United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MATTHEW W. BRANN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se civil rights action was filed by Kylieff
Brown, an inmate presently confined at the State Correctional
Institution, Coal Township, Pennsylvania (SCI-Coal Twp.).
Named as Defendants are multiple members of the SCI-Coal Twp.
staff. Service of the Complaint was previously ordered.
claims stem from his contention that prison staff
intentionally interfered with his outgoing mail, failed to
protect his safety, and subjected him to other retaliatory
pending is a motion by Plaintiff requesting leave to add
eight (8) Defendants. See Doc. 13. The two (2) page
motion is neither accompanied by a supporting brief nor a
proposed amended complaint.
Original Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Original
Complaint for failure to state a claim. See Doc. 18.
There has been no response filed to the motion to amend by
the Original Defendants.
upon the relief sought by Brown's sparsely worded motion,
it will be construed as a motion to file an amended
complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides:
(a) Amendments Before Trial.
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
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.
Rule 15(a)(2) additionally provides that “[t]he court
should freely give leave when justice so requires.”
Since service of the Original Complaint was not yet
ordered, the Plaintiff may file an amended complaint as a
matter of right under Rule 15.
it is well settled that pro se litigants (such as
Brown) are to be afforded liberal treatment, Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and are to be
granted leave to file a curative amended complaint
“even when a plaintiff does not seek leave to amend,
” unless such an amendment would be inequitable or
futile. Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229, 235 (3d
Brown can file an amended complaint as a matter of right,
his unopposed motion to amend will be granted. He will be
directed to file a single all inclusive amended complaint
within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order which
adheres to the standards set forth herein. In light of that
determination, the pending motion to dismiss will be
dismissed as moot.
is advised that in order to state a viable civil rights
claim each named defendant must be shown, via the
complaint's allegations, to have been personally
involved in the events or occurrences which underlie a
claim. Rode v. Dellarciprete, 845 F.2d 1195, 1207
(3d Cir. 1988). The Supreme Court of the United States in
Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Unit, 507
U.S. 163, 167 (1993), noted that a § 1983 complaint
need only to comply “with the liberal system of
‘notice pleading' set up by the Federal
Rules.” Id. Brown must also exhaust
available administrative remedies with respect to each
claim he wishes to pursue before seeking relief in federal
Plaintiff is also reminded that his amended complaint must
be complete in all respects and is limited to claims
related to the allegations set forth in the Original
Complaint. It must be a new pleading which stands by itself
without reference to the complaint or submissions already
filed. The amended complaint should clearly identify each
Defendant, set forth the factual substance underlying
Brown's claims in short, concise and legible
statements, and specify the constitutional claims and
relief being sought. Brown is also advised that in order to
state a viable civil rights claim he must make a showing
that the conduct complained of was committed by a person
acting under color of law and that said conduct deprived
him of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the
Constitution or by a statute of the United States.
Cohen v. City of Philadelphia, 736 F.2d 81, 83 (3d
prerequisite for a viable civil rights claim is that a
defendant directed, or knew of and acquiesced in, the
deprivation of his constitutional rights. Gay v.
Petsock, 917 F.2d 768, 771 (3d Cir. 1990). This is the
personal involvement requirement. Liability may not be
imposed under § 1983 on the principle of
respondeat superior. See Rode, 845 F.2d at 1207 (a
defendant in a civil rights action must have personal
involvement in the alleged wrongs which can be shown
through allegations of personal direction or of actual
knowledge and acquiescence).
of the Plaintiff to timely submit an amended complaint or
otherwise respond to this Order will result in dismissal of
his action for failure to prosecute.
NOW, for the reasons set forth herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 13) seeking leave to file an
amended complaint is GRANTED.
Within twenty-one (21) days of the date of this Order,
Plaintiff may file a single, all inclusive Amended Complaint.
Failure of the Plaintiff to timely submit an amended
complaint or otherwise respond to this Order will result in
dismissal of his action for failure to prosecute.
Original Defendants' motion to dismiss the Original
Complaint (Doc. 18) is ...