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Henderson v. Tuttle

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

May 10, 2019

MARK A. HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
LIEUTENANT TUTTLE, et al., Defendants.

          RULING ON PENDING MOTIONS

          Stefan R. Underhill United States District Judge.

         On May 11, 2018, the plaintiff, Mark A. Henderson, an inmate currently confined at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, Connecticut, filed an amended civil rights complaint pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against five Connecticut Department of Correction (“DOC”) officials claiming violations of his Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Am. Compl., Doc. No. 13. I permitted his Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force and inhumane conditions of confinement to proceed against three of the defendants in their individual capacities for damages: Lieutenant Tuttle, Lieutenant Blackstock, and Warden Faneuff. Initial Review Order, Doc. No. 14, at 10. The defendants answered the amended complaint on January 4, 2019. Answer, Doc. No. 27. The following motions are pending in this action:

Henderson’s Motion to File Second Amended Complaint, Doc. No. 17
Henderson’s Motion for Prejudgment Disclosure of Assets, Doc. No. 21
Henderson’s Motion for Prejudgment Remedy, Doc. No. 22
Henderson’s Motions for Contempt, Doc. Nos. 24, 31
Henderson’s Motions for Telephonic Status Conference, Doc. Nos. 34, 36, 38
Henderson’s Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery, Doc. No. 35
Defendants’ Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery, Doc. No. 37

         I. Motion to Amend Complaint (Doc. No. 17)

         A plaintiff may amend his 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). In all other cases, the plaintiff may amend his 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 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).

         Henderson has already amended his complaint, and thus, seeks leave to file a second amended complaint in what appears to be an attempt to cure the deficiency of his claim for injunctive relief. He sought an injunction ordering the defendants to provide him with orthopedic examination and treatment for an injury to his right leg, which he allegedly suffered from the defendants’ action of placing him in in-cell restraints. See Am. Compl., Doc. No. 13 at 14. I dismissed the claim for injunctive relief because (1) Henderson had been transferred out of the facility where the alleged Eighth Amendment violations occurred, and (2) he failed to allege any facts showing that he informed the defendants about his leg injury. Initial Review Order, Doc. No. 14 at 6. Although he alleges additional facts regarding his leg injury in the proposed second amended complaint, Henderson has not cured either of those factual deficiencies. There are no allegations that defendants Tuttle, Blackstock, and Faneuff ever became aware of Henderson’s leg injury. The Eighth Amendment claims against them are grounded in their use of pepper spray without justification and their decision to place him in a restrictive confinement cell with extremely unsanitary conditions. See Id. at 7-9. Thus, because Henderson has failed to cure the factual deficiencies of his claim for injunctive relief, his motion to file a second amended complaint (doc. no. 17) is DENIED. The case will proceed on the amended complaint, Doc. No. 13.

         II. Motions for Prejudgment Disclosure of Assets and Remedy (Doc. Nos. 21, 22)

         Before the defendants answered the amended complaint, Henderson filed a motion for prejudgment disclosure of the defendants’ assets and a prejudgment remedy in the amount of $9,000. Mot. Prej. Discl., Doc. No. 21; Mot. Prej. Remedy, Doc. No. 22. He argues that “there is probable cause that a judgment will be rendered . . . in [his] favor” and requests a hearing to determine whether such probable cause exists. Mot. for Prej. Discl., Doc. No. 21 at 1. The defendants filed objections to both motions, contending that the State of Connecticut has indemnified them pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 5-141d, and therefore, the disclosure of assets ...


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