IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
April 6, 2011
RASHEEN NIFAS PLAINTIFF,
BRIAN V. COLEMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Bissoon
Plaintiff Rasheen Nifas ("Plaintiff") currently is an inmate incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Fayette"). Plaintiff brings this lawsuit pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 et seq. In his complaint (Doc. 3), Plaintiff alleges violations of his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States perpetrated by a litany of Defendants. Id. at 1-2. Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") on November 8, 2010 (Doc. 2).
This order addresses three of Plaintiff's pending motions. This first is Plaintiff's motion to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 10). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1)(A) allows a Plaintiff to amend his complaint once as a matter of course within 21 days of service. Because the complaint has not yet been served, this motion will be granted.
The second motion to be addressed is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Reduction of Copies for Complaint (Doc. 4). Citing his poverty, and apparent concerns regarding the running of the statute of limitations on some of his claims on November 28, 2010,*fn1 Plaintiff seeks leave from this Court to limit the number of copies of the complaint that he must submit.*fn2
Rule 4(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a defendant must be served a copy of the complaint. Indeed, constitutionally sufficient service -- which requires informing defendants of the causes of actions against them -- is necessary in order for a federal court to acquire in personam jurisdiction over an individual or entity. See, e.g., Lampe v. Xouth, Inc., 952 F.2d 697, 701 (3d Cir. 1991). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explicitly list "insufficient process" and "insufficient service of process" as defenses to a cause of action. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(4) -- (5).
Failure by Plaintiff to provide services copies of his complaint for all Defendants would require this Court to dismiss his claims against any Defendants that were not properly served. Additionally, it is impermissible for the Court to make service copies of the complaint itself. See, e.g., Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147, 159-60 (3d Cir. 1993) (holding that even plaintiffs proceeding IFP are required to bear the costs of their own litigation -- at least initially). It was Plaintiff's choice to file a lengthy complaint against a host of Defendants, and this Court notes that indigent inmates are granted ten dollars of free postage per month.
DC-ADM 803 § 1.C.2.a.1. This motion therefore will be denied.
Finally, Plaintiff filed a motion, (Doc. 11), seeking an order on a prior report and recommendation issued by this Court, (Doc. 7), recommending dismissal of this civil action due to Plaintiff's failure to prosecute. That report has been terminated. Thus, this motion will be denied as moot.
AND NOW, this 6th day of April, 2011,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Plaintiffs' motion to file an amended complaint (Doc. 10) is GRANTED. The clerk's office is directed to file the amended complaint attached to said motion.
IT IS FUTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a Reduction of Copies for Complaint (Doc. 4) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 72(a)(b) (Doc. 11) is DENIED as MOOT.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the parties are allowed until April 20, 2011, to appeal this order to a district judge pursuant to Rule 72.C.2 of the Local Rules for Magistrates. Failure to timely appeal may constitute waiver of the right to appeal.
Cathy Bissoon Cathy Bissoon United States Magistrate Judge
RASHEEN NIFAS CA-4950 S.C.I. Fayette P.O. Box 9999 LaBelle, PA 15450