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Green v. Semple

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 4, 2019

COURTNEY GREEN, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT SEMPLE, ROLLIN COOK, CARLETON GILES, RICHARD SPARACO, OTERO, Defendants.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [DOC. 8]

          CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pro se plaintiff Courtney Green, currently incarcerated at Osborn Correctional Institution (“Osborn”) in Somers, Connecticut, filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants denied him equal protection of the laws by treating him differently from another inmate convicted of the same offense at a different time with regard to applying earned credits to advance his parole eligibility date. On May 7, 2019, pursuant to its screening duty under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court filed an “Initial Review Order” (herein “IRO”), which dismissed the case because Green failed to state a cognizable equal protection claim. See Green v. Semple, No. 3:19-CV-410 (CSH), 2019 WL 2016779, at *8 (D. Conn. May 7, 2019). Green responded by filing a motion for reconsideration of his case's dismissal. Doc. 8. The Court resolves that motion herein.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard for Reconsideration

         “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) (citations omitted). “[A] motion to reconsider should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided.” Id.

         As the Second Circuit explained, reconsideration “is not a vehicle for relitigating old issues, presenting the case under new theories, . . . or otherwise taking a ‘second bite at the apple'. . . .” Analytical Surveys, Inc. v. Tonga Partners, L.P., 684 F.3d 36, 52 (2d Cir. 2012) (quoting Sequa Corp. v. GBJ Corp., 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir.1998)). See also Fan v. United States, 710 Fed.Appx. 23, 24 (2d Cir. 2018) (“Reconsideration is not intended for the court to reexamine a decision or the party to reframe a failed motion.”) (citing Questrom v. Federated Dep't Stores, Inc., 192 F.R.D. 128, 130 (S.D.N.Y. 2000)).

         This District's Local Civil Rule 7 comports with the Supreme Court's holding in Shrader, and Second Circuit precedent. Rule 7(c)(1) thus states:

Motions for reconsideration shall not be routinely filed and shall satisfy the strict standard applicable to such motions. 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 overlooked.

D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(c)(1).

         B. Green's Motion

         At the outset, the Court notes that Green's motion for reconsideration is procedurally deficient for two reasons. First, it was filed more than “seven (7) days [after] the filing of the decision” from which Green seeks relief. D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 7(c)(1). The IRO was filed on May 7, 2019, and Green's motion for reconsideration was filed on May 20, 2019. In addition, the motion was not “accompanied by a memorandum setting forth concisely the controlling decisions or data [he] believes the Court overlooked.” Id. The motion thus fails by virtue of its non-compliance with Local Civil Rule 7(c).

         Nonetheless, and alternatively, were the Court to extend leniency to Green as an incarcerated pro se plaintiff, the motion must still be denied on its substance.[1] In seeking reconsideration, Green argues that he has stated a viable equal protection claim in his complaint because he alleges that he was “treated differently from those whom [sic] are similarly situated as him without any legitimate state objective by the government.” Doc. 8, ¶¶ 1-2. He asserts his belief that “the court may have overlooked” this claim. Id., ¶ 3. He also asks the Court to reconsider its order of dismissal and to allow him to amend his complaint.[2] Id., ¶ 8. Green, however, cites no controlling decisions and provides no factual allegations that the Court overlooked in analyzing his claim. He simply seeks to renew his claim because he disagrees with the Court's dismissal of his action. In the absence of any substantive basis for the Court to reconsider its IRO ruling, Green's motion for reconsideration [Doc. 8] will be denied.

         Because Green is pro se, the Court reiterates, in brief, that under the facts presented, he cannot state a plausible equal protection claim because there has been no unlawful, disparate application of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 54-125a(b) to him in light of the date he committed his offense, July 19, 2008. That date occurred before the Connecticut legislature amended Conn. Gen . Stat. § 54-125a(b) to allow RREC to be applied to advance an inmate's parole eligibility date. Therefore, at the time Plaintiff committed his offense, he could not have expected to receive such a benefit. Three years after Plaintiff's offense date, the Connecticut legislature granted that benefit, which Plaintiff received for two years (i.e., until the legislature eliminated it in 2013). Following the 2013 amendment to ยง 54-125a(b), Green was no longer eligible to have RREC apply ...


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