United States District Court, D. Connecticut
CHARLES C. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
HARTFORD, et al. Defendants
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION RE: MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
A. Dooley United States District Judge
Statement of the Case
December 18, 2017, the plaintiff, Charles C. Williams, a
prisoner in the custody of the Connecticut Department of
Correction (“DOC”), filed a complaint pro
se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the city of
Hartford, Hartford Police Detective Cheryl Gogins, and DOC
Correction Officer Nancy Quiros. He filed an amended
complaint on July 9, 2018. After initial review, the Court,
Thompson, J., permitted the plaintiff's First
Amendment retaliation claim to proceed against Gogins and his
Fourth Amendment unreasonable search claim to proceed against
Gogins and Quiros. The Court dismissed the claim against the
city of Hartford.
October 15 and 24, 2018, Gogins and Quiros filed separate
motions to dismiss the claims against them under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). This Court granted the motions
to dismiss the claims for damages against both defendants,
concluding that the plaintiff had failed to sufficiently
allege their personal involvement in the constitutional
deprivations. Mem. of Decision Re: Mots. To Dismiss
(“Mem. of Decision”) (DE#63) at 5, 8-9.
Thereafter, the plaintiff filed the instant motion for
reconsideration of the Court's dismissal order. Quiros
countered with a written opposition to the plaintiff's
motion. For the following reasons, the motion for
reconsideration is GRANTED but the requested relief is DENIED
except as set forth herein.
for reconsideration “will generally be denied unless
the movant can point to controlling decisions or data that
the [C]ourt overlooked - matters, in other words, that might
reasonably be expected to alter the conclusion reached by the
[C]ourt.” Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc., 70
F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995); see also D. Conn.
Local Rule 7(c); Sonberg v. Niagara County Jail, No.
08-CV-364 (JTC), 2013 WL 2468691, at *3 (W.D.N.Y. Jun. 7,
2013) (reconsideration generally granted only upon showing of
exceptional circumstances). “[G]ranting a motion for
reconsideration is only justified if there is an intervening
change in controlling law, newly discovered evidence, or the
need to correct clear error or prevent manifest
injustice.” U.S. v. Marte, No. 3:08-CR-00004
(JCH), 2015 WL 851843, at *1 (D. Conn. Feb. 26, 2015) (citing
Virgin Atl. Airways, Ltd. v. Nat'l Mediation
Bd., 956 F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)). The movant may
also be entitled to reconsideration if he can show that the
court overlooked material facts. Id. (citing
Eisemann v. Greene, 204 F.3d 393, 395 n.2 (2d Cir.
2000)). Reconsideration is not appropriate, however, when the
movant seeks to relitigate the same issues or present the
case under a new legal theory. See Sequa Corp. v. GBJ
Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir. 1998); see also
Horsehead Resource Development Co., Inc. v. B.U.S.
Environmental Services, Inc., 928 F.Supp. 287, 289
(S.D.N.Y. 1996) (“[A] motion for reconsideration may
not be used to plug gaps in an original argument . . . or to
argue in the alternative once a decision has been
made”) (citations omitted) (internal quotations
omitted). These requirements apply equally to pro se
litigants. Sonberg, 2013 WL 2468691, at *3.
purposes of this ruling, this Court incorporates the factual
allegations as stated in its memorandum of decision on the
motions to dismiss and does not include them herein.
plaintiff first argues that, in dismissing his constitutional
claims, the Court erred by failing to construe his
allegations liberally in accordance with well-established
Second Circuit jurisprudence. He is wrong. The Court
specifically recognized that “[w]here . . . [a]
complaint was filed pro se, it must be construed
liberally with ‘special solicitude' and interpreted
to raise the strongest claims that it suggests.” Mem.
of Decision at 2 (quoting Hogan v. Fischer, 738 F.3d
509, 515 (2d Cir. 2013)). The Court's decision resulted
from the Plaintiff's failure to make necessary
allegations, not a misconstruing of the allegations that he
did make. See Mem. of Decision at 6, 8-9.
First Amendment Retaliation Claim
Court dismissed the plaintiff's First Amendment
retaliation claim against Gogins because the complaint, read
as whole, did not include allegations demonstrating that she
had stolen, intercepted, confiscated or otherwise interfered
with the plaintiff's mail. Mem. of Decision at 6. There
were no allegations that Gogins directed any DOC official to
steal or improperly take possession of the plaintiff's
mail. Id. Thus, the complaint did not adequately
demonstrate that Gogins had any personal involvement in the
alleged retaliatory adverse action. In fact, the email relied
upon by the Plaintiff demonstrated the contrary - that she
did not. As the Court noted, “personal involvement of
defendants in alleged constitutional deprivations is a
prerequisite to an award of damages under [section]
1983.” Mem. of Decision at 6 (quoting Wright v.
Smith, 21 F.3d 496, 501 (2d Cir. 1994)). The Court sees
no reason to revisit the issue and the plaintiff has not
identified any controlling law or facts which the court
overlooked. The motion for reconsideration as to the First
Amendment claim is denied.
Fourth Amendment Claim
the Court dismissed the Fourth Amendment claim against both
defendants because the plaintiff failed to allege facts
showing that either of them were personally involved in ...