Grimes v. Lee County Circuit Court et al (INMATE2)

Filing 35

ORDER construing a Rule 15(a), FRCP., Amendment to Complaint, etc. doc. 28 as a motion to amend complaint under Rule 15(a), FRCP; motion denied. Signed by Judge Vanzetta P. McPherson on 4/11/906. (vma, )

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Grimes v. Lee County Circuit Court et al (INMATE2) Doc. 35 Case 3:05-cv-01105-MEF-VPM Document 35 Filed 04/11/2006 Page 1 of 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT F O R THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA E A S T E R N DIVISION ____________________________ T O N Y EUGENE GRIMES, #148 206 P l a i n t if f , v. L E E COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, et al., D e f e n d a n ts . _______________________________ * * * * * 3:05-CV-1105-MEF (WO) O R D E R ON MOTION P e n d in g before the court is a pleading filed by Plaintiff on March 22, 2006 styled as a Rule 15(a), Fed.R.Civ.P., Amendment to Complaint With Reconstructed Equal Protection C la u se Claim. Upon consideration of the pleading, which the court construes as a motion to amend complaint under Rule 15(a), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and for good cause, th e motion shall be denied for failing to state a claim of constitutional magnitude. Plaintiff seeks once again to amend his complaint to assert a claim that Defendants are promulgating rules which operate to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth A m e n d m e n t. Specifically, Plaintiff asserts that he is similarly situated with other inmates w h o were sentenced prior to the enactment of amendments to the Alabama Habitual Felony O ffe n d e r Act, and yet Defendants, though the alleged use of two different "rules" set forth in Kirby v. State, 899 So.2d 968 (Ala. 2004), apply the amendment(s) to the benefit of "some s im ila rly situated /classed recipients" but not to him has which has resulted in unequal tr e a tm e n t. Case 3:05-cv-01105-MEF-VPM Document 35 Filed 04/11/2006 Page 2 of 3 E q u a l protection principles require generally that government officials behave in a w a y such "that all persons similarly situated should be treated alike." Cleburne v. Cleburne L iv in g Center, Inc., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). Thus, in order to establish a claim cognizable u n d e r the Equal Protection Clause, a plaintiff must, at the very least, allege that he is s im ila rly situated with other persons who were treated differently and that the reason for the d iffe re n tial treatment was based on some constitutionally protected interest. Personnel A d m in is tr a to r of Mass. v. Feeney, 442 U.S. 256, 279 (1979); Jones v. Ray, 279 F.3d 944, 947 (1 1 th Cir. 2001); Damiano v. Florida Parole and Probation Com'n, 785 F.2d 929, 932-33 (1 1 th Cir. 1986); Kirby v. Siegelman, 195 F.3d 1285 (11 th Cir. 1999). Evidence which merely in d ic a te s disparity of treatment or erroneous or even arbitrary administration of state powers, ra th e r than against instances of purposeful or invidious discrimination, is insufficient to show d is c rim in a to ry intent. McKleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279, 292 (1987). Inmates themselves do not constitute a suspect or quasi-suspect class entitling such p e rs o n s to "strict scrutiny" of disparate government treatment. Here, what Plaintiff complains o f is his disappointment in not having his motion for reconsideration of his sentence pursuant to the amended habitual offender statute being granted because other allegedly similarly s itu a te d inmates have had their motions granted. Thus, Plaintiff regards this conduct as a c tio n a b le unequal treatment. Nevertheless, Plaintiff does not allege that he has been s u b je c te d to any tangible unequal treatment by Defendants' conduct such as their decision b e in g based upon a constitutionally protected interest. As a matter of law, therefore, the alleg atio n s supporting Plaintiff's motion to amend complaint do not rise to the level of a 2 Case 3:05-cv-01105-MEF-VPM Document 35 Filed 04/11/2006 Page 3 of 3 constitutional violation, and the motion, therefore, is due to be denied. E & T Realty C o m p a n y v. Strickland, 830 F.2d 1107 11 th Cir. 1987) (mere differential treatment of inmates, w ith o u t more, fails to allege a violation of the Equal Protection Clause); Damiano v. Florida P a r o le and Probation Commission, 785 F.2d 929 (same). I n light of the foregoing ,and for good cause, it is ORDERED that the Motion to Amend Complaint under Rule 15(a), Federal Rules of C iv il Procedure (Doc. No. 28) be and is hereby DENIED. D o n e , this 11th day of April 2006. /s / Vanzetta Penn McPherson V A N Z E T T A PENN MCPHERSON U N IT E D STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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