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Michael Contreraz v. J. Stockbridge

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 7, 2012

MICHAEL CONTRERAZ,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
J. STOCKBRIDGE, ET AL., (DOC. 88)
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sheila K. Oberto United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT

Plaintiff Michael Contreraz, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on December 14, 2006. This action is proceeding on Plaintiff's amended complaint, filed on February 3, 2009, against Defendants Stockbridge-Cota,*fn1 Rodriguez, Franco, Davis, and Carlos for violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

On November 30, 2011, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to file a supplemental complaint, along with the proposed supplement. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). Defendants filed an opposition on December 15, 2011, and Plaintiff filed a reply on January 17, 2012.

This action is currently proceeding on Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment excessive force claim arising out of an incident on June 28, 2004, at California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison-Corcoran. Plaintiff seeks to add new claims against current defendant Stockbridge-Cota and proposed new defendants Cota and Gonzalez. The claims Plaintiff seeks to add arise from events between approximately June 24, 2010, and June 2011.*fn2 Plaintiff alleges that StockbridgeCota, Cota, who is Stockbridge-Cota's spouse, and Gonzalez attempted to pressure him to drop this lawsuit and when he refused to capitulate, they orchestrated the delay of his prison transfer, which caused his continued retention in administrative segregation. (Doc. 89, ¶¶41-55.)

Pursuant to Rule 15(d), "the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). Rule 15(d) does not require the moving party to satisfy a transactional test, but there must still be a relationship between the claim in the original pleading and the claims sought to be added. Keith v. Volpe, 858 F.2d 467, 474 (9th Cir. 1988). Thus, "[w]hile leave to permit supplemental pleading is favored, it cannot be used to introduce a separate, distinct and new cause of action." Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona v. Neely, 130 F.3d 400, 402 (9th Cir. 1997) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Although Plaintiff attempts to support his request for leave to supplement by arguing that the events in 2010 and 2011 are a continuation and extension of the events in 2004, his argument lacks merit. The events are related only in that Stockbridge-Cota, Cota, and Gonzalez's actions in 2010 and 2011 were allegedly motivated by their desire to get Plaintiff to drop the present excessive force lawsuit. To the extent they give rise to new claims for violation of Plaintiff's federal rights, however, the events complained of in 2010 and 2011 are separate, distinct, and new causes of action.

This action has been pending for more than five years and the incident giving rise to Plaintiff's claim occurred almost eight years ago. Allowing Plaintiff to add these separate, distinct, and new claims at this juncture would not serve the interests of judicial economy and convenience, and the proposed claims are simply not sufficiently related to the present claim to support allowing leave to supplement. Planned Parenthood, 130 F.3d at 402; Keith, 858 F.2d at 474. ///

Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion seeking leave to file a supplemental complaint, filed on November 30, 2011, is HEREBY DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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