United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
December 6, 2018, this Court issued an Initial Review Order
("IRO"), dismissing a number of the claims made in
Plaintiff Carvaughn Johnson's Amended Complaint, [Doc. 6,
the "Am. Compl."]. Johnson v. Maurer, No.
3:18-cv-694 (CSH), 2018 WL 6421059 (D. Conn. Dec. 6, 2018).
The Court allowed claims against Defendants Captain Ogando
and Syed Johar Naqvi in their personal capacities to proceed.
Id. at *18-19. Claims against all other defendants
were dismissed. Id. at *18.
proceeding pro se, now moves for the Court to
reconsider the IRO, asking to reinstate Tim Bombard and Rikel
Lightner as defendants and to add a claim of cruel and
unusual punishment against Defendant Naqvi. Doc. 10
("Reconsideration Mtn.") ¶ 6. This motion was
not timely filed. However, given the special solicitude for
pro se litigants, the Court has nonetheless examined
Plaintiff's motion. The Court's conclusions in the
IRO remain unchanged upon a review of the information in the
motion and a revisitation of Plaintiff's operative
STANDARD OF REVIEW FOR PRO SE LITIGANTS
respect to pro se litigants, it is well-established
that "[p]ro se submissions are
reviewed with special solicitude, and 'must be construed
liberally and interpreted to raise the strongest arguments
that they suggest.'" Matheson v. Deutsche Bank
Nat'l Tr. Co., 706 Fed.Appx. 24, 26 (2d Cir. 2017)
(quoting Triestman v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470
F.3d 471, 474 (2d Cir. 2006) (per curiam)). See also
Sykes v. Bank of Am., 723 F.3d 399, 403 (2d Cir. 2013)
(same); Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d
Cir. 2010) (discussing special rules of solicitude for
pro se litigants). The federal courts' special
solicitude towards pro se litigants "also
embraces relaxation of the limitations on the amendment of
pleadings, leniency in the enforcement of other procedural
rules, and deliberate, continuing efforts to ensure that a
pro se litigant understands what is required of
him." Tracy, 623 F.3d at 101 (2d Cir. 2010)
(citations omitted) (collecting cases).
motions for reconsideration, this District's Local Rules
Such motions will generally be denied unless the movant can
point to controlling decisions or data that the court
overlooked in the initial decision or order. In circumstances
where such motions are appropriate, they shall be filed and
served within seven (7) days of the filing of the decision or
order from which such relief is sought, and shall be
accompanied by a memorandum setting forth concisely the
controlling decisions or data the movant believes the Court
D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(c). The Second Circuit has explained
that "[t]he major 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) (citations omitted). This
standard is "strict," and reconsideration should be
granted only if "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). If "the moving party [is] seek[ing] solely
to relitigate an issue already decided," the court
should deny the motion for reconsideration and adhere to its
prior decision. Id.
certified that his motion for reconsideration was
electronically filed on February 1, 2019. Reconsideration
Mtn. at 18. Given that the IRO was issued on December 6,
2018, Plaintiff has undoubtedly missed the seven-day period
to move for reconsideration as set forth by the Local Rules.
However, the Court will nonetheless examine the arguments put
forth in his motion due to his status as a pro se
litigant. See also Palmer v. Sena, 474 F.Supp.2d
353, 354 (D. Conn. 2007) ("A failure to timely file a
motion for reconsideration may constitute sufficient grounds
for denying the motion; however, courts have exercised their
discretion to address even untimely motions.").
Deliberate Indifference Claims Against Bombard and
asks that Tim Bombard and Rikel Lightner be reinstated as
defendants, alleging claims of deliberate indifference to his
medical needs. Reconsideration Mtn. ¶¶ 1-2. He
offers a recitation of events not detailed in the Amended
Complaint and attaches evidence "to give the Court a
better understanding of events" and "to enable the
Court to fully view Plaintiff's complaint(s)[.]"
Reconsideration Mtn. at 1. Case law bars consideration of
these events because they are not "new evidence,"
but, in any case, they do not persuade the Court that it
should modify the conclusions in the IRO.
the limited bases upon which a motion for reconsideration may
be granted is the "availability of new evidence."
Virgin Atl. Airways, 956 F.2d at 1255. Evidence is
"new" if it is "truly newly discovered or
could not have been found by due diligence." Space
Hunters, Inc. v. United States, 500 Fed.Appx. 76, 81 (2d
Cir. 2012) (citing United States v. Potamkin Cadillac
Corp., 697 F.2d 491, 493 (2d Cir. 1983)). Plaintiff
filed his Complaint on April 23, 2018, [Doc. 1], and then an
Amended Complaint on October 9, 2018, [Am. Compl.]. The
Court's IRO was based upon the Amended Complaint.
Johnson v. Maurer, No. 3:18-cv-694 (CSH), 2018 WL
6421059, at *1 (D. Conn. Dec. 6, 2018).
Plaintiff's motion discusses events that occurred in 2017
and early 2018, so it is unclear why neither the original nor
amended complaint mentioned the incidents that Plaintiff
raises in the instant motion. Reconsideration Mtn.
¶¶ 1-2. In addition, while it could be the case
that Plaintiff did not have access to the supporting exhibits
until after the Court issued the IRO, they are still not new
because he could have discussed their contents in the
complaints regardless. The Amended Complaint detailed
Plaintiff's numerous attempts to obtain medical care
without supporting documentation, and the Court had treated
these allegations as true for the purposes of the IRO.
Because the Motion for Reconsideration does not contain
"new evidence," case law prevents the Court from
considering the "new" accusations against Bombard
and Lightner on this basis.
as it may, the Court may grant reconsideration if there is
clear error or manifest injustice. Virgin Atl.
Airways, 956 F.2d at 1255. Plaintiff has not pointed to
any possible clear errors in the IRO. The Court will thus
examine whether the events as described in Plaintiff's
instant motion, coupled with those in his Amended Complaint,