MCNAMARA v. BUEHLER et al
LETTER ORDER/OPINION denying 9 Motion to for leave to file an Amended Complaint. Signed by Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion on 10/6/16. (sr, )(N/M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Martin Luther King Jr, Federal Bldg.
& U.S. Courthouse
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07102
STEVEN C. MANNION
United States Magistrate Judge
October 6, 2016
D.E. 9, Plaintiff’s Request for Leave to File an Amended Complaint
McNamara v. Buehler, et al.
Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-00841 (MCA)(SCM)
This matter comes before the Court by way of Pro Se Plaintiff Kevin McNamara’s (“Mr.
McNamara”) request for leave to file an amended complaint. 1 Mr. McNamara seeks to amend his
complaint to add a claim for economic damages against Lt. Scott Buehler, Det. Joseph Anderson,
and Det. C. Cunningham (“Law Enforcement Defendants”), and to possibly add claims against
Kenneth Strait, Assistant Prosecutor for the Township of Montclair. 2 In opposition, the Law
Enforcement Defendants argue procedural and substantive defects with the motion. 3 There was no
oral argument. For the reasons set forth herein, Mr. McNamara’s request for leave to file an
amended complaint is denied.
(ECF Docket Entry (“D.E.”) 9).
(Id. at ¶¶ 3-6).
(D.E. 18 at 1-2).
MAGISTRATE JUDGE AUTHORITY
“The decision to grant a motion for leave to amend is within the sound discretion of the
District Court.” 4 The District Court for this District has specified that magistrate judges may
determine any non-dispositive pre-trial motion. 5 “Motions to amend are usually considered nondispositive motions.” 6 A magistrate judge’s decision on a motion to amend must therefore be
upheld unless “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 7
LEAVE TO AMEND
Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a district court “should
freely give leave” to amend pleadings “when justice so requires.” 8
A district court may
alternatively deny a motion to amend where the amendment would result in undue delay, prejudice,
or futility. 9 “An amendment is futile if the amended complaint would not survive a motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.” 10 Thus in determining
futility the same legal standard employed under a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss is applied.11
The Court takes “all pleaded allegations as true and view[s] them in a light most favorable to the
Winer Family Trust v. Queen, 503 F.3d 319, 331 (3d Cir. 2007).
See L. Civ. R. 72.1(a)(1).
Thomas v. Ford Motor Co., 137 F. Supp. 2d 575, 579 (D.N.J. 2001).
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).
Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).
See Winer Family Tr., 503 F.3d at 330-31.
Gutwirth v. Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, 38 F. Supp. 3d 485, 488–89 (D.N.J. 2014)
(quoting Alvin v. Suzuki, 227 F.3d 107, 121 (3d Cir.2000)).
See id. at 488-89 (internal citations omitted).
plaintiff;” however, it “need not accept sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of bald
assertions, unwarranted inferences, or unsupported conclusions.” 12 The complaint “must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’”13
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” 14
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT
This matter involves allegations of civil rights violations in connection with Mr.
McNamara’s arrest and prosecution for burglary. 15 Mr. McNamara, a state prisoner proceeding
in forma pauperis, filed his initial complaint on February 16, 2016. 16 The Court dismissed all of
Mr. McNamara’s claims except those for malicious prosecution against the Law Enforcement
Defendants. 17 For example, the malicious prosecution claim against Assistant Prosecutor Kenneth
Strait was dismissed with prejudice on the basis of prosecutorial immunity. 18
On August 15, 2016, Mr. McNamara filed a motion for leave to file an amended
complaint. 19 The motion proposes to add a claim for economic damages allegedly incurred in his
Winer Family Tr., 503 F.3d at 331; Gutwirth, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 489 (internal citations and
quotation marks omitted).
Gutwirth, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 489 (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
Matthews v. New Jersey Inst. of Tech., 717 F. Supp. 2d 447, 451 (D.N.J. 2010) (quoting
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 662).
(D.E. 1, 4).
(D.E. 4 at 8).
criminal defense and appears to add claims against Assistant Prosecutor Kenneth Strait. 20 While
Mr. McNamara sets forth some factual allegations, he has failed to submit a proposed amended
complaint. The Third Circuit has explicitly stated that the failure to submit a draft amended
complaint “is fatal to a request for leave to amend.” 21 Since Mr. McNamara has not properly
moved to amend his complaint, the Court finds that it must deny the deficient request to amend.
For these reasons, Mr. McNamara’s request for leave to file an amended complaint is
DENIED without prejudice. The Clerk’s Office shall provide Plaintiff McNamara with a copy of
IT IS SO ORDERED.
10/6/2016 9:34:38 AM
Original: Clerk of the Court
Hon. Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.D.J.
cc: All parties
c (via U.S. Mail):
Mr. Kevin McNamara
Union County Jail
15 Elizabethtown Plaza
Elizabeth, NJ 07207
(Id. at ¶¶ 3-6
McWreath v. Range Resources-Appalachia, LLC, 645 F. App'x 190, 196 (3d Cir. 2016)
(internal citations omitted) (emphasis added).
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