Vanpelt v. Oxner et al

Filing 88

ORDER granting pltf's 84 Motion to Amend Complaint; defts' 43 Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED as moot, without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Beth Deere on 9/12/12. (vjt)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS NORTHERN DIVISION MARIO KEITH VANPELT ADC #119581 VS. PLAINTIFF NO. 1:11CV00019-KGB-BD JACK OXNER AND JAMES GUYNES DEFENDANTS ORDER Mr. Vanpelt, though his attorney, has filed a motion to amend his complaint to add a due process claim, a retaliation claim, an access to the courts claim, and several state law claims. (Docket entry #84) Defendants have responded to the motion (#87) and oppose the request to amend. They argue that they will suffer undue prejudice if the Court allows Mr. Vanpelt to amend his complaint. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), courts “should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” Defendants note that they have a summary judgment motion (#43) pending and that they have been prejudiced by exposing their theory of the case. They also argue that the proposed amendment would cause additional delay. But, “[d]elay alone is not enough to deny a motion to amend; prejudice to the nonmovant must also be shown.” Doe v. Cassel, 403 F.3d 986, 991 (8th Cir. 2005); Bediako v. Stein Mart, Inc., 354 F.3d 835, 841 (8th Cir. 2004). The Defendants have not shown that they will suffer unfair prejudice if Mr. Vanpelt is allowed to amend. While the Court previously denied Mr. Vanpelt’s pro se motion to amend, his counsel has now articulated specific claims against the existing and new defendants that arose out of the events described in the original complaint. Accordingly, the motion (#84) is GRANTED. In light of the Court’s decision to allow Mr. Vanpelt to amend, Defendants’ motion for summary judgment (#43) is DENIED as moot, without prejudice. IT IS SO ORDERED this 12th day of September, 2012. ______________________________________ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 2

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