United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
Pupo Lenihan United States Magistrate Judge
initial review, the Court finds that Plaintiff's
Complaint does not comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, and, therefore, it is necessary for Plaintiff to
file an amended complaint that complies with those Rules and
the following instructions.
for Filing an Amended Complaint
Caption and Heading
caption should include the name of the court, the parties,
their capacities (i.e., whether they are being sued in their
individual or representative (official) capacity), and the
title of the pleading (i.e., Amended Complaint). To do this,
Plaintiff must place his full name at the top left of the
amended complaint and also add the names of each defendant.
Plaintiff must name as defendants
only those persons who are
responsible for the alleged constitutional
Jurisdiction and Venue
Because federal court is a court of limited jurisdiction,
Plaintiff must inform the Court why the case should be heard
in federal court rather than state court or some other forum.
If Plaintiff's action is generally one for a violation of
civil rights, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will normally be the
basis for the claim. In order for Plaintiff's action to
be heard in federal court under Section 1983, he must be able
to show that the defendant(s), at the time of the claims
alleged in the amended complaint, were acting under the
authority or color of state law.
must also explain why he is suing specifically in this Court.
Venue in federal court is by district. To learn more about
venue, see 28 U.S.C. § 1391. If this is the incorrect
venue, then the Court may automatically transfer this case to
the correct venue.
person initiating the lawsuit, Plaintiff must identify
himself as such. Also, for each
defendant named in the amended complaint, Plaintiff should
list their current address and description of their
employment. In addition, Plaintiff should explain briefly how
or in what capacity each defendant acted under authority
given to them by state or local government.
Statement of Facts
the time to present the facts of the case: what happened,
where it happened, when it happened, how it happened and who
was involved. In this section, Plaintiff should write a
summary of the facts relevant to this lawsuit. Additionally,
any document referred to in this section must be cited as an
exhibit and attached at the end of the amended complaint.
section, Plaintiff must provide specific details of precisely
how his civil rights were allegedly violated. Plaintiff
should note that, in civil rights cases, more than conclusory
and vague allegations are required to state a cause of action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff should clearly
describe how each named defendant
is involved in the alleged constitution violation(s). This
description should include references to relevant
dates, times, and locations. It
should explain to the Court what happened by specifically
describing each defendant's
behavior or action and how that behavior or action - or lack
of action - resulted in the alleged violations. Plaintiff
should not include legal argument in his amended complaint.
Citations to case law and other statutes are not appropriate
in the complaint, but rather may be included in a response to
a dispositive motion or at the time of trial. However,
Plaintiff should be specific about the particulars of the
event, each defendant's
misconduct, and how such misconduct resulted in a violation
or denial of the civil right at issue.
the amended complaint includes more than one incident,
Plaintiff should clearly distinguish between them by
preparing a separate description - usually a paragraph - for
each incident. Each incident should be identified as a
separate count, and each count must include appropriate facts
and evidence in support of the claims made in the count. Each
incident must be clearly and specifically described; it
should include the relevant time, date, and location. Each
incident description also should clearly identify the
relevant defendant and what that defendant's role was ...