Keys v. Carroll et al
MEMORANDUM re 113 MOTION for Leave to File filed by Carrington Alan Keys Signed by Honorable A. Richard Caputo on 7/6/12. (jam, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:10-CV-1570
JACQUELINE CARROLL, et al.,
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff Carrington Keys’s Motion to Supplement. (Doc.
113.) Because the additional claims Keys seeks to incorporate into this action are not
expressly tied to his original, underlying claims, and as this matter is listed for trial in
November, I will deny his Motion to Supplement without prejudice as it would not lead to the
justiciable disposition of this matter.
Plaintiff Carrington Keys is currently incarcerated at State Correctional Institution
(“SCI”) Camp Hill. Previously, while incarcerated at SCI Dallas, Keys lodged criminal
complaints with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office that he asserts were not
investigated. In particular, Keys alleges that he submitted information to District Attorney
Jacqueline M. Carroll alleging involvement of the Correctional Defendants in the suicide of
a fellow inmate, but that instead of investigating and/or prosecuting the Correctional
Defendants, Defendant Carroll forwarded Plaintiff’s complaint to prison officials who then
retaliated against Plaintiff by assaulting him, harassing him, and depriving him of mail.
Keys filed his initial Complaint in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas against
various prison officials pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, inter alia, assault, mail
tampering, retaliation, and failure to prosecute. The Defendants removed the action to
federal court. (Doc. 1). Defendants to this lawsuit include: Jeffrey A. Beard, Secretary of
the Department of Corrections; Michael Klopotoski, the Regional Deputy Secretary for the
Department of Corrections; SCI Dallas Superintendent Jerome Walsh; SCI Dallas Deputy
Superintendent Vincent Mooney; Joseph Zakkarauskas, Robert McCoy, Lawrence
Pudlosky, Elmore Angelope and Nancy Fedor, all employees at SCI Dallas (“Correctional
Defendants”); and Jacqueline Musto Carroll, the former District Attorney for Luzerne
As a result the District Attorney’s Office returning Plaintiff’s complaint back to the
prison officials, Plaintiff claims he was subjected to verbal and physical harassment from
Corrections Officers (“CO”) Pudlosky and McCoy who manufactured false misconduct
reports to conceal their abuse. Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant Carroll is that she had
an unconstitutional policy of sending prisoner criminal complaints back to their respective
institutions in order to endanger the inmates who authored them and to make them
disappear. Plaintiff argues that this indifference to his federal rights amounted to a state
created danger, and that Defendant Carroll had constructive knowledge of the culture of
lawlessness her actions were promoting within the prisons. Plaintiff further alleges that
Defendants Beard, Klopotoski, Walsh, Mooney, and Zakkarauskas were deliberately
indifferent in training their Officers as to constitutional policies, and that they affirmatively
established policies and practices that encouraged interference with prisoners’ right to
petition for redress of grievances.
Pursuant to the Court's November 23, 2011 Order, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint on December 6, 2011. (Doc. 125.) In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges
Defendant’s actions were in violation of his rights: (1) to be secure in his person and
property under the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments; (2) to petition for redress
of grievances under the First Amendment; (3) to be free of cruel and unusual punishment
under the Eighth Amendment; (4) of equal protection under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments; and (5) of substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Keys
also claims assault and battery under state law and that Defendant Carroll’s actions
amounted to a state created danger under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process
Clause. Plaintiff seeks a permanent inunction and monetary damages as against all
On November 15, 2011, Keys filed his Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental
Complaint. This Motion is now ripe for the Court’s consideration.
I. Legal Standard
“On 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.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(d). In referring to
events that occurred after the original pleading was filed, a supplemental pleading differs
from an amendment, which covers matters that occurred before the filing of the original
pleading but were overlooked at the time. Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. Lake Shore Land Co., Inc.,
610 F.2d 1185, 1188 (3d Cir. 1979). A motion to supplement is governed by essentially the
same standards as a motion to amend a complaint, Holmes v. Bledsoe, No. 4:cv-10-1043,
2011 WL 292851, at *6 (M.D. Pa. Jan. 26, 2011), and, “like an application for leave to
amend a complaint, is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court,” Nottingham v.
Peoria, 709 F. Supp. 542, 544 (M.D. Pa. 1988) (citation omitted). Thus, this mechanism
allows parties to “assert new claims, which arose subsequent to the original complaint,
although the court retains discretion to deny a request for supplementation when the
proffered claims are unrelated to the original cause of action.” Good v. Borough of Steelton,
1:06-CV-1736, 2008 WL 4454058, at *11 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 30, 2008) (citations omitted).
