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Jupiter v. United States

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

November 21, 2014

CLARENCE JUPITER, Plaintiff
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

Clarence S. Jupiter, Plaintiff, Pro se, Atwater, CA.

For United States Of America, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Food Service Department, Health Services Department, Defendants: Justin Blewitt, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. Attorney's Office, Scranton, PA.

Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge. (Judge Caputo).

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Martin C. Carlson, United States Magistrate Judge.

I. Statement of Facts and of the Case.

" There are no second acts in American lives." F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald's observation regarding the absence of second acts in life embraces a fundamental truth both in life and in litigation. In litigation, as in life, one typically does not have the option of doing the same thing over and over again. This is a lesson which has apparently been lost on the plaintiff in this case, Clarence Jupiter, who now seeks to try the same case twice.

The pro se plaintiff is a federal prisoner, who was formerly housed at the United States Penitentiary-Canaan in the summer of 2011. On June 10, 2013, Jupiter filed a complaint in this Court against the United States in Jupiter v. United States, Civil No. 3: 13-CV-1544, alleging that in June of 2011 the prison served inmates chicken fajitas. According to the plaintiff, the chicken was bad, and was tainted with salmonella bacteria. Consequently, the plaintiff contracted food poisoning, and suffered excruciating pain and symptoms which included headaches, diarrhea, abdominal pains, nausea, chills, vomiting, inability to eat and profuse sweating. Alleging negligence on the part of the prison in the preparation and service of this food, the plaintiff brought this action seeking damages from the United States, pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2675, et seq .

On May 28, 2014, this Court dismissed Jupiter's original complaint without prejudice, citing Jupiter's failure to fully exhaust his administrative tort remedies prior to filing this lawsuit. Jupiter v. United States, Civil No. 3:13-CV-1544. (Doc. 44.) The following day, May 29, 2014, Jupiter executed a settlement agreement with the United States, settling his claims arising out of this food poisoning episode. (Doc. 18, sealed.)

This settlement agreement provided in clear and precise terms that Jupiter would forego any and all claims arising out of this incident in return for the payment of a sum of money by the United States, stating:

2. [This] sum shall be in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, arising from, and by reason of any and any known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries, damage to property and the consequences thereof, resulting, and to result, from the subject matter of this settlement, including any claims for wrongful death, for which plaintiff or his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, and each of them, now have or may hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees.
3. Plaintiff and his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns hereby agree to accept the sums set forth in this Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, including claims for wrongful death, arising from, and by reason of any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries, damage to property and the consequences thereof which they may have or hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees on account of the same subject matter that gave rise to the above-captioned action, including any future claim or lawsuit of any kind or type wha1soever, whether known or unknown, and whether for compensatory or exemplary damages. Plaintiff and his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns further agree to reimburse, indemnify and hold harmless the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees from and against any and all such causes of action, claims, liens, rights, or subrogated or contribution interests incident to or resulting from further litigation or the prosecution of claims by plaintiff or his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns against any third party or against the United States, including claims for wrongful death.
4. The parties further understand and agree that all individual defendants who have been named in this case are dismissed from the case with prejudice, and that no claims against any individual defendants arising from the acts and allegations complained of in the complaint survive this settlement agreement and release.

(Doc. 18.)

Despite Jupiter's express commitment in this settlement agreement to forego any further claims arising out of this incident, less than one month later, on June 23, 2014, the plaintiff sought a second act in this litigative drama, when he filed this pro se complaint seeking damages the government as a result of this food poisoning episode. (Doc. 1.) The United States has now moved to dismiss Jupiter's second act in this litigation, arguing that the settlement of Jupiter's first case precludes him from relitigating this matter. (Docs. 11 and 12.) Jupiter has responded to this motion, (Docs. 14 and 15.), and has also filed a motion to further amend his complaint to add individual government employees to this new lawsuit. (Doc. 16.) Jupiter takes this action even though he has agreed in writing that " no claims against any individual defendants arising from the acts and allegations complained of in the complaint survive this settlement agreement and release" in his prior lawsuit. (Doc. 18.) Therefore, these two motions are ripe for resolution.

For the reasons set forth below, it is recommended that this motion to dismiss be granted, and Jupiter's motion to amend be denied.

II. Discussion

A. Motion to Dismiss-- Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, in whole or in part, if the plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. With respect to this benchmark standard for legal sufficiency of a complaint, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has aptly noted the evolving standards governing pleading practice in federal court, stating that:

Standards of pleading have been in the forefront of jurisprudence in recent years. Beginning with the Supreme Court's opinion in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) continuing with our opinion in Phillips [v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 230 (3d Cir. 2008)]and culminating recently with the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) pleading standards have seemingly shifted from simple notice pleading to a more heightened form of pleading, requiring a plaintiff to plead more than the possibility of relief to survive a motion to dismiss.

Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 209-10 (3d Cir. 2009).

In considering whether a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, the court must accept as true all allegations in the complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom are to be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Jordan v. Fox Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, Inc., 20 F.3d 1250, 1261 (3d Cir. 1994). However, a court " need not credit a complaint's bald assertions or legal conclusions when deciding a motion to dismiss." Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). Additionally a court need not " assume that a ... plaintiff can prove facts that the ... plaintiff has not alleged." Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal. v. California State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526, 103 S.Ct. 897, 74 L.Ed.2d 723 (1983). As the Supreme Court held in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), in order to state a valid cause of action a plaintiff must provide some factual grounds for relief which " requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of actions will not do." Id. at 555. " Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

In keeping with the principles of Twombly, the Supreme Court has underscored that a trial court must assess whether a complaint states facts upon which relief can be granted when ruling on a motion to dismiss. in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009), the Supreme Court held that, when considering a motion to dismiss, a court should " begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Id. at 679. According to the Supreme Court, " [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Id. at 678.

Thus, following Twombly and Iqbal a well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere legal labels and conclusions. Rather, a complaint must recite factual allegations sufficient to raise the plaintiff's claimed right to relief beyond the level of mere speculation. As the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has stated:

[A]fter Iqbal, when presented with a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, district courts should conduct a two-part analysis. First, the factual and legal elements of a claim should be separated. The District Court must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions. Second, a District Court must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a'plausible claim for relief.' In other words, a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief. A complaint has to 'show' such an entitlement with its facts.

Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210-11.

As the court of appeals has also observed: " The Supreme Court in Twombly set forth the 'plausibility' standard for overcoming a motion to dismiss and refined this approach in Iqbal. The plausibility standard requires the complaint to allege 'enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.' Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955. A complaint satisfies the plausibility standard when the factual pleadings 'allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.' Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949 ( citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955). This standard requires showing 'more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.' Id. A complaint which pleads facts 'merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, [ ] 'stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of " entitlement of relief." '" Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 220-21 (3d Cir. 2011) cert. denied, 132 S.Ct. 1861, 182 L.Ed.2d 644 (U.S. 2012).

In practice, consideration of the legal sufficiency of a complaint entails a three-step analysis: " First, the court must 'tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.' Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1947. Second, the court should identify allegations that, 'because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.' Id. at 1950. Finally, 'where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.' Id. " Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010).

In considering a motion to dismiss, the court generally relies on the complaint, attached exhibits, and matters of public record. Sands v. McCormick, 502 F.3d 263, 268 (3d Cir. 2007). The court may also consider " undisputedly authentic document[s] that a defendant attached as an exhibit to a motion to dismiss if the plaintiff's claims are based on the [attached] documents." Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993). Moreover, " documents whose contents are alleged in the complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleading, may be considered." Pryor v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 288 F.3d 548, 560 (3d Cir. 2002); see also, U.S. Express Lines, LTD. v. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 388 (3d Cir. 2002) (holding that " [a]lthough a district court may not consider matters extraneous to the pleadings, a document integral to or explicitly relied upon in the complaint may be considered without converting the motion to dismiss in one for summary judgment."). However, the court may not rely on other parts of the record in determining a motion to dismiss. Jordan v. Fox, Rothschild, O'Brien & Frankel, 20 F.3d 1250, 1261 (3d Cir. 1994). Therefore, in this case, we find that we may consider the terms of the undisputed settlement and release executed by the parties in Jupiter v. United States, Civil No. 3:13-CV-1544, in resolving this motion.

B. Jupiter's Claims Are Barred By His Prior Settlement Agreement

In this case the defendant asserts that Jupiter's second act in this litigation is barred by the terms of his settlement of the prior lawsuit arising out of this same incident. We agree.

