Aros v. Ryan et al

Filing 215

ORDER that Plaintiff's Application for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint, and Plaintiff's Motion to Reopen Discovery and Extend Deadlines, 193 and 194 , are DENIED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Lawrence O Anderson on 6/12/2014. (See Order for details)(ALS)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Armando R. Aros, III, Plaintiff, 10 11 vs. 12 Charles L. Ryan, et al., 13 Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV-11-2565-PHX-SRB (LOA) ORDER 14 This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Application for Leave to File a 15 Supplemental Complaint, and Plaintiff Motion to Reopen Discovery and Extend Deadlines. 16 (Docs. 193, 194) Defendants have filed a Response to each motion in which they oppose the 17 relief requested. (Docs. 200, 201) Plaintiff has filed a Reply in support of each motion. (Docs. 18 209, 210) Plaintiff has also lodged a Supplemental Complaint. (Doc. 195) 19 I. Background 20 Plaintiff, a frequent filer of section 1983 actions, commenced this civil rights action by 21 filing a Civil Rights Complaint by a Prisoner on December 27, 2011. (Doc. 1) The assigned 22 District Judge dismissed the Complaint because it was not on a court-approved form, but 23 granted Plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 5) Plaintiff lodged a proposed First 24 Amended Complaint on April 24, 2012, which the District Judge again rejected because it was 25 again not on a court-approved form and exceeded the page limit. (Docs. 15-16) Plaintiff was 26 granted leave to submit a Second Amended Complaint, which he filed on June 19, 2012. (Doc. 27 19) The District Judge then issued a screening order on August 16, 2012, in which Counts Two 28 through Twelve, Count Fourteen, and 13 defendants were dismissed. (Doc. 21 at 18) Seven 1 defendants were ordered to answer Count One and two defendants were ordered to answer 2 Count Thirteen. (Id.) 3 Plaintiff then sought leave to amend the Second Amended Complaint in a Motion to 4 Amend, filed on October 9, 2012. (Doc. 31) The undersigned Magistrate Judge granted the 5 Motion and Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint was filed on December 20, 2012. (Docs. 39, 6 59) The District Judge screened the Third Amended Complaint on May 28, 2013. (Doc. 75) 7 Because Plaintiff’s Third Amended Complaint was substantially the same as the Second 8 Amended Complaint and contained only minor changes, the screening order for the Third 9 Amended Complaint reached the same conclusions as the screening order for the Second 10 Amended Complaint. (Doc. 75) Thus, the same nine defendants who were ordered to answer 11 the two surviving counts in the Second Amended Complaint were ordered to answer those same 12 two counts in the Third Amended Complaint. (Doc. 75 at 9, 10) The District Judge again 13 dismissed Counts Two through Twelve and Count Fourteen of the Third Amended Complaint, 14 along with the corresponding defendants. (Id. at 10) The undersigned Magistrate Judge denied 15 Plaintiff’s motion to reconsider the screening order because it significantly exceeded the page 16 limit mandated by LRCiv 7.2(e). (Doc. 87) The District Judge subsequently denied Plaintiff’s 17 Motion for Review of Magistrate Judge’s Order. (Doc. 94) 18 A. Motion to File Supplemental Complaint 19 Plaintiff requests leave to file a supplement to his Third Amended Complaint. 20 Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to add new facts to his claim in Count Thirteen and add Charles L. 21 Ryan, Director of the Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADOC”), as a new defendant. (Doc. 22 194 at 1) Plaintiff alleges in Count Thirteen of the Third Amended Complaint that the 23 recreation practices at the Browning Unit, where he has been housed since 2009, have kept him 24 from receiving adequate exposure to direct sunlight. Plaintiff further alleges he was diagnosed 25 with a mental illness by a prison psychiatrist in 1999 and has received medication for his 26 condition since then. Plaintiff claims the extreme deprivation of direct sunlight has exacerbated 27 his mental illness and increased his risk of committing suicide. Plaintiff claims Defendants 28 named in Count Thirteen have been, and are, deliberately indifferent to the risk of harm -2- 1 resulting from the deprivation of direct sunlight to Plaintiff. On November 21, 2013, the District 2 Judge granted Defendants’ partial motion to dismiss and dismissed Plaintiff’s claim for damages 3 in Count Thirteen. (Doc. 142) Only a claim for declaratory and injunctive relief remains in that 4 Count. (Id.) 5 In the proposed supplement, Plaintiff alleges that when his recreation schedule was 6 modified to a time that provided more exposure to direct sunlight, a subsequent blood test 7 revealed a substantial increase in his Vitamin D levels. Plaintiff claims this produced a 8 corresponding improvement in his mood and a decline in the frequency and intensity of the 9 symptoms associated with his mental illness. In addition, Plaintiff seeks to add Charles L. Ryan, 10 ADOC Director, to this action, claiming Ryan’s continued enforcement of recreation policies 11 that deprive Plaintiff of adequate exposure to direct sunlight has caused Plaintiff actual harm. 12 II. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d) 13 14 15 16 17 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), which governs the mechanism for supplemental pleadings, provides: On motion and reasonable notice, 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. The court may permit supplementation even though the original pleading is defective in stating a claim or defense. The court may order that the opposing party plead to the supplemental pleading within a specified time. 18 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), a district court may permit a party to 19 supplement his complaint in order to set out “‘any transaction, occurrence, or event that 20 happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.’” Burnett v. Dugan, 2011 WL 21 1002145, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2011) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d)) (emphasis in original). 22 “Rule 15(d) permits the filing of a supplemental pleading which introduces a cause of action 23 not alleged in the original complaint and not in existence when the original complaint was 24 filed.” Cabrera v. City of Huntington Park, 159 F.3d 374, 382 (9th Cir.1998) (citation omitted). 