United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge.
30, 2015, Plaintiff Kendall Hudson ("Hudson"), an
inmate formerly confined at the State Correctional
Institution, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, initiated the instant
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Named as
Defendants are correctional officers Carberry, Moeller,
Collins, Killeen and Reeder, hearing examiners Kot and
Wilson, and Superintendent Harry. (Id. at pp. 2-3).
On September 8, 2015, Defendants filed an answer to the
original complaint. (Doc. 15). On October 8, 2015, Hudson
filed an amended complaint wherein he named the eight
originally named Defendants, as well as newly named
Defendants Digby, Kuzar, and Cleaver. (Doc. 22). On January
4, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 as to the
claims in the original complaint. For the reasons set forth
below, Hudson's proposed amended complaint will be
accepted and the motion for summary judgment will be
dismissed without prejudice to Defendants' right to renew
the motion as to the amended complaint.
filing of an amended complaint is governed by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15(a):
(1) Amending as a Matter of Course. A party may
amend its pleading once as a matter of course within:
(A) 21 days after serving it, or
(B) if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is
required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or
21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or
(f), whichever is earlier.
(2) Other Amendments. In all other cases, a party
may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's
written consent or the court's leave. The court should
freely give leave when justice so requires.
Civ. P. 15(a). This Court's Local Rules require that a
proposed amended pleading accompany a motion. See
M.D. Pa. Local Rule 15.1(a). The "amended pleading must
be retyped or reprinted so that it will be complete in
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has
adopted a liberal approach to the amendment of pleadings in
order to ensure that "a particular claim will be decided
on the merits rather than on technicalities." Dole
v. Arco Chem. Co., 921 F.2d 484, 486-87 (3d Cir. 1990).
Amendment, however, is not automatic. See Breiner v.
Litwhiler, 245 F.Supp.2d 614, 623 (M.D. Pa. 2003)
(citing Dover Steel Co., Inc. v. Hartford Accident
and Indent, 151 F.R.D. 570, 574 (E.D. Pa. 1993)).
Leave to amend should be granted absent a showing of
"undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part
of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by
amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of the allowance of the amendment,
futility of amendment, etc." Foman v. Davis,
371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); see also Oran v. Stafford,
226 F.3d 275, 291 (3d Cir. 2000). Futility of amendment
occurs when the complaint, as amended, does not state a claim
upon which relief can be granted. See In re Burlington
Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1434 (3d Cir.
on the procedural history of this case, the Court finds that
Hudson may file an amended complaint as a matter of course.
Hudson's original complaint was filed on June 30, 2015.
(Doc. 1). Defendants filed their answer to the original
complaint on September 8, 2015. (Doc. 15). Hudson then filed
a proposed amended complaint on October 19, 2015. (Doc. 22).
In light of Hudson's pro se status, the proposed
amended complaint will be accepted under the provisions of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1)(B).
Court must also consider whether accepting the proposed
amended complaint would result in prejudice to the
Defendants. Prejudice may result under Rule 15(a) when a
proposed amendment "would result in additional
discovery, cost, and preparation to defend against new facts
or new theories." Cureton v. Nat'l Collegiate
Athletic Ass'n, 252 F.3d 267, 273 (3d Cir. 2001)
(citations omitted). Leave to amend should be granted unless
equitable considerations render it otherwise unjust.
Arthur v. Maersk, Inc., 434 F.3d 196, 204 (3d Cir.
2006) (citations omitted). Factors that may justify denying
leave to amend are undue delay, bad faith, and futility.
Id. The Court finds that accepting Hudson's
proposed amended complaint would not result in prejudice to
the Defendants. In the proposed amended complaint, Hudson
names the eight originally named Defendants and sets forth
the same allegations against those Defendants. Hudson clearly
identifies, by numbered paragraph, each allegation that was
set forth in the original complaint and re-alleged in the
proposed amended complaint. (Doc. 22, ¶¶ 3-49, 54,
58-60). Hudson also seeks to add constitutional claims
against three new Defendants relating to the same conduct in
the original complaint. Hudson clearly identifies each new
allegation set forth in the proposed amended complaint. (Doc.
22, ¶¶ 50-53, 55-57). Hudson did not exhibit any
undue delay in filing his proposed amended complaint, nor did
he act in bad faith or with improper motive.
Court notes that, as a matter of law, an amended complaint
takes the place of the original complaint, effectively
invalidating any original complaint. See Palakovic v.
Wetzel,854 F.3d 209, 220 (3d Cir. 2017) ("in
general, an amended pleading ... supersedes the earlier
pleading and renders the original pleading a nullity").
Thus, any motion challenging the original complaint is now
moot. See 6 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller
& Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice & Procedure §
1476 (2d ed. 1990) ("A pleading that has been amended
... supersedes the pleading it modifies. . . . Once an
amended pleading is interposed, the original pleading no
longer performs any function in the case and any subsequent
motion made ...