United States District Court, E.D. California
M. KELLISON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pending before the
court is plaintiff's motion to file a second amended
complaint (Doc. 90). Defendants oppose the motion to amend.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a party may
amend his pleading once as a matter of right at any time
before being served with a responsive pleading. Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a). Once a responsive pleading is filed, a party's
pleadings may only be amended upon leave of court or
stipulation of all the parties. See id. Where leave
of court to amend is sought, the court considers the
following factors: (1) whether there is a reasonable
relationship between the original and amended pleadings; (2)
whether the grant of leave to amend is in the interest of
judicial economy and will promote the speedy resolution of
the entire controversy; (3) whether there was a delay in
seeking leave to amend; (4) whether the grant of leave to
amend would delay a trial on the merits of the original
claim; and (5) whether the opposing party will be prejudiced
by amendment. See Jackson v. Bank of Hawai'i,
902 F.2d 1385, 1387 (9th Cir. 1990). Leave to amend should be
denied where the proposed amendment is frivolous. See DCD
Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir.
case, plaintiff seeks leave to file an amended complaint in
order to add both additional defendants and additional claims
as to the new proposed defendants. The only defendants
plaintiff seeks to add are “Doe” defendants. This
indicates plaintiff does not know the identity of the
individuals he seeks to add.
action proceeds on plaintiff's first amended complaint
(Doc. 8) filed April 28, 2008. After significant proceedings,
an answer was filed on August 13, 2015 (Doc. 75). A
scheduling order, which has since been modified, was
originally issued on September 9, 2015, setting a discovery
cutoff date of January 29, 2016. That date has been extended,
and there is currently a pending motion to compel before the
court. However, the date to propound discovery has now
defendants are not favored in the Ninth Circuit as a general
policy. See Gillespie v. Civiletti, 629 F.2d 637,
642 (9th Cir.1980). There are situations where the identity a
defendant is not known prior to the filing of a complaint,
and “the plaintiff should be given an opportunity
through discovery to identify the unknown defendants, unless
it is clear that discovery would not uncover the identities,
or that the complaint would be dismissed on other
grounds.” Id. (citing Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1152 (4th Cir.1978); see also
Wakefield v. Thompson, 177 F.3d 1160, 1163 (9th Cir.
1999). However, plaintiff never named Doe defendants in his
original or first amended complaint. These new Doe defendants
are not referenced anywhere in the prior complaints, nor does
plaintiff explain how they are now indispensable parties.
does not appear to be a reasonable relationship between the
facts alleged in the prior compliant and those now alleged in
the proposed second amended complaint. Plaintiff's first
amended complaint alleges one claim, a violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights for failure to protect. In contrast,
plaintiff's proposed second amended complaint adds new,
unrelated claims regarding plaintiff's medical treatment,
inadequate policies and procedures, and negligence among the
supervisors. These claims, albeit tangentially related to his
failure to protect claim, are not reasonably related to the
extent they would be supported by the same or related facts.
Thus, the undersigned finds no reasonable relationship
between the first and second amended complaints.
plaintiff leave to amend at this juncture will not be in the
interest of juridical economy nor will it promote the speedy
resolution of this case. Instead, as the newly proposed
claims and defendants are unrelated, allowing the amended
would require the court to significantly extend the amount of
time required to complete discovery. Discovery is concluded,
not withstanding the current limited motion to compel.
Allowing the proposed amended complaint would require
reopening discovery from the beginning, thus delaying
significantly the resolution of this case. While no trial
date has been set, allowing the proposed amendment would
delay the setting of the trial, and the resolution of the
addition, plaintiff fails to explain the significant delay in
seeking leave to file this amended complaint. This case was
originally filed in 2008. Requesting to file an amended
complaint after eight years of litigation, without an
explanation as to why the amendment could not have been
sought earlier does not support the granting of the amendment
at this late date.
the court notes that at least a portion of plaintiff's
proposed amendments would not survive screening or a motion
to dismiss. For example, plaintiff seeks to add the Warden of
Mule Creek State Prison as well as the Secretary of the
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
These individuals were named in his original complaint, but
were eliminated in his first amended complaint without
explanation. In addition, supervisory personnel are generally
not liable under § 1983 for the actions of their
employees. See Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045
(9th Cir. 1989) (holding that there is no respondeat superior
liability under § 1983). A supervisor is only liable for
the constitutional violations of subordinates if the
supervisor participated in or directed the violations.
See id The Supreme Court has rejected the notion
that a supervisory defendant can be liable based on knowledge
and acquiescence in a subordinate's unconstitutional
conduct because government officials, regardless of their
title, can only be held liable under § 1983 for his or
her own conduct and not the conduct of others. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949
(2009). Thus, allowing the amended pleading would be futile
as the claims would be subject to dismissal.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for leave to file
a second amended complaint (Doc. 88) is denied, and this