Lescallett v. Diaz et al

Filing 45

ORDER denying 37 Request to Supplement Complaint signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 2/24/2017. (Lundstrom, T)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 DARRELL JUNIOR LESCALLETT, 11 Plaintiff, 12 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST TO SUPPLEMENT THE COMPLAINT v. 13 Case No. 1:13-cv-01342-LJO-BAM (PC) R. DIAZ, et al., (ECF No. 37) 14 Defendants. 15 16 I. Introduction 17 Plaintiff Darrell Junior Lescallett (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in 18 forma pauperis in this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action currently proceeds 19 on Plaintiff’s claim for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment against defendants Gipson, 20 Broomfield and Doe Defendants (“Defendants”). Plaintiff alleges, while incarcerated at Corcoran 21 State Prison, Defendants retaliated against him because Plaintiff had settled a lawsuit with the 22 California Department of Corrections (“CDCR”). In retaliation for settling that lawsuit, 23 Defendants allegedly identified Plaintiff as a 2-5 gang affiliate and placed him on modified 24 program. 25 Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s request to supplement the complaint under 26 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), filed on August 18, 2016. (ECF No. 37.) Defendants filed 27 their opposition on August 25, 2016. (ECF No. 38.) Plaintiff did not file a reply. The motion is 28 deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(l). 1 1 II. 2 1. Second Amended Complaint 3 Plaintiff’s second amended complaint (“SAC”), filed on November 24, 2014, alleges Second Amended Complaint and Proposed Supplemental Complaint 4 retaliation by Defendants Broomfield, Gipson and Doe Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that on 5 March 20, 2012, he settled a lawsuit with the CDCR, in which he had sued the CDCR for falsely 6 labeling him a 2-5 gang affiliate and segregating him while he was incarcerated at High Desert 7 State Prison. Plaintiff alleges that upon learning of the settlement, Defendants Broomfield, 8 Gipson and Doe Defendants retaliated by labeling him a 2-5 gang affiliate and placing him on 9 modified program on or about June 26, 2012. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Broomfield, 10 Gipson and Doe Defendants knew documentation indicating a 2-5 gang affiliation did not exist 11 and that Plaintiff had just settled the lawsuit proving he had no such affiliation. (ECF No. 11.) 12 2. Proposed Supplemental Complaint 13 Plaintiff now seeks to supplement the SAC with events which occurred after the date the 14 SAC was filed. Plaintiff seeks to bring new claims for: (1) retaliation, (2) Due Process, and (3) 15 Equal Protection, for events occurring at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi (“CCI”) 16 in June of 2016, where Plaintiff is currently incarcerated. Plaintiff also seeks to add new 17 defendants who are employed at CCI: Captain Yete, Lieutenant Hart, Sergeant Parrish, and Doe 18 Defendants (collectively, “CCI Employees”). (ECF No. 37.) 19 A new claim in the proposed supplemental complaint (“Supplemental Complaint”) is for 20 violation of Due Process. Plaintiff alleges that on June 10, 2016, he was again mislabeled a 2-5 21 gang affiliate and placed on modified program. Plaintiff alleges that the CCI Employees were 22 responsible for the implementation of the modified program. Plaintiff further alleges he was 23 deprived of property and legal material, which have yet to be returned. (Id.) 24 In the second claim for violation of Equal Protection, Plaintiff alleges that the CCI 25 Employees placed him on modified program and discriminated against him by treating him 26 differently from other similarly situated inmates, without cause or following procedures. (Id.) 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 3. Motion to Supplement the Complaint 2 Plaintiff moves for permission to supplement the SAC. Plaintiff argues that the Court 3 should permit the supplement because the events arose after the filing of the SAC. Plaintiff argues 4 that his placement on modified program as a suspected 2-5 gang affiliate following his transfer to 5 CCI was due to the same incorrect documentation that Corcoran State Prison used to place him on 6 modified program and which gave rise to the current retaliation claim. Plaintiff further argues 7 that, since the underlying events to this action have occurred, Plaintiff has been harassed, 8 retaliated against, and placed on modified program twice at two separate prisons. 9 Defendants oppose the motion, arguing that the Supplemental Complaint concerns 10 unrelated events, claims, and parties. The Supplemental Complaint is unrelated to the current 11 retaliation claim because the new claims are against officials at Plaintiff’s new prison, CCI. The 12 Supplemental Complaint also alleges claims against CDCR. (ECF No. 38.) Defendants further 13 argue that they would be prejudiced by the Supplemental Complaint. Plaintiff has filed three 14 versions of his complaint, and deadlines for discovery, dispositive motions, and amending the 15 pleadings have already expired. Defendants note a dispositive motion is pending. As a final 16 point, Defendants argue the Supplemental Complaint would hinder judicial efficiency. The 17 proposed claims are unrelated to Defendants Gipson, Broomfield and Doe Defendants and would 18 bring in new defendants from a different prison and would add new, unrelated claims.1 In sum, 19 Defendants contend the proposed claims could be the subject of a separate lawsuit. 