The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S.D.J.
OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff has moved for reconsideration of a portion of this Court's
Opinion and Order denying defendants' motion to dismiss. See Ford v.
McGinnis, No. 00 Civ. 3437, 2000 WL 1808729, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 11,
2000). In particular, plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the following
To the extent plaintiff seeks damages for mental
anguish, those claims are dismissed. See Wright v.
Miller, 973 F. Supp. 390 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (prisoners
are not entitled to damages for mental anguish under
42 U.S.C. § 1997e (e)).
Defendants object to reconsideration on the ground that
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 ("PLRA") "bars civil rights
suits seeking damages for alleged constitutional violations where the
inmate-plaintiff alleges no physical injury in the first instance and
instead suffers only emotional and mental injury." Defendants' Memorandum
of Law in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider Dismissal of
Claims for Mental Anguish at 3. For the following reasons, plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration is granted in part.
A. Section 1997e (e) — Applicability
Section 1997e (e), which was enacted by Congress as part
of the PLRA, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-66 (1996), provides:
LIMITATION ON RECOVERY: No Federal civil action may be
brought by a prisoner confined in a jail, prison, or
other correctional facility, for mental or emotional
injury suffered while in custody without a prior
showing of physical injury.
Plaintiff urges this Court to find the statute ambiguous and cites
Mason v. Schriro, 45 F. Supp.2d 709, 717 (W.D. Mo. 1999), for the
alternative ways the phrase "for mental or emotional injury" can be
interpreted. See Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiff's
Motion for Reconsideration ("P1. Mem.") at 13-15. If ambiguous, this
Court could look to the legislative history surrounding the statute to
discern Congress' intent. See Mason, 45 F. Supp. 2d at 717 ("If,
however, a statute is susceptible to more than one reasonable
interpretation, then the reviewing court must look beyond the language of
the statute in an effort to ascertain the intent of the legislative
body."). I conclude, however, that the statute is not ambiguous. Resort
to legislative history is therefore unnecessary. See Nussle v. Willette,
224 F.3d 95, 100-01 (2d Cir. 2000) ("[T]he language of a ...