Beyer v. Woods
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint (ECF #19) is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for joinder of additional parties and amendments of pleadings (ECF #24) is DENIED. IT IS FINALLY HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order (ECF #20) is DENIED. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 1/26/2015. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DALTON DONALD BEYER,
Case No. 1:14CV119 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiff=s motion for leave to file an amended
complaint, motion for joinder of additional parties and amendments of pleadings, and
motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. For the following
reasons, the motions will be denied.
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against correctional officer
Randy Woods, individually and in his official capacity, for alleged retaliation in violation
of the First Amendment. The events at issue began on March 10, 2014, with plaintiff
kicking his cell door.1 Defendant Woods told plaintiff to stop kicking the door or he
would spray plaintiff with pepper spray. Plaintiff continued kicking the door and told
Woods, “if your [sic] going to spray me then do it.” Woods attempted to spray pepper
spray through the food port but plaintiff blocked the food port with his body. Woods
then pushed his arm through the food port to spray plaintiff. Plaintiff pinned Woods’s
The facts are taken from plaintiff’s account of the events attached to his complaint.
arm against the cell door with his body and Woods dropped the pepper spray in the cell.
Plaintiff claims he picked up the pepper spray and handed it to the officers outside the
cell. Plaintiff alleges that he later asked Woods if he was sprayed with pepper spray and
Woods stated plaintiff did not spray him.
According to the exhibits attached to the complaint, Woods wrote a conduct
violation on March 10, 2014, for assault on an officer. In the conduct violation, Woods
claimed that plaintiff grabbed his arm through the food port and pinned it. Woods did not
claim that plaintiff used the pepper spray against him.
In April 2014, plaintiff filed an informal resolution request complaining about the
conduct violation. Plaintiff claimed that Woods placed his arm in the food port and
dropped the pepper spray canister. The informal resolution request was not resolved.
On May 5, 2014, Woods rewrote the conduct violation regarding the March 10,
2014, incident. In the new conduct violation, Woods claimed that plaintiff grabbed his
arm, pulling it into the food port and trapping it. Woods further claimed that plaintiff
took the pepper spray canister out of his hand and sprayed him with it. Woods claimed
that he rewrote the conduct violation for a technical reason. The updated conduct
violation cited plaintiff for both assault on an officer and use of dangerous contraband.
On July 7, 2014, plaintiff filed this action against defendant Woods. On 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1) review, this Court found that, liberally construed, plaintiff’s complaint
alleges that Woods added the new claims and charges to the conduct violation in
retaliation for plaintiff’s April 2014 informal resolution request. Plaintiff claims that the
new charges are false and that he has been more harshly punished as a result of the new
charges. This Court held that plaintiff could proceed with the claim against Woods
individually but dismissed the official capacity claim.
Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint
On January 9, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended
complaint. Plaintiff states that he would like to add new defendants and legal claims.
The motion, however, does not identify the new defendants or provide any explanation of
the claims plaintiff would like to add, nor does it include a proposed amended complaint.
As a result, plaintiff’s motion fails to provide any justification warranting an amended
complaint and will be denied.
Motion for Joinder of Additional Parties and Amendment of Pleadings
On January 20, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for joinder of additional parties and
amendments of pleadings. In this pleading, plaintiff identified additional defendants and
legal claims he would like to add in a combined motion and amended complaint.
Plaintiff seeks to add six individuals, in their individual and official capacities, that he
alleges are legally responsible for the operation of the prison and the welfare of the
inmates, claiming that they did not act on their legal responsibility to protect him.
Specifically, plaintiff seeks to add the following individuals as defendants:
George Lombardi, Direction/Commissioner of the State of Missouri Department of
Corrections; Ian Wallace, Superintendent/Warden of Southeast Correctional Center
(SECC); Paula Reed, Assistant Warden of SECC; Regina Beggs, Housing Unit Manager
at SECC; Michael Vinson, Correctional Officer with rank of Lieutenant at SECC; and
Brian Hoskins, Correctional Officer with rank of Sergeant at SECC. Plaintiff offers the
following in support of his claims against these defendants: Lombardi, Wallace, and
Reed are legally responsible for the operation of SECC and the welfare of inmates at
SECC. Reed denied his grievance and Wallace denied the appeal on his grievance.
