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Milhouse v. Fasciana

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 21, 2018

KAREEM HASSAN MILHOUSE, Plaintiff
v.
FRANCIS FASCIANA, et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          Yvette Kane Yvette Kane, District Judge.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Kareem Hassan Milhouse (“Plaintiff”), an inmate currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary at McCreary, Pine Knot, Kentucky (“USP-McCreary”), filed this Bivens-styled action on October 10, 2014. (Doc. No. 1.) On March 21, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiff's seventh motion for a preliminary injunction in this matter. (Doc. No. 70.) Plaintiff appealed that Order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on April 5, 2016. (Doc. No. 75.) Subsequently, on April 19, 2016, this Court issued an Order staying this matter pending the outcome of Plaintiff's appeal. (Doc. No. 87.) In its April 19, 2016 Order, this Court specifically provided that this matter was stayed other than with respect to the filing of Defendants' answer or other responsive pleading. (Id.) The Order stated that if “Defendants file a dispositive motion in lieu of an answer, the Defendants['] supporting brief, statement of facts, etc., will be due within 45 days of the date the Court of Appeals issues its decision.” Id. On May 4, 2016, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment in lieu of an answer. (Doc. No. 89.)

         On January 22, 2018, the Third Circuit affirmed this Court's March 21, 2016 denial of Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. (Doc. No. 125.) Accordingly, Defendants' supporting brief and statement of facts were due on or before March 8, 2018. On March 20, 2018, the Court issued an Order directing Defendants to file their brief and statement of facts in accordance with Local Rule 56.1 within ten days of said Order. (Doc. No. 127.) Defendants filed their brief in support and statement of facts on March 23, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 128, 129.) On April 5, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to file a brief in opposition (Doc. No. 130), a motion to reinstate docket numbers 64, 82, 93, and 94 (Doc. No. 131), and a brief in support of his motion to reinstate (Doc. No. 132).

         Plaintiff requests that this Court reinstate his: (1) motion to amend/supplement his complaint to add additional claims against Defendants and also to add additional Defendants and new claims (Doc. No. 64); (2) brief in support of his motion to amend/supplement his complaint (Doc. No. 82); (3) second motion to amend/supplement his complaint (Doc. No. 93); and (4) brief in support of his second motion to amend/supplement his complaint (Doc. No. 94). This Court deemed Plaintiff's motion to amend/supplement his complaint (Doc. No. 64), withdrawn due to Plaintiff's failure to file a supporting brief pursuant to Local Rule 7.5 (Doc. No. 74). The Court denied Plaintiff's second motion to amend/supplement (Doc. No. 93), as Plaintiff had previously filed an appeal with the Third Circuit, and that appeal was currently pending. (Doc. No. 99.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         Plaintiff's motion to reinstate necessitates that the Court analyze his motion to amend/supplement. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 states that “[a] party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served . . . Otherwise a party may amend the party's pleading only by leave of court . . . and leave shall be freely given when the justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Whether to grant or deny such a motion is within the district court's discretion. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). A court may deny a motion for leave to amend if “(1) the moving party has demonstrated undue delay, bad faith, or dilatory motives, (2) the amendment would be futile, or (3) the amendment would prejudice the other party.” Fraser v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 352 F.3d 107, 116 (3d Cir. 2003). Mere delay will not warrant the denial of a motion for leave to amend “absent a concomitant showing of undue prejudice or bad faith.” Zygmuntowicz v. Hospitality Invs., Inc., 151 F.R.D. 53, 55 (E.D. Pa. 1993). Prejudice has been defined as “undue difficulty in prosecuting a position as a result of a change in tactics or theories.” Id.

         Further, an application for leave to file a supplemental pleading, like an application for leave to amend a complaint, is considered within the sound discretion of the trial court. Bates v. Western Elec., 420 F.Supp. 521, 525 (E.D. Pa. 1976). Factors to be considered by the Court include whether supplementation will promote the economic and speedy disposition of the entire controversy, whether supplementation will unnecessarily delay or inconvenience the resolution of the matter, and whether supplementation will prejudice the rights of the parties to the action. Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Reinstate

         The Court finds difficulty in considering Plaintiff's brief in support of his motion to reinstate (Doc. No. 132), as anything resembling a proper brief in support of his motion. See Local Rule 7.8 (providing that “[b]riefs shall contain complete citations of all authorities relied upon”). Plaintiff's brief contains five sentences setting forth a brief procedural history of the case and two sentences requesting that this Court reinstate Docket Numbers 64, 82, 93, and 94. (Doc. No. 132.) Accordingly, it contains no factual or legal argument or citations in support of his motion. While the Court could deem Plaintiff's motion to reinstate withdrawn, it will deny the motion to reinstate on the merits of the motion.

         Plaintiff seeks to reinstate a previous motion to supplement and amend his complaint by asserting additional claims against the named Defendants, and setting forth additional Defendants and claims against the proposed new Defendants. (Doc. No. 64.) However, upon careful consideration of the factors outlined above regarding both amendments to a complaint and supplements to a complaint, the Court is constrained to deny the motion to reinstate, as allowing Plaintiff to amend or supplement his complaint at this stage of the instant litigation would not promote the interests of justice in the disposition of the case, would cause undue delay, and would unfairly prejudice Defendants.

         Moreover, in reviewing Plaintiff's proposed amended/supplemental complaint (Doc. No. 64 at 2-3), the claims Plaintiff wishes to add against the named Defendants and the proposed Defendants involve a purported failure to provide or treat a back/spine condition experienced by Plaintiff. (Id.) This claim is vastly different than the conduct complained of in Plaintiff's instant complaint. (Id.) Additionally, the proposed amended/supplemented incidents appear to have occurred beginning in 2010, four years prior to the date that Plaintiff filed the instant complaint and more than six years prior to the date Plaintiff filed his motion to amend/supplement. (Id.) To the extent that Plaintiff argues that the amendments relate back pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c), the Court rejects such an argument.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c) provides that “[a]n amendment to a pleading relates back to the date ...


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