Whittington et al v. Isgrig et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of plaintiffs to add the claim of Sondra Loness (Doc. 70 ) is denied without prejudice. Plaintiffs may have 21 days to renew this motion with a proposed amended complaint attached. Signed by Magistrate Judge David D. Noce on 10/16/14. (KJS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
VICTORIA WHITTINGTON and
MARK ANTHONY ISGRIG,
ANGELA PEARL, and
No. 2:13 CV 16 DDN
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the court is the motion of plaintiffs under F. R. Civ. P. 20 to add Sondra
Loness as a plaintiff. (Doc. 70.)
Plaintiff argues that Ms. Loness's claim is that she, like plaintiffs Whittington and
Bright, was sexually assaulted at the Vandalia Women's Prison by defendant Isgrig, in
violation of her federally protected civil rights. (Id.)
Defendants argue that this motion comes too late, because the deadline for adding
parties was November 13, 2013, and the discovery closing date is November 21, 2014.
For adding plaintiffs, Rule 20 requires (a) that the new party's claim arise "out of
the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences," and (b)
involve questions of law and fact common to all the plaintiffs. F. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(1).
Plaintiffs have shown that the described claim of Ms. Loness involves a question of law
common to their claims, i.e., the violation of their federally protected civil rights due to
the acts of defendant Isgrig. And her claim, as described by plaintiffs, would involve a
common issue of fact, i.e., whether defendant Isgrig acted with Ms. Loness as he is
alleged to have acted with the present plaintiffs. These considerations comply with Rule
20(a)(1)(B), but not the identity required by Rule 20(a)(1)(A).
Plaintiffs have not shown that Ms. Loness's claim arises out of the same
occurrence or transaction, or series of such, that gave rise to their claims. F. R. Civ. P.
20(a)(1)(A). At best, plaintiffs have shown that Ms. Loness's claim arises from a similar
occurrence or series of events, but not the same one. Whether Ms. Loness's claim is part
of the same "transaction" in which the present plaintiffs' claims occurred requires
consideration of whether the claims are "logically related." In re Prempro Products
Liability Litigation, 591 F.3d 613, 622-23 (8th Cir. 2010). The record before the court
indicates only that Ms. Loness's claim is based on the same law and involves the same
defendant actor. Defendants argue that neither of the present plaintiffs has testified that
defendant Isgrig's actions with them involved Ms. Loness. (Doc. 71.)
Plaintiffs have not shown entitlement under Rule 20 for the joinder of Ms.
Loness's claim. This is not to say that her claim would not qualify for joinder with more
information about it. The court will deny the motion to add Ms. Loness's claim without
prejudice. Plaintiffs may refile the motion with a proposed amended complaint that
demonstrates entitlement to joinder. Nelson v. Rosenbloom, 2008 WL 554300 (E.D. Mo.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of plaintiffs to add the claim of
Sondra Loness (Doc. 70) is denied without prejudice. Plaintiffs may have 21 days to
renew this motion with a proposed amended complaint attached.
/s/ David D. Noce
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Signed on October 16, 2014.
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