different
agents.” Nassau Cty. Ass'n of Ins. Agents, Inc.
v. Aetna Life & Cas. Co., 497 F.2d 1151, 1154 (2d
Cir. 1974) (holding plaintiffs failed to comport with Rule
20). The plaintiff begins by explaining that her five-week
old daughter passed away from sudden infant death syndrome at
Yale New Haven Hospital on May 4, 1980. (ECF No. 18-1 at 7).
The next several pages of the amended complaint allege that
various individuals mishandled the remains of her child,
conducted an autopsy without her consent, failed to provide
her with information and records about the burial, and
removed her child's body from the grave after interment.
(Id. at 5-14).
plaintiff then sets out a series of allegations related to
her work history and participation in benefits programs. She
asserts that in the late 1990s, a Department of Labor (DOL)
grant for retraining was taken away by the Regional Work
Force Development Board in New Haven. (Id. at 15).
She alleges that she was “denied a right to receive and
participate in a federally funded educational program because
of [her] race and [her] age, ” and that when she filed
complaints, she faced retaliation from DOL representatives
and social workers. (Ibid). The plaintiff then
states that she became ill and lost her job in 1999.
(Id. at 16). She contends that over the next 15
years, a series of Department of Social Service (DSS)
representatives denied her benefits, improperly counted
earnings against her due to a computer glitch, failed to
comply with a 2003 fair hearing directive, and then
improperly terminated her food stamp/SNAP benefits in 2015.
(Id. at 16-17). She again alleges that she was
“treated differently than those similar” and was
denied the “right to participate in federally funded
program.” (Id. at 17).
the plaintiff sets out a series of allegations against
various health centers. These include claims of
“medical malpractice/negligence and intentional
infliction of emotional distress” against various
institutions. (Ibid). The plaintiff asserts that in
her interactions with these health care providers, she was
treated “differently than others similarly situated
because of her race and age.” (Id. at 18). She
also alleges that she was given experimental medications
during two pregnancies in 1982 and 1994 which led to very
serious medical conditions, including bone abnormalities,
breathing difficulties, and heart problems, in her and her
children. (Id. at 18-19). The plaintiff continues
with allegations against health care providers and doctors
for conduct related to a medical procedure for her lungs,
(Id. at 19-20), yearly exams, (Id. at 21),
a hand and thumb injury, (Id. at 21-24), and asthma,
(Id. at 23). She states that she filed a complaint
with the State of Connecticut Health Department and that it
denied her an opportunity to challenge the
“discriminatory health care” provided to her
“because of [her] race and age.” (Id. at
20-21). In addition, plaintiff alleges that “inaccurate
medical and psychiatric history” will “always
interfere with [her] right to be free from
discrimination.” (Id. at 25).
wide range of allegations-spanning nearly four decades, many
defendants, and many different types of claims-alone provides
sufficient reason for the Court to dismiss the
plaintiff's complaint. Melvin v. Connecticut, 16
Civ. 537 (RNC), 2016 WL 3264155, *2 (D. Conn. Jun. 14, 2016)
(dismissing complaint for failure to comply with Rule 20).
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