TURNER v. JOHNSON et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION filed. Signed by Magistrate Judge Tonianne J. Bongiovanni on 7/12/2017. (km)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JUAN IBN-DON MUMIT TURNER,
Civil Action No. 17-541 (PGS)
STEVEN JOHNSON, et al.,
BONGIOVANNI, Magistrate Judge,
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Juan Ibn-Don Mumit Turner’s (“Plaintiff”) motion
to supplement his Complaint1 pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 15(d). (Docket Entry No. 5). Defendants
have not filed opposition to Plaintiff’s motion. The Court has fully considered Plaintiff’s
moving papers and decides Plaintiff’s motion without oral argument pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P.
78. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED.
On January 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint alleging that New Jersey State Prison
(N.J.S.P.) caused his appeal of the denial of his habeas corpus petition to be denied by the
District Court by withholding his mail from him. (Pl.’s Compl. at 1). Specifically, Plaintiff
states that N.J.S.P. did not deliver the opinion denying his habeas corpus petition in time for him
to file a notice of appeal. (Id.) Plaintiff filed the instant motion on March 30, 2017 before an
Answer was filed by Defendants. Plaintiff seeks to submit documents that support Plaintiff’s
claim that N.J.S.P. “has and continues to interfere with Plaintiff’s filing appeals and having
access to the courts.” (Pl.’s Mot. at 1).
Rule 15(d) governs the filing of supplemental pleadings. “Requests to supplement
pleadings are left to the sound discretion of the court.” Glenside West Corp. v. Exxon Co.,
U.S.A., 761 F.Supp. 1118, 1133 (D.N.J. 1991). According to Rule 15(d), “[o]n motion and
reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading
setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be
supplemented.” Rule 15(d) serves many important purposes. It promotes “judicial economy,
avoids multiplicity of litigation, and promotes ‘as complete an adjudication of the dispute
between the parties as possible. . . .’” Hassoun v. Cimmino, 126 F.Supp.2d 353, 360 (D.N.J.
2000) (quoting Glenside, 761 F.Supp. at 1134 (citations omitted)).
While the text of Rule 15(d) does not include Rule 15(a)’s explicit mandate that leave be
“freely give[n],” courts have construed Rule 15(d) to require such a liberal approach. As such,
“[l]eave to file a supplemental complaint should be freely permitted in the absence of undue
delay, bad faith, dilatory tactics, undue prejudice to defendants, or futility, and when the
supplemental facts are connected to the original pleading.” Hassoun, 126 F.Supp.2d at 360-61.
Here, Plaintiff filed a motion to file a supplemental complaint sixty days after the original
complaint was filed and before Defendants have filed an Answer. The supplemental allegations
that Plaintiff seeks to add are connected to the allegations contained in the original Complaint
and the Court finds that it would be more efficient and economic for these claims, which are
substantially similar to those already raised by Plaintiff, to be resolved as part of this litigation,
The Court will treat Plaintiff’s “Motion to Expand the Record” as a motion to supplement the Complaint.
rather than for them to be adjudicated in an entirely separate litigation. In addition, the Court
finds that the proposed supplemental allegations are not the product of undue delay, bad faith or
dilatory tactics, nor will Defendants be unduly prejudiced by same.
For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff’s motion to file a supplemental complaint is
granted. An appropriate Order follows.
Dated: July 12, 2017
s/Tonianne J. Bongiovanni
HONORABLE TONIANNE J. BONGIOVANNI
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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