This motion to dismiss calls upon us to construe the preclusive effect of the global and encompassing release signed by Jupiter when he settled his prior lawsuit arising out of this food poisoning episode. As we have noted, that release was sweeping in its scope. This release expressly stated that it was " in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, arising from, and by reason of any and any known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries, damage to property and the consequences thereof, resulting, and to result, from the subject matter of this settlement, including any claims for wrongful death, for which plaintiff or his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns, and each of them, now have or may hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees." (Doc. 18, ¶ 2.) It further provided that: " Plaintiff and his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns hereby agree to accept the sums set forth in this Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, including claims for wrongful death, arising from, and by reason of any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries, damage to property and the consequences thereof which they may have or hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees on account of the same subject matter that gave rise to the above-captioned action, including any future claim or lawsuit of any kind or type wha1soever, whether known or unknown, and whether for compensatory or exemplary damages." (Id., ¶ 3.) Finally, it explicitly stated that: " The parties further understand and agree that all individual defendants who have been named in this case are dismissed from the case with prejudice, and that no claims against any individual defendants arising from the acts and allegations complained of in the complaint survive this settlement agreement and release." (Id., ¶ 4.)

It is well-settled that, when construing the terms of a general release, federal courts in Pennsylvania are guided by Pennsylvania law. Three Rivers Motor Co. v. Ford Motors Co., 522 F.2d 885, 892 (3d Cir. 1975). Moreover, " in Pennsylvania, the general rule for construction of releases is that the intention of the parties must govern, but this intention must be gathered from the language of the release. Evans v. Marks, 421 Pa. 146, 218 A.2d 802 (1966). A signed release is binding upon the parties unless executed and procured by fraud, duress, accident or mutual mistake. Kent v. Fair, 392 Pa. 272, 140 A.2d 445 (1958)." Id.

This rule generally upholding the validity of general releases applies with equal force to releases executed in the settlement of civil rights claims. As this Court has previously observed:

A contract that releases potential . . . federal civil rights claims, is valid if it was knowingly and voluntarily executed. See Coventry v. U.S. Steel Corp., 856 F.2d 514, 522 (3d Cir.1988), superseded by statute on other grounds. To consider whether a release is valid, the Third Circuit directs courts to consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding its execution, and to do so district courts should consider the following nonexhaustive factors: (1) the clarity and specificity of the release language; (2) the plaintiff's education and business experience; (3) the amount of time the plaintiff had for deliberation about the release before signing it; (4) whether plaintiff knew or should have known his rights upon execution of the release; (5) whether plaintiff was encouraged to seek, or in fact received benefit of counsel; (6) whether there was an opportunity for negotiation of the terms of the agreement; and (7) whether the consideration given in exchange for the waiver and accepted by the employee exceeds the benefits to which the employee was already entitled by contract or law. Cirillo v. Arco Chem. Co., 862 F.2d 448, 451 (3d Cir.1988) (citing Coventry, 856 F.2d at 523). Courts should also consider " whether there is evidence [that the employer procured the release through] fraud or undue influence, or whether enforcement of the release would be against the public interest." Cuchara v. Gai-Tronics Corp., 129 Fed.Appx. 728, 731 (3d Cir.2005).

Gregory v. Derry Twp. School Dist., No. 09-780, 2010 WL 146332, *5 (M.D.Pa. Jan. 11, 2010).

When construing the effect of a general release: " First, a court must look to the language of the release. In examining the language of a release, the terms of the release will be given their ordinary meaning unless a different meaning was clearly intended. In addition, the language of the release must be viewed in the context of the entire document. See, e.g., Harrity v. Medical College of Pennsylvania Hosp., 439 Pa.Super. 10, 21, 653 A.2d 5 (1994). Each part of the release must be given effect." Bickings v. Bethlehem Lukens Plate, 82 F.Supp.2d 402, 405 (E.D.Pa., 2000)(some citations omitted). Thus, a party may not pick and choose only those portions of a settlement that are convenient and seek selective enforcement of a settlement and release.

Furthermore, " [a] party asserting mutual mistake must show that a mistake was made by all parties to the release. See 8 Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia § 84 ('A mutual mistake is one common to both or all parties ...'). Cf. Miller v. Houseworth, 387 Pa. 346, 127 A.2d 742, 744 (1956) ('A person who seeks to rectify a deed on the ground of mistake must establish, in the clearest and most satisfactory manner, that the alleged intention to which he desires it to be made conformable continued concurrently in the minds of all parties down to the time of its execution.') (citations omitted). In addition, '[r]eformation of the release would require a showing of ... mutual mistake by clear, precise, and convincing evidence.' Wolbach v. Fay, 488 Pa. 239, 412 A.2d 487, 488 (1980)." Crestar Mortg. Corp. v. Shapiro 937 F.Supp. 453, 460 (E.D.Pa. 1996)(emphasis in original). Similarly, it is clear that:

