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Carrington Keys v. Jacqueline Carroll

February 22, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Caputo


Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. 123) of the Court's November 23, 2011 Order denying Plaintiff's Motions to Supplement his Complaint.*fn1 In the alternative, Plaintiff petitions for permission to file an interlocutory appeal. For the reasons below, the Motion will be denied and no interlocutory appeal will be granted.

I. Background

Plaintiff Carrington Keys is currently incarcerated at State Correctional Institution ("SCI") Camp Hill. Previously, while incarcerated at SCI Dallas, Keys lodged criminal complaints with the Luzerne County District Attorney's Office that he asserts were not investigated. In particular, Keys alleges that he forwarded information to District Attorney Jacqueline M. Carroll alleging involvement of the Correctional Defendants in the suicide of a fellow inmate, but that instead of investigating and/or prosecuting the Correctional Defendants, Defendant Carroll turned Plaintiff's complaint over to prison officials who then retaliated against Plaintiff through assault, harassment, and deprivation of mail.

Keys filed his initial Complaint in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas against various prison officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, assault, mail tampering, retaliation, and failure to prosecute. The Defendants removed the action to federal court. (Doc. 1). Defendants to this lawsuit include: Jeffrey A. Beard, Secretary of the Department of Corrections; Michael Klopotoski, the Regional Deputy Secretary for the Department of Corrections; SCI Dallas Superintendent Jerome Walsh; SCI Dallas Deputy Superintendent Vincent Mooney; Joseph Zakkarauskas, Robert McCoy, Lawrence Pudlosky, Elmore Angelope and Nancy Fedor, all employees at SCI Dallas ("Correctional Defendants"); and Jacqueline Musto Carroll, the former District Attorney for Luzerne County.

As a result of his complaints to the District Attorney's Office, Plaintiff claims he was subjected to verbal and physical harassment from Corrections Officers ("CO") Pudlosky and McCoy who manufactured false misconduct reports to conceal their abuse. Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Carroll is that she had an unconstitutional policy of sending prisoner criminal complaints back to their respective institutions in order to endanger the inmates who authored them and to make them disappear. Plaintiff argues that this indifference to his federal rights amounted to a state created danger, and that Defendant Carroll had constructive knowledge of the culture of lawlessness her actions were promoting within the prisons. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants Beard, Klopotoski, Walsh, Mooney, and Zakkarauskas were deliberately indifferent in training their Officers as to constitutional policies, and that they affirmatively established policies and practices that encouraged interference with prisoners' right to petition for redress of grievances.

Pursuant to the Court's November 23, 2011 Order, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Doc. 125) on December 6, 2011. In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff argues Defendant's actions were in violation of his rights to: (1) be secure in his person and property under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments; (2) to petition for redress of grievances under the First Amendment; (3) to be free of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment; (4) equal protection under the First and Fourteenth Amendments; and (5) substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Keys also claims assault and battery under state law and that Defendant Carroll's actions amounted to a state created danger under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Plaintiff seeks a permanent inunction and monetary damages as against all Defendants.

Plaintiff's Motion seeks Reconsideration of my November 23, 2011 Order (Doc. 119) denying two of Plaintiff's Motions to Supplement (Docs. 34 and 62). Plaintiff Keys's Motion was accompanied by a brief in support and Defendant Carroll filed a brief in opposition (Doc. 134).*fn2 This Motion is now ripe for the Court's consideration.

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standard

1. Motion to Supplement

Plaintiff Carrington Keys contests my November 23, 2011 Order denying his Motion to Supplement his Complaint. Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15(d), "upon motion of a party the court may, upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit the party to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions or occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented." In referring to events that occurred after the original pleading was filed, a supplemental pleading differs from an amendment, which covers matters that occurred before the filing of the original pleading but were overlooked at the time. Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. Lake Shore Land Co., Inc., 610 F.2d 1185, 1188 (3d Cir. 1979).

A motion to supplement is governed by essentially the same standards as a motion to amend a complaint. Holmes v. Bledsoe, No. 4:cv-10-1043, 2011 WL 292851 at *6 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 26, 2011). Such a pleading is left "to the sound discretion of the trial court and should be freely granted when doing so will promote the justiciable disposition of the case, will not cause undue prejudice or delay or trial inconvenience and will not prejudice the rights of any parties to the action." Bates v. Western Elec., 420 F. Supp. 521, 525 (E.D. Pa. 1976) (citing Wright and Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil ยง 1504 at 542-43). Unless the court finds "undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant or undue prejudice to the opposing party an appropriate exercise of a court's ...

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