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Anaya v. Campbell

June 9, 2009

RICHARD ERNEST ANAYA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROSEANNE CAMPBELL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a civil rights action. Pending before the court are plaintiff's motion for leave to amend filed April 20, 2009, and April 30, 2009. For the following reasons, these motions are denied.

Background

In the original complaint filed January 5, 2007, plaintiff complained of medical care at Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP). Plaintiff raised a variety of claims, including that he should have been housed in a single cell for medical reasons. Plaintiff also alleged that defendants were refusing to provide him with knee surgery, a walking cane, a knee brace, grab rails to use the toilet and a private bathroom. On June 25, 2007, the court ordered service of this complaint. On August 9, 2007, and August 17, 2007, defendants filed motions to dismiss.

On November 21, 2007, plaintiff filed a notice of change of address indicating that he had been transferred from MCSP to High Desert State Prison (HDSP).

On December 5, 2007, the court, in large part, granted the motions to dismiss with leave to amend.

On May 29, 2008, plaintiff filed an amended complaint raising his claims against the defendants at MCSP and challenging the medical care he was receiving at HDSP. The claims raised against the defendants at HDSP were similar to those raised against the defendants at MCSP. On June 26, 2008, the court ordered the MCSP defendants to respond to the amended complaint and separately ordered service of the HDSP defendants. On August 26, 2008, the MCSP defendants filed an answer to the amended complaint. On December 4, 2008, and January 22, 2009, the HDSP filed answers to the amended complaint.

On February 4, 2009, plaintiff filed a notice of change of address stating that he had been transferred to Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP).

On March 13, 2009, the court issued a modified scheduling order which set May 20, 2009, as the discovery cut-off date and August 19, 2009, as the dispositive motion cut-off date.

In the pending motions for leave to amend, plaintiff seeks to add defendants at KVSP. Plaintiff alleges that these defendants have violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to give him a single cell, grab bars, a commode chair and crutches.

Discussion

In their oppositions to the pending motions, defendants address both Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 and 15. Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 plaintiff may join any persons as defendants if 1) any right to relief asserted against the defendants relates to or arises out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and 2) there is at least one question of law or fact common to all the defendants. Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a); Desert Empire Bank v. Ins. Co. of North America, 623 F.2d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980).

The "same transaction" requirement of Rule 20 refers to "similarity in the factual background of a claim; claims that arise out of a systematic pattern of events" and have a "very definite logical relationship." Bautista v. Los Angeles County, 216 F.3d 837, 842-843 (9th Cir. 2000). In addition, "the mere fact that all [of a plaintiff's] claims arise under the same general law does not necessarily establish a common question of law or fact." Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1351 (9th Cir. 1997). Claims "involv[ing] different legal issues, standards and procedures" do not involve common factual or legal questions. Id., at 1351.

"Although the specific requirements of rule 20, discussed above, may be satisfied, a trial court must also examine the other relevant factors in a case in order to determine whether the permissive joinder of a party will comport with the principles of fundamental fairness." Desert Empire Bank, 623 F.2d at 1375. "For examine, when making a decision whether to allow the permissive joinder of a party, a court should consider such factors as possible prejudice that may result to any of the parties in the litigation, the delay of the moving party in seeking an amendment, the closeness of the ...


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