In Pennsylvania, a release is effective absent fraud, duress, accident or mutual mistake. Buttermore v. Aliquippa Hosp., 522 Pa. 325, 329-30, 561 A.2d 733, 735 (1989); Holmes v. Lankenau Hosp., 426 Pa.Super. 452, 627 A.2d 763, 767 (1993), app. denied, 538 Pa. 671, 649 A.2d 673 (1994); Popovich v. Empire Beauty Schs., Inc., 567 F.Supp. 1440, 1442 (E.D.Pa.1983). Duress is not found when there is simple financial pressure. Three Rivers Motors Co. v. Ford Motor Co., 522 F.2d 885, 893 (3d Cir.1975). Rather, the pleader must allege threats of physical harm to show duress. Id. (citing Carrier v. Wm. Penn Broadcasting Co., 426 Pa. 427, 430-31, 233 A.2d 519 (1967)); Killian v. McCulloch, 873 F.Supp. 938, 943 (E.D.Pa.1995).

Williams v. Stone, 923 F.Supp. 689, 691 (E.D.Pa. 1996).

Judged against these standards, Jupiter's efforts to avoid compliance with the general release which he signed by filing a second lawsuit arising out of this incident clearly fail. At the outset, the plain language of the release is clear and concise, and clearly precludes any further claims against either the United States or individual government employees arising out of this incident. By expressly including government employees in the release, Jupiter and the defendant agreed to forego any further Bivens constitutional tort claims which may only be leveled against government officials as individuals.

Nor can Jupiter avoid the plain, and plainly preclusive, effect of the settlement agreement which he signed. Jupiter has not alleged, or shown, any mutual mistake, duress, fraud or accident. Instead, he simply argues that the release somehow permitted him to bring these Bivens claims against the United States and individual defendants. The difficulty with this proposition is that it is contradicted by the plain language of the settlement agreement. That agreement included a release which provided in clear and precise terms that: " Plaintiff . . . agree[s] to accept the sums set forth in this Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature . . . arising from, and by reason of any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries . . . which [he] may have or hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees on account of the same subject matter that gave rise to the above-captioned action, including any future claim or lawsuit of any kind or type whatsoever, whether known or unknown, and whether for compensatory or exemplary damages. " (Doc. 18, ¶ 3.)(emphasis added.)

Here, by its terms, the release signed by Jupiter expressly released the United States, and all individual government officials, from any and all claims arising out of this episode. Given the clear terms of this release, Jupiter cannot now claim that he has reserved the right to re-litigate this matter against either the United States or any individual government employees, in some different guise, and his complaint should be dismissed.

C. Jupiter's Motion to Amend Should Be Denied

This finding, in turn, dictates the outcome of Jupiter's motion to amend this complaint, a motion that seeks to add individual defendants to a claim that Jupiter previously expressly agreed he may not bring. Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs amendments and supplementation of pleadings. Fed. R. Civ. P., Rule 15. Rule 15(a) authorizes a party to amend his pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days after serving it, or if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of the responsive pleading, or 21 days after service of a dispositive motion under Rule 12, whichever is earlier. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(A) and (B). " In all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent, or the court's leave, " which courts are to freely give " when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).

Consistent with the plain language of this rule, leave to amend rests in the discretion of the court. That discretion, however, is governed by certain basic principles, principles that are embodied in Rule 15. In this regard, while Rule 15 provides that leave to amend should be freely given when justice so requires, the district court still retains broad discretion to deny a motion to amend, Bjorgung v. Whitetail Resort, LP, 550 F.3d 263 (3d Cir. 2008); Cureton v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass'n., 252 F.3d 267 (3d Cir. 2001), and may deny a request:

if the plaintiff's delay in seeking to amend is undue, motivated by bad faith, or prejudicial to the opposing party. Adams, 739 F.2d at 864. Delay becomes " undue, " and thereby creates grounds for the district court to refuse leave, when it places an unwarranted burden on the court or when the plaintiff has had previous opportunities to amend. Cureton, 252 F.3d at 273 (citing Adams, 739 F.2d at 868; Lorenz v. CSX Corp., 1 F.3d 1406, 1414 (3d Cir.1993)). Thus, our review of the question of undue delay . . . will " focus on the movant's reasons for not amending sooner, " Cureton, 252 F.3d at 273, and we will balance these reasons against the burden of delay on the District Court. Coventry v. U.S. Steel Corp., 856 F.2d 514, 520 (3d Cir.1988).

Bjorgung v. Whitetail Resort, LP, supra, 550 F.3d at 266.

