United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE A SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT; DENYING AS MOOT
DEFENDANTS' PENDING MOTIONS; AND SETTING BRIEFING
GONZALEZ ROGERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a state prisoner currently incarcerated at San Quentin State
Prison (“SQSP”) filed this instant pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He seeks monetary damages.
the Court is Plaintiff's supplemental complaint, dkt. 11,
which the Court construes as a motion for leave to file a
supplemental complaint. Also before the Court are
Defendants' motion requesting screening of
Plaintiff's supplemental complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A and waiving their reply. Dkt. 13. Finally, Defendants
also filed an administrative motion asking the Court to
clarify whether the supplemental complaint is the operative
complaint in the instant action and, if so, refraining from
filing a dispositive motion until the Court screens the
supplemental complaint. Dkt. 14 For the reasons outlined
below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion for leave to
file a supplemental complaint. Because the original complaint
it still the operative complaint in this matter, the Court
DENIES as moot Defendants' motion to screen
Plaintiff's supplemental complaint as well as their
aforementioned administrative motion.
December 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed his original complaint.
Dkt. 1. He named the following Defendants at SQSP: Warden Ron
Davis; Associate Warden R. Bloomfield; Captain J. Arnold;
Lieutenants B. VanMastrigt, R. Shelton and M. Nelson;
Sergeants J. Sangmaster and Madding; Correctional Counselor
II A. Maxfield; Chief Disciplinary Officers Y. Samara and G.
Forncrook; Correctional Officers F. Jaugan, and J.
Cartwright; Office of Appeals Chief M. Voong; and
Psychologist R. Pearl. Id. at 2.
15, 2019, the Court issued its Order of Partial Dismissal and
Service upon screening Plaintiff's original complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Dkt. 6. In its July 15, 2019
Order, the Court concluded that, liberally construed, the
original complaint stated cognizable First Amendment and
Eighth Amendment claims based on actions stemming from
November 2017 to December 2017 against Defendants Cartwright
and Jaugan for authoring a false Rules Violation Report
(“RVR”) and supplemental reports, respectively,
and for causing Plaintiff's removal from his housing and
placement into administrative segregation (ad-seg) from
November 16, 2017 to December 28, 2017. Id. at 3.
The Court further found that the complaint stated a
cognizable claim against Defendants VanMastrigt, Forncrook,
Maxfield, Pearl, Sangmaster, Arnold, Shelton, and Samara for
due process violations insofar as he was removed from his
housing and placed into ad-seg without evidentiary support,
and for a First Amendment violation insofar as they were
involved in failing to rectify or correct the false RVR.
Id. at 3-4. The Court also found that
Plaintiff's allegations against Defendants Broomfield,
Nelson, and Voong stated a cognizable First Amendment claim
for denial of access to established grievance procedures.
Id. at 4. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim
against Defendant Madding upon concluding it was without
merit. Id. It also dismissed with prejudice
Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Davis (the SQSP
warden) upon concluding that Plaintiff alleged no facts to
establish supervisorial liability on Defendant Davis's
part. Id. at 5. The Court directed Defendants to
file a motion for summary judgment or other dispositive
motion by September 13, 2019. Id. at 6.
August 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed a supplemental complaint,
which as explained above, the Court construes as a motion for
leave to file a supplemental complaint under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15(d). Dkt. 11. The supplemental complaint
includes unrelated claims of harassment and retaliation
against the following five new Defendants: Correctional
Officer V. Michael; Correctional Lieutenants R. M. Ballein
and M. Bloise; SQSP Office of Appeals, Appeals Examiner J.
Knight; and Office of Appeals Chief T. Ramos. Id. at
2. Plaintiff's new allegations stem from an additional
RVR that Plaintiff received in March 2019. Id. at 3.
September 12, 2019, Defendants filed an Answer. Dkt. 12.
mentioned, on September 17, 2019, Defendants filed a motion
requesting the Court screen Plaintiffs supplemental complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and waiving their reply. Dkt.
13. On September 19, 2019, Defendants filed an administrative
motion asking the Court to clarify whether the supplemental
complaint is the operative complaint in the instant action
and, if so, refraining from filing a dispositive motion until
the Court screens the supplemental complaint. Dkt. 14.
Plaintiffs Request for Leave to File an Supplemental
requests leave to file a supplemental complaint to add
unrelated claims against five new Defendants. Dkt. 11.
Plaintiff seeks to add new claims that were not in the
original complaint. See Id. In fact, Plaintiff
acknowledges that the allegations asserted in the
supplemental complaint can be categorized as post-complaint,
as they involve events occurring
after the events complained of in
the original complaint. Id. at 3. These allegations
are unrelated to the gravamen of Plaintiff s original
complaint, which mainly concerns events surrounding the
original Defendants' conduct in removing Plaintiff from
his housing and placing him in ad seg pending the outcome of
an allegedly falsely authored RVR that Plaintiff received in
November 2017. Dkt. 1 at 6, 15-18.
the Court points out that this action was first filed almost
a year ago, on December 12, 2018. Dkt. 1. Moreover,
Plaintiffs original complaint pertains to a specific set of
events which took place in in 2017, and it involves a limited
number of Defendants, all of whom have been served. Despite
the Court's July 15, 2019 Order of Partial Dismissal and
Service, Plaintiff now presents the Court with another
lengthy document with additional unrelated claims from 2019,
as explained below. See Dkt. 11 Under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15, Plaintiff may amend as of right at any
time prior to the filing of a responsive pleading and
thereafter only with leave of court. Leave must be freely
granted “when justice so requires.” Janicki
Logging Co. v. Mateer,42 F.3d 561, 566 (9th Cir. 1994);
cf. Id. (attempt to amend complaint requiring
amendment of scheduling order under Fed.R.Civ.P. 16 must be
based upon good cause). While mere delay in seeking to amend
is not grounds to deny amendment, leave need not be granted
where the amendment of the complaint would cause the opposing
party undue prejudice, is sought in bad faith, constitutes an
exercise in futility, or creates undue delay. Id.;
see also Roberts ...