Beggs is responsible for the housing unit that plaintiff was assigned to at SECC. The
officers, warden, assistant warden, and housing unit manager did not act on their legally
responsibilities to protect him and failed to protect him from any and all abuse with
regard to his claim against defendant Woods. He also alleges that Hoskins was present at
the time of the incident at his cell but does not allege that Hoskins was involved in the
alleged retaliation by Woods, the only claim currently pending.
Plaintiff states his “legal claims” in one paragraph. Those claims include
“excessive force, excessive amount of misconduct, harassment, retaliation,
discrimination, due process, deliberate indifference, cruel and unusual punishment,
failure to protect, [and] unsafe conditions.” The only claim stated in his original
complaint is for retaliation by defendant Woods.
To the extent plaintiff seeks to make claims against the additional defendants as
supervisors of defendant Woods, he fails to state a claim against those defendants.
“Liability under § 1983 requires a causal link to, and direct responsibility for, the alleged
deprivation of rights.” Madewell v. Roberts, 909 F.2d 1203, 1208 (8th Cir. 1990); see
also Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1338 (8th Cir. 1985) (claim not cognizable under
§ 1983 where plaintiff fails to allege defendant was personally involved in or directly
responsible for incidents that injured plaintiff); Boyd v. Knox, 47 F.3d 966, 968 (8th
Cir.1995) (respondeat superior theory inapplicable in § 1983 suits). Plaintiff has not set
forth any non-conclusory facts indicating that any of the named supervisory defendants
were directly involved in or personally responsible for the alleged retaliation claim. As a
result, he fails to state a claim as to the supervisory defendants with regard to the pending
Further, plaintiff does not allege any additional facts in his combined motion and
amended complaint to support any new legal claims against defendant Woods or any of
the defendants he seeks to add. The Court will, therefore, deny plaintiff’s motion for
joinder of additional parties and amendments of pleadings.
Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order
In his motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, plaintiff
claims that because he is in administrative segregation he is not allowed to use the law
library and is not allowed to have hard back legal books. He also claims that he is not
allowed to use the phone to find an attorney but instead is only allowed to write. Plaintiff
seeks transfer from administrative segregation to general population alleging he would be
able to make phone calls to find legal help and would be allowed extra case studies, law
library time, and policy studies. It is apparent, however, that plaintiff has access to legal
materials based on the content of his pleadings containing citations to the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and various case law. Additionally, his pleadings are in proper form.
Although his motion states it is based upon “the complaint, supporting affidavits,
and memorandum in law submitted herewith,” plaintiff did not file supporting affidavits
or a memorandum of law. In order to be granted an ex parte temporary restraining order,
a plaintiff must submit an affidavit or verified complaint showing “that immediate and
irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the plaintiff before the adverse party or
that party's attorney can be heard in opposition.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b). The request for a
temporary restraining order must be denied because plaintiff has not submitted an
affidavit or verified complaint showing that immediate irreparable injury will occur
before defendants can be heard.
To determine whether preliminary injunctive relief is warranted, the Court must
balance the threat of irreparable harm to movant, the potential harm to the nonmoving
party should an injunction issue, the likelihood of success on the merits, and the public
interest. Dataphase Sys. v. CL Sys., 640 F.2d 109, 113–14 (8th Cir. 1981) (en banc). “A
court issues a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit to preserve the status quo and prevent
irreparable harm until the court has an opportunity to rule on the lawsuit's merits. Thus, a
party moving for a preliminary injunction must necessarily establish a relationship
between the injury claimed in the party's motion and the conduct asserted in the
complaint.” Devose v. Herrington, 42 F.3d 470, 471 (8th Cir. 1994).
Plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief should be denied because the motion has
nothing to do with preserving this Court’s decision-making power over the merits of
plaintiff’s lawsuit. Id. The motion is based on new assertions of alleged violations of
defendant’s constitutional rights that are different from the allegations in plaintiff’s
complaint. These new allegations cannot provide the basis for a preliminary injunction in
this lawsuit. Moreover, the public interest weighs against a federal court's interference
with the workings of a state prison absent extraordinary circumstances. And the
circumstances in this action are not extraordinary. As a result, the motion for injunctive
relief will be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion for leave to file an amended
complaint (ECF #19) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion for joinder of
additional parties and amendments of pleadings (ECF #24) is DENIED.
IT IS FINALLY HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff=s motion for preliminary
injunction and a temporary restraining order (ECF #20) is DENIED.
Dated this 26th day of January, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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