25 District courts have broad discretion in deciding whether to allow a supplemental 26 pleading. Keith v. Volpe, 858 F.2d 467, 473 (9th Cir. 1988). “The purpose of Rule 15(d) is to 27 promote as complete an adjudication of the dispute between the parties as possible by allowing 28 -3- 1 the addition of claims which arise after the initial pleadings are filed.” William Inglis & Sons 2 Baking Co. v. ITT Continental Baking Co., Inc., 668 F.2d 1014, 1057 (9th Cir.1981). Rule 3 15(d), Fed.R.Civ.P., “is a tool of judicial economy and convenience” and “[i]ts use is therefore 4 favored.” Keith, 858 F.2d at 473. 5 Generally, the standard used by district courts in deciding whether to grant or deny a 6 motion for leave to supplement is the same standard used in deciding whether to grant or deny 7 a motion for leave to amend a complaint or answer. See Ibok v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 8 2003 WL 25686529, at *2 (N.D. Cal. July 2, 2003) (citing Glatt v. Chicago Park Dist., 87 F.3d 9 190, 194 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding that the standard under 15(a) and 15(d) are the same); Franks 10 v. Ross, 313 F.3d 184, 198 n. 15 (4th Cir. 2002); Walker v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 240 F.3d 11 1268, 1278 (10th Cir. 2001). While leave to file a supplemental complaint should be freely 12 granted, a district court deny a motion to file a supplemental on the grounds of undue delay, bad 13 faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant; undue prejudice to the opposing party; or the 14 filing a supplemental complaint would be futile act. Johnson v. Buckley, 356 F.3d 1067, 1077 15 (9th Cir. 2004); Chodos v. West Publ’g Co., 292 F.3d 992, 1003 (9th Cir. 2002); San Luis & 16 Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, 236 F.R.D. 491, 497 (E.D. Cal. 2006) 17 (identifying nine factors to consider in deciding whether the complaint should be 18 supplemented.). “The language of Rule 15(d) makes clear that a supplemental pleading may 19 only be filed with leave of the court.” Bittel Tech., Inc. v. Bittel USA, Inc., 2011 WL 940300, 20 at *3 (N.D. Cal. Feb.18, 2011). 21 III. Discussion 22 Here, the Court finds sufficient factors exist to disallow Plaintiff to supplement his Third 23 Amended Complaint at this late stage of the case. First, Plaintiff’s supplemental pleading would 24 not promote judicial economy and convenience. Although Plaintiff’s allegations regarding 25 changes in his Vitamin D levels may provide additional support for his claim in Count Thirteen, 26 they do not warrant a supplemental complaint and the reopening of discovery as Plaintiff is 27 seeking here. Secondly, regarding Plaintiff’s request to add Charles L. Ryan as a defendant in 28 Count Thirteen, the Court notes that Ryan has already been dismissed twice from Count -4- 1 Thirteen in the prior screening orders of the Second and Third Amended Complaints. (Docs. 21 2 at 14-15; 75 at 6-7) Nothing in Plaintiff’s allegations in the proposed supplemental complaint 3 warrant reconsideration of the decision to dismiss Defendant Ryan from Count Thirteen. 4 Next, this case is two and-a-half years old and Plaintiff has been given three 5 opportunities to amend his original complaint. Discovery is now complete and Defendants filed 6 a summary judgment motion on April 18, 2014. Additionally, Plaintiff filed the instant motion 7 more than three months after the discovery deadline and just two weeks before the dispositive 8 motions deadline. Granting Plaintiff’s request would essentially start the case over with a new 9 defendant added and discovery would need to start anew as to the new defendant. That kind of 10 delay would unfairly prejudice the existing Defendants. Adding Charles L. Ryan at this late 11 date would defeat the purposes of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to achieve the “just, 12 speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.” Rule 1, Fed.R.Civ.P. 13 (emphasis added). For these reasons, Plaintiff’s motion to submit a supplemental complaint will 14 be denied. 15 B. Motion to Reopen Discovery and Extend Deadlines 16 A scheduling order “may be modified only for good cause and with the judge’s consent.” 17 Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). For purposes of this rule, “good cause” means the scheduling deadlines 18 cannot be met despite the party’s diligence. Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 19 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992) (citing 6A Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure 20 § 1522.1 at 231 (2d ed. 1990)). “The pretrial schedule may be modified if it cannot reasonably 21 be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension. If the party seeking the 22 modification was not diligent, the inquiry should end and the motion to modify should not be 23 granted.” Zivkovic v. Southern California Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002) 24 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover, where a motion is made to extend 25 deadlines after the deadlines have expired, the party seeking the extension must show excusable 26 neglect. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B). 27 For similar reasons as stated above, Plaintiff’s second motion will be denied. This case 28 is already two and-a-half years old and granting Plaintiff’s request to reopen discovery and -5- 1 allow more motions to compel and other discovery motions would, unnecessarily, delay 2 resolution of this action even more. The Court already granted a previous request by Plaintiff 3 to extend, by almost three months, the deadline to bring discovery disputes to the Court and 4 extend the dispositive motions deadline by approximately two months. (Doc. 165) As the Court 5 explained in a prior order, much of Plaintiff’s inability to comply with deadlines resulted from 6 his own mismanagement of the case. Plaintiff has shown neither excusable neglect nor good 7 cause for reopening discovery and extending other deadlines in the scheduling order at this late 8 stage of the case. For these reasons, the motion will be denied. 9 Accordingly, 10 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Application for Leave to File a Supplemental 11 Complaint, and Plaintiff Motion to Reopen Discovery and Extend Deadlines, docs. 193 and 194, 12 are DENIED. 13 DATED this 12th day of June, 2014. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -6-

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