Furthermore, " '[a]mong the grounds that could justify a denial of leave to amend are undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, prejudice, and futility.' In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1434 (3d Cir.1997) ('Burlington'); Lorenz v. CSX Corp., 1 F.3d 1406, 1413-14 (3d Cir.1993). 'Futility' means that the complaint, as amended, would fail to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Burlington, 114 F.3d at 1434." Shane v. Fauver, 213 F.3d 113, 115 (3d Cir. 2000). Moreover, a party seeking to supplement pleadings must act in a diligent fashion. Thus, for example, " [a] District Court has discretion to deny a plaintiff leave to amend where the plaintiff was put on notice as to the deficiencies in his complaint, but chose not to resolve them. Rolo v. City Investing Co. Liquidating Trust, 155 F.3d 644, 654 (3d Cir.1998)." Krantz v. Prudential Investments Fund Management LLC, 305 F.3d 140, 144 (3d Cir. 2002).

Finally, in every instance, the exercise of this discretion must be guided by the animating principle behind Rule 15, which is " to make pleadings a means to achieve an orderly and fair administration of justice." Griffin v. County School Bd. of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218, 227, 84 S.Ct. 1226, 12 L.Ed.2d 256 (1964). Therefore, in considering a motion to amend we must always " appl[y] Rule 15 . . . in a manner aimed at securing the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." CMR D.N. Corp. v. City Of Philadelphia, No. 07-1045, 2011 WL 857294, *4 (E.D.Pa. March 11, 2011)(Stengel, J.).

Guided by these animating principles, we recommend that this motion to amend be denied since Jupiter's proposed amendment, which would add individual government official defendants to this lawsuit is an exercise in futility given Jupiter's written agreement that: " Plaintiff and his guardians, heirs, executors, administrators, or assigns hereby agree to accept the sums set forth in this Stipulation for Compromise Settlement and Release in full settlement and satisfaction of any and all claims, demands, rights, and causes of action of whatsoever kind and nature, including claims for wrongful death, arising from, and by reason of any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen bodily and personal injuries, damage to property and the consequences thereof which they may have or hereafter acquire against the United States of America, its agents, servants, and employees on account of the same subject matter that gave rise to the above-captioned action, including any future claim or lawsuit of any kind or type wha1soever, whether known or unknown, and whether for compensatory or exemplary damages; " (Doc. 18, ¶ 3.), and his prior express assurance that: " The parties further understand and agree that all individual defendants who have been named in this case are dismissed from the case with prejudice, and that no claims against any individual defendants arising from the acts and allegations complained of in the complaint survive this settlement agreement and release." (Id., ¶ 4.)

Indeed, to permit amendment of the complaint in this setting would do violence to the cardinal animating principle behind Rule 15, which is " to make pleadings a means to achieve an orderly and fair administration of justice." Griffin v. County School Bd. of Prince Edward County, 377 U.S. 218, 227, 84 S.Ct. 1226, 12 L.Ed.2d 256 (1964). Therefore, in considering a motion to amend we must always " appl[y] Rule 15 . . . in a manner aimed at securing the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." CMR D.N. Corp. v. City Of Philadelphia, No. 07-1045, 2011 WL 857294, *4 (E.D.Pa. March 11, 2011)(Stengel, J.). Allowing this amendment would enable Jupiter to break a promise, after enjoying the benefits of that promise, and would expose government officials to personal liability as well as the cost, and inconvenience of litigation based solely upon Jupiter's unwillingness to abide by his express written commitments. Such a course would be antithetical to the goals advanced by Rule 15 to apply the rule " in a manner aimed at securing the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action." CMR D.N. Corp. v. City Of Philadelphia, No. 07-1045, 2011 WL 857294, *4 (E.D.Pa. March 11, 2011)(Stengel, J.). Therefore, this motion to amend should be denied.

III. Recommendation

Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, IT IS RECOMMENDED that the motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint, (Doc. 11.), be GRANTED, and the plaintiff's motion to amend (Doc. 16.) be DENIED.

The Parties are further placed on notice that pursuant to Local Rule 72.3:

Any party may object to a magistrate judge's proposed findings, recommendations or report addressing a motion or matter described in 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1)(B) or making a recommendation for the disposition of a prisoner case or a habeas corpus petition within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy thereof. Such party shall file with the clerk of court, and serve on the magistrate judge and all parties, written objections which shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations or report to which objection is made and the basis for such objections. The briefing requirements set forth in Local Rule 72.2 shall apply. A judge shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made and may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge, however, need conduct a new hearing only in his or her discretion or where required by law, and may consider the record developed before the magistrate judge, making his or her own determination on the basis of that record. The judge may also receive further evidence, recall witnesses or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.

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