20 III. Legal Standard 21 A court “may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out 22 any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be 23 supplemented.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). Although leave to permit supplemental pleading is 24 generally favored, the supplemental pleading cannot be used to introduce a “separate, distinct and 25 new cause of action.” Planned Parenthood of S. Ariz. v. Neely, 130 F.3d 400, 402 (9th Cir. 1997) 26 27 28 1 Defendants also argue the CCI Employees would be entitled to challenge Plaintiff’s allegation of exhausting administrative remedies. Defendants contend discovery would have to be reopened and the scheduling order modified to accommodate this affirmative defense. 3 1 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); see also San Luis & Delta–Mendota Water 2 Authority v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, 236 F.R.D. 491, 497 (E.D. Cal. 2006) (setting forth nine 3 factors for determining whether to permit supplemental pleadings, including the relatedness of the 4 original and supplemental complaints). “Rule 15(d) is intended to give district courts broad 5 discretion in allowing supplemental pleadings.” Keith v. Volpe, 858 F.3d 467, 473 (9th Cir. 1988) 6 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d), advisory committees note). 7 IV. 8 The Supplemental Complaint alleges claims which are separate and distinct from the 9 Analysis retaliation claim in the SAC. The SAC involves retaliation by employees at Corcoran State Prison 10 based on Plaintiff’s settlement of a lawsuit with the CDCR. The Supplemental Complaint, 11 however, involves new and different claims of Due Process and Equal Protection based on 12 labeling Plaintiff a 2-5 gang affiliate and placing him on modified program at CCI. The claims of 13 Due Process and Equal Protection previously have been dismissed from this action. Therefore, the 14 Supplemental Complaint seeks to add claims which are separate and distinct from the current 15 retaliation claim. 16 The Supplemental Complaint also would add defendants who are new and different from 17 the defendants in the SAC. The new defendants are employees of CCI, while the current 18 Defendants, Gipson, Broomfield and Doe Defendants, were employed at Corcoran State Prison. 19 Plaintiff is seeking to add defendants from a new institution. See San Luis, 236 F.R.D. at 497; see 20 also George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007) (“[M]ultiple claims against a single party 21 are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against 22 Defendant 2.”) Therefore, the CCI Employees are new and different from the current defendants 23 in the SAC. 24 In addition, the Supplemental Complaint would add events which occurred at a different 25 correctional institution, and which occurred years apart. The events alleged in the Supplemental 26 Complaint occurred four years after the events alleged in the SAC. The events complained of in 27 the Supplemental Complaint occurred at CCI, while the events complained of in the SAC 28 occurred at Corcoran State Prison. Cf. San Luis, 236 F.R.D. at 501 (proposed supplemental 4 1 complaint should not be granted when it is not a “discrete and logical extension of the original 2 claims”). 3 Moreover, adding new and unrelated claims and defendants at this stage of the litigation 4 would not promote judicial efficiency. See Singh v. Washburn, 2016 WL 1039705, at *10 (D. 5 Ore. Feb. 5, 2016) (finding that judicial efficiency would not be served by allowing plaintiff to 6 add new factually unrelated defendants and new claims that would significantly expand the scope 7 of the case at that stage of the litigation). The Supplemental Complaint would exponentially 8 expand the scope of the case to involve disparate issues of law and fact and new defendants. 9 Plaintiff had already filed three complaints in this action, and the Court previously dismissed 10 Plaintiff’s Due Process, Equal Protection and other retaliation claims. Discovery has closed and 11 dispositive motions are pending. Permitting the Supplemental Complaint would require 12 reopening discovery and modifying other scheduling dates.2 Therefore, granting Plaintiff’s 13 request to supplement the complaint would not promote judicial efficiency. 14 V. 15 Accordingly, the Court HEREBY DENIES Plaintiff’s request to supplement the 16 Conclusion complaint. 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 Dated: /s/ Barbara February 24, 2017 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 2 27 28 Plaintiff argues the supplement should be permitted because both institutions, CCI and Corcoran, relied upon the same erroneous documentation to place Plaintiff on modified program. This argument is not persuasive. The claims and defendants in the Supplemental Complaint, as well as judicial economy, are the key factors to determine whether a supplement should be permitted. 5

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