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Haynes v. Sisto

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 13, 2009

ROBERT HAYNES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
D.K. SISTO, T. SEQUIRA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Susan P. Graber United States Circuit Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner who is proceeding pro se. Plaintiff has filed a motion to amend his complaint to replace two John Doe defendants with Defendant J. Tilton, Inspector General of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Defendant V. Singh, Associate Warden at California State Prison, Solano. Plaintiff has provided sufficient factual allegations to state a claim for relief against those two defendants.

A plaintiff may amend his complaint before trial once as a matter of course, as long has he has not yet been served with a responsive pleading. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1)(A). The court previously construed Plaintiff's motion for judicial notice as an amendment to the complaint, so Rule 15(a)(1)(A) no longer applies. However, Rule 15(a)(2) provides that a party may amend its pleading, after exhausting its amendment as a matter of course, with the consent of the opposing parties or with the court's leave. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Leave is freely granted "when justice so requires." Id. Accordingly, the court grants Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint to add two defendants. Relation back of the amendment to the date of the original pleading is not necessary because California's two-year statute of limitations for actions brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 has not expired. See Jones v. Blanas, 393 F.3d 918, 927 (9th Cir. 2004).

Plaintiff has requested two additional USM-285 forms, corresponding to the two new defendants. Plaintiff's request for two additional USM-285 forms is granted. Plaintiff does not need an additional summons for the two new defendants; only one summons needs to be completed.

Finally, Plaintiff has requested information about the procedure for properly serving three defendants who have retired from service at California State Prison, Solano, since Plaintiff filed his original complaint. Defendants' retiree status does not affect their ability to be sued for the acts alleged in the complaint because Plaintiff brought suit against all Defendants in their official capacities. However, the court is unable to provide Plaintiff with the forwarding addresses for Defendants. Plaintiff should attempt to obtain the forwarding addresses by promptly seeking discovery through the California Public Records Act, Cal. Gov. Code §§ 6253-6253.1, or other means available to Plaintiff, such as a formal request to prison authorities.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. Plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint to add two defendants is granted. 2. The Clerk shall send Plaintiff two additional USM-285 forms. Plaintiff must return all four completed USM-285 forms, the completed summons, the completed Notice of Submission of Documents, and three copies of the endorsed complaint within 30 days of the filing of this order, unless an extension is obtained from this court for good cause.

20090313

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