United States District Court, N.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
Lawrence E. Kahn U.S. District Judge
before the Court is pro se Plaintiff Charles Brooks's
Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Decision and
Order dated March 31, 2016. Dkt. Nos. 67 (“March
Order”), 73 (“Motion”). Plaintiff also
filed a supplemental memorandum in support of the Motion for
Reconsideration, including several exhibits. Dkt. Nos. 77
(“Supplemental Memorandum”), 78
(“Supplemental Exhibits”). Defendants submitted a
response to the Motion and the Supplemental Memorandum, Dkt.
No. 79 (“Opposition”), and Brooks filed a reply,
Dkt. No. 81 (“Reply”). For the following reasons,
the Motion is denied.
Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the facts and
history of this case and recites only those facts necessary
to the resolution of the pending Motion. Brooks is
involuntarily confined at Central New York Psychiatric Center
(“CNYPC”), and he commenced this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging multiple constitutional
violations arising out of his confinement. Compl. ¶ 38.
Defendants filed three separate motions to dismiss, which
addressed some, but not all, of Brooks's claims. Dkt.
Nos. 42, 47, 60 (“Motions to Dismiss”). The March
Order-which Brooks now asks the Court to reconsider-addressed
two sets of claims: (1) Fourteenth Amendment due process
claims against multiple defendants for unauthorized
disclosure of Brooks's private medical records, and (2)
First Amendment retaliation claims alleging that multiple
defendants retaliated against Brooks after he filed a
complaint under the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996
(“HIPAA”). March Order at 6, 9. The Court dismissed
Brooks's Fourteenth Amendment due process claims against
all defendants, and it dismissed his First Amendment
retaliation claims against all but one defendant.
Id. at 8, 10, 12.
4, 2016, Brooks filed the present Motion for Reconsideration
of the Court's March Order. Mot. Brooks does not specify
the legal authority under which he moves for reconsideration,
but under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) federal
district courts retain the right to reconsider an
interlocutory order “at any time before the entry of a
judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties'
rights and liabilities.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); see
also Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 103
F.Supp.3d 542, 545 (S.D.N.Y. 2015) (“The district court
. . . ‘is vested with the power to revisit its
decisions before the entry of final judgment . . .
.'” (quoting Transaero, Inc. v. La Fuerza Aerea
Boliviana, 99 F.3d 538, 541 (2d Cir. 1996))). Because
the March Order is interlocutory, Rule 54(b) is the only
appropriate basis for reconsideration.
district, Local Rule 7.1(g) sets the deadline to file a
motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order:
“[A] party may file and serve a motion for
reconsideration or reargument no later than FOURTEEN DAYS
after the entry of the challenged judgment, order, or
decree.” Here, Brooks's Motion was filed more than
fourteen days after the March Order, and it is therefore
untimely under Local Rule 7.1(g). Nevertheless, in light of
Brooks's pro se status, the Court will consider the
merits of the Motion.
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). Thus, reconsideration “should
not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to
relitigate an issue already decided.” Id.
Accordingly, a court should generally refrain from revising
its earlier decisions “unless there is ‘an
intervening change of controlling law, the availability of
new evidence, or the need to correct a clear error or prevent
a manifest injustice.'” Official Comm. of
Unsecured Creditors of Color Tile, Inc. v. Coopers &
Lybrand, LLP, 322 F.3d 147, 167 (2d Cir. 2003) (quoting
Virgin Atl. Airways v. Nat'l Mediation Bd., 956
F.2d 1245, 1255 (2d Cir. 1992)).
Motion, Brooks advances three different arguments for
reconsideration: (1) the Court “erred by wrongly
interpreting the facts [and] absolv[ing] the defendants of
their misconduct, ” (2) the Court mistakenly ignored
and dismissed Brooks's First Amendment retaliation
claims, and (3) the Court failed to acknowledge Brooks's
due process claim. Mot. at 2, 7, 17.
first argument refers to an incident on January 8, 2012, in
which he was allegedly physically assaulted by CNYPC staff
members. Compl. ¶ 42. In a January 13, 2015
Report-Recommendation reviewing the Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), U.S. Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece
recognized several potential claims arising out of the events
that occurred on January 8, 2012. Dkt. No. 17
(“Report-Recommendation”) at 8-9. Specifically,
Judge Treece found that the Complaint required a response to
the following claims related to the January 8, 2012
incident: excessive use of force as to defendants
Allen, Kunz, Parrish, and Hollenbeck; failure to intervene
and protect as to defendants Farnum and Creaser-Smith;
retaliation against each of those defendants, as their
actions may have been in response to Brooks's HIPAA
complaint; and failure to train and supervise as to
defendants Hogan, Nowicki, Gonzalez, and Sawyer (the
“Supervisory Defendants”). Id. In the
March Order, the Court dismissed all claims against the
Supervisory Defendants and dismissed the retaliation claims
against all Defendants, except for Allen. March Order at 12.
appears to misunderstand the result of the March Order. He
argues at length that defendants Allen and Creaser-Smith
should not be “absolved of their misconduct” on
January 8, 2012, Mot. at 4-7, but, as Defendants acknowledge
in their Opposition, the majority of the claims against those
defendants have not been dismissed, Opp'n at 2-3. In
particular, excessive use of force claims as to defendants
Allen, Kunz, Parrish, and Hollenbeck, and failure to
intervene and protect claims as to defendants Farnum and
Creaser-Smith, were not dismissed. To the ...