United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHARLES C. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
HARTFORD STATE'S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
A. Dooley United States District Judge
Statement of the Case
October 12, 2018, the plaintiff, Charles C. Williams, an
inmate currently confined at the Corrigan-Radgowski
Correctional Center in Uncasville, Connecticut, brought a
civil action pro se under 42 U.S.C.
§§§ 1983, 1985, and 1986 against the Hartford
State's Attorney's Office, the New Britain
State's Attorney's Office, the city of Hartford, the
Bail Commissioner's Offices in Hartford and New Britain,
and several members of the State's Attorney's Office,
the Bail Commissioner's Office, and the Hartford Police
Department. He claimed that the defendants violated his
rights under the United States Constitution and various state
and federal statutes by filing false sexual assault charges
against him, withholding exculpatory evidence, retaliating
against him, and denying him access to the courts, based on
their treatment of him during his state criminal proceedings
in 2013 and 2014.
October 25, 2018, this Court dismissed his complaint with
prejudice, holding that the doctrine of res judicata
barred his claims because the plaintiff previously filed a
nearly identical civil action in Williams v. Hartford
Police Dept., No. 3:15-CV-933 (AWT). Although some of
the defendants in the initial case were different than the
defendants named herein,  the claims in both cases stemmed from
the investigation and prosecution of his criminal case in
2013 and 2014. The Court, Thompson, J., dismissed
the initial action with prejudice after finding that the
plaintiff had defrauded the Court by doctoring an exhibit in
support of his opposition to a summary judgment motion.
See id., Ruling on Mot. for Sanction of Dismissal
(ECF#456). The plaintiff has since appealed Judge
Thompson's ruling, to the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals. Williams v. Hartford Police Dept., No.
18-2465 (2d Cir. 2018). On November 15, 2018, the plaintiff
filed the instant “Motion for Reconsideration” of
the Court's order dismissing the complaint. For the
following reasons, the motion for reconsideration is DENIED.
“A motion for reconsideration is committed to the sound
discretion of the court.” Kregos v. Latest Line,
Inc., 951 F.Supp. 24, 26 (D.Conn. 1996). In general, the
three grounds justifying reconsideration are “an
intervening change of controlling law, the availability of
new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent
manifest injustice.” Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. v.
Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir.
1992) (internal quotation marks omitted). “The standard
for granting [a motion for reconsideration] is strict, and
reconsideration will generally be denied unless the moving
party can point to controlling decisions or data that the
court overlooked matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
court.” Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70 F.3d
255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). “Such motions must be narrowly
construed and strictly applied in order to discourage
litigants from making repetitive arguments on issues that
have been thoroughly considered by the court.”
Range Rd. Music, Inc. v. Music Sales Corp., 90
F.Supp.2d 390, 391-92 (S.D.N.Y. 2000). The movant may also be
entitled to reconsideration if he can show that the court
overlooked material facts. U.S. v. Marte, No.
3:08-CR-00004 (JCH), 2015 WL 851843, at *1 (D. Conn. Feb. 26,
2015) (citing Eisemann v. Greene, 204 F.3d 393, 395
n.2 (2d Cir. 2000)). These strict requirements apply equally
to pro se litigants. Sonberg v. Niagara County
Jail, No. 08-cv-364 (JTC), 2013 WL 2468691, at *3
(W.D.N.Y. June 7, 2013).
other reasons, the plaintiff argues that the res
judicata doctrine does not bar the instant case because
this case is based on new facts which only came to light
while his first case was pending before Judge Thompson.
Specifically, he argues that he did not discover the
exculpatory evidence that the defendants allegedly withheld
during his criminal proceedings until after the defendants
filed a motion for summary judgment in the first civil
action. He contends that he could not have raised this claim
in his first civil action because he was obligated to respond
to the summary judgment motion and the defendants'
contention that he had fraudulently doctored evidence. These
are the purported “material facts” overlooked by
the court. The Court disagrees.
initial action filed by the plaintiff against many of the
same defendants in this case raised claims of malicious
prosecution, false arrest, obstruction of justice,
defamation, and libel against individuals involved in the
investigation and prosecution of his criminal case. See
Williams v. Hartford Police Dept., No. 3:15-CV-933
(AWT), Initial Review Order (ECF#8) at 1. That case was
pending for over three years. Even if the court accepts as
true that the plaintiff did not discover the defendants'
alleged action of withholding exculpatory evidence from his
criminal case until after he filed his first civil suit,
nothing prevented him from seeking leave in that case to
amend his complaint, extend discovery, and/or extend his
deadline to respond to the defendants' summary judgment
motion in order to incorporate the newly discovered claim.
Rather than properly investigate these issues as part of his
existing litigation, the plaintiff countered the
defendants' summary judgment motion with a fraudulent
exhibit for which Judge Thompson sanctioned him by dismissing
his case. He now seeks to evade that sanction by bringing his
plaintiff's arguments are without merit. The motion for
reconsideration of the order dismissing his complaint is
 The fact that the two cases were
brought against different defendants is insufficient to
preclude application of the res judicata doctrine.
See McCarroll v. U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, No.
3:11-CV-934 (VLB), 2012 WL 3940346, at *8 (D. Conn. Sept. 10,
2012) (party cannot avoid res judicata effect on
prior judgment by bringing suit against new defendant in
privity with original defendant). All of the defendants
listed in this case were allegedly involved in the
investigation and prosecution of the plaintiff's criminal
case in 2013 and 2014 as were the defendants in the initial
action, and some defendants are named ...