Fratus v. California Department of Corrections, et al.

Filing 41

ORDER Denying 35 Motion to Amend the Complaint signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 12/02/2014. (Flores, E)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 JOHN FRATUS, Plaintiff, 11 12 13 v. Case No. 1:12-cv-00906-LJO-SKO (PC) ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND (Doc. 35) CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, et al., 14 Defendants. 15 _____________________________________/ 16 17 Plaintiff John Fratus, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this 18 civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on June 4, 2012. This action is proceeding on 19 Plaintiff’s procedural due process claim against Defendant Callow in his individual capacity for 20 damages and against Defendant Beard in his official capacity for injunctive relief. On August 13, 21 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to file a third amended complaint to add facts detailing 22 the two-year period during which he was involuntarily medicated. Defendants Callow and Beard 23 filed an opposition on August 28, 2014, and the motion has been submitted upon the record 24 without oral argument. Local Rule 230(l). 25 The federal system is one of notice pleading, and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) 26 requires only “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to 27 relief” and “a demand for the relief sought.” The stated ground for Plaintiff’s motion is his desire 28 to add more facts regarding injuries he sustained, purportedly to support the damages he seeks 1 from Defendant Callow. However, the addition of such detail is entirely unnecessary, as Plaintiff 2 need only identify the relief he seeks, Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(3), and “judgment should grant the 3 relief to which the party is entitled, even if the party has not demanded that relief in its pleadings,” 4 Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(c). While “Rule 15(a) is very liberal and leave to amend ‘shall be freely given 5 when justice so requires,’” AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysis West, Inc., 465 F.3d 946, 951 6 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)), justice does not require courts to permit litigants to 7 add what are merely superfluous facts. 8 Moreover, courts may properly deny leave to amend if the proposed amendments are 9 futile. E.g., Woods v. City of San Diego, 678 F.3d 1075, 1082 (9th Cir. 2012); Silva v. Di Vittorio, 10 658 F.3d 1090, 1105-06 (9th Cir. 2011); Carrico v. City and County of San Francisco, 656 F.3d 11 1002, 1008 (9th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff’s claim for money damages against Defendant Callow arises 12 out of a prison disciplinary hearing held on August 23, 2006, during which Callow served as the 13 senior hearing officer and found Plaintiff guilty, allegedly without all of the procedural protections 14 he was due under the Fourteenth Amendment. To the extent that Plaintiff was subsequently 15 involuntarily medicated for two years while in the Security Housing Unit, his claim against 16 Defendant Callow provides no basis upon which to pin damages arising from subsequent events 17 involving other individuals. See e.g., Farrar v. Hobby, 506 U.S. 103, 112, 113 S.Ct. 566 (1992); 18 Memphis Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Stachura, 477 U.S. 299, 305-08, 106 S.Ct. 2537 (1986); Smith v. 19 Wade, 461 U.S. 30, 103 S.Ct. 1625 (1983); Carey v. Piphus, 435 U.S. 247, 253-54, 98 S.Ct. 1042 20 (1978). It appears that Plaintiff is trying to bootstrap onto his viable procedural due process claim 21 injuries which are not attributable to Defendant Callow’s conduct, and the Court is not required to 22 permit what would be a futile amendment. 23 Accordingly, based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a third amended 24 complaint is HEREBY DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 26 Dated: December 2, 2014 /s/ Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 27 28 2

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