“Factors to be considered by the court include the promotion of a [justiciable] disposition of
the case, the delay or inconvenience the allowance of such a pleading will cause, and the
prejudice to the rights of the parties to the action.” Nottingham, 709 F. Supp. at 544.
Through this proposed supplemental complaint, Plaintiff Keys seeks to add eight
additional Defendants including the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office; David Pedri,
the Deputy District Attorney; Frank T. McCabe, the Assistant District Attorney; Christopher
Wilson, the Corporal of the Wyoming Barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police; James
Barnacle, the Director of the Office of Professional Responsibility at the Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections; two SCI Dallas Corrections Officers, J. Martin and David Mosier;
and Michael Dessoye, the Chief Detective at SCI Dallas.
As explained above, the instant Amended Complaint seeks redress for alleged harm
suffered as a result of the District Attorney’s Office forwarding complaints about prison
officials back to those same prison officials. Also as noted, this matter is now on the
November trial list. As such, I find it would not be in the interest of justice to grant Plaintiff
Keys the opportunity to supplement this matter–which has been pending for more than two
years–with what are, at essence, new claims.
In particular, Keys first seeks to add a claim that, following the filing of his lawsuit in
June of 2010, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s (“DA’s”) Office forwarded his criminal
complaint to the Department of Corrections “to investigate itself and conceal the crimes
alleged . . . .” (Proposed Supp. Compl. at ¶ 18, Doc. 113-1.) Keys alleges that assisting
the Department of Corrections in discrediting civil complaints was the practice of the DA’s
office, that this provided the Corrections Defendants an opportunity to destroy evidence,
and that the DA’s Office was constructively aware that this would lead to further assaults.
(Id. at ¶¶ 19-20.) In his supplemental complaint, Keys does not actually allege that any
evidence was actually destroyed or that he was actually assaulted as a result of this
particular conduct. However, I find that this is a new and separate allegation which,
although perhaps indicative of the corrupt culture alleged by Plaintiff Keys, is not inherently
tied to the underlying allegations of the instant action.
Keys seeks to add a further claim that Carroll, Pedri, McCabe, Wilson, and Barnacle
concealed “video recorded evidence that six white officers bloodily beat six black prisoners
while pinned to the ground. . . in order to further assist in the creation of false report and
continue the political alliance family ties that Luzerne County District Attorneys Office has
with Dallas D.O.C. employees.” (Id. at ¶ 19.) This alleged assault was part of an April 29,
2010 incident that Keys has previously attempted to bring into this lawsuit which he
characterizes as a non-violent protest in for which he was eventually charged with riot. See
Keys v. Carroll, 3:10-CV-1570, 2012 WL 580419 (M.D. Pa. Feb. 22, 2012) (denying Keys’s
attempt to supplement the complaint to include claims for DA Carroll’s apparent filing of
initiating false criminal charges for the alleged riot). Keys further alleges that the video was
hidden after he filed this lawsuit in order “to make it appear that a riot had [occurred] and
to falsify retaliatory cover charges against Plaintiff and others who filed complains against
them.” (Proposed Supp. Compl. at ¶¶ 25-26.) As above, this charge is not sufficiently
related to the underlying conduct at issue in this lawsuit and I will decline Keys’s attempt to
include it in the instant lawsuit. Keys alleges a broad course of orchestrated retaliatory
conduct designed to “strike back at Plaintiff for his legal filings and grievances against
them.” (Id. at ¶ 36.) While the filing of the instant lawsuit may be an element of the conduct
leading to the alleged retaliation, this is not a sufficient nexus to justify the complete
reorganization of this lawsuit at this late date. Instead, this appears to be a renewed
attempt to import the facts and claims arising from the April 29, 2010 protest, and I will
decline the invitation to do so.
As the proposed supplemental pleadings are largely tangential to the pending action
in this court, it would not be in the interest of justice to allow Keys further opportunity to
supplement his Amended Complaint at this late date. In denying this Motion without
prejudice, I believe these ancillary claims are best resolved through separate actions
especially in light of the complex procedural history this case has already endured in arriving
at this point, now only months away from trial. An appropriate order follows.
July 6, 2012
/s/ A. Richard Caputo
A. Richard Caputo
United States District Judge
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