Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cooper v. Bower

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

January 29, 2018

MICHAEL COOPER, PLAINTIFF
v.
SOJNIA BOWER, et al., DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge United States.

         This matter comes before the Court upon four Motions. First, Plaintiff Michael Cooper (“Plaintiff”) has filed a Motion to Compel and Amend Complaint.[1] [DN 179.] Second, Defendants[2] have filed a Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and Amend Complaint. [DN 188.] Third, Plaintiff has filed a “Motion to Counter Strike” Defendants' Motion to Strike. [DN 194.] Finally, Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Reconsideration. [DN 189.] The Court will address the merits of each of these Motions below.

         I. Background

         Plaintiff is an inmate currently incarcerated at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (“KSP”). From December 2015 to September 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint [DN 1] and three Amended Complaints. [DN 10, 12, 52.] In his initial Complaint, filed December 18, 2015, Plaintiff initiated a pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 prisoner civil rights action. [DN 1.] Throughout his additional filings, Plaintiff has alleged that various Defendants violated his right to bodily privacy, contravening the Fourth Amendment; that Defendants engaged in retaliatory conduct in violation of the First Amendment in response to Plaintiff's alleged protected activities; that Defendants utilized excessive force against Plaintiff and subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment, thereby violating his Eighth Amendment rights; that Defendants unlawfully interfered with Plaintiff's legal mail at KSP; and that certain money Plaintiff had in his personal prison account was unlawfully converted by Defendants. Some of Plaintiff's claims were dismissed upon Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. [See DN 174.]

         II. Motion to Compel & Amend Complaint and Motion to Strike

         The first Motion at issue is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and Amend Complaint. [DN 179.] Among other things, Plaintiff has filed proposed interrogatories with the Court and asks to have these questions answered; he also has requested the production of certain photographs, videos, and has asked to amend his Complaint to add new defendants and claims. [See id.] In response, Defendants filed a Motion to Strike this Motion from the record. [See DN 188.] As these two Motions deal directly with each other, the Court will address them jointly.

         A. Legal Standard

         1. Motion to Compel & Amend Complaint

         The determination of “the scope of discovery is within the sound discretion of the trial court.” Chrysler Corp. v. Fedders Corp., 643 F.2d 1229, 1240 (6th Cir. 1981). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(1), “a party may move for an order compelling disclosure or discovery.” Importantly, “the motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to obtain it without court action.” Id. Motions to compel discovery responses are authorized where a party fails to provide proper responses to interrogatories under Rule 33 or requests for production of documents under Rule 34. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iii)-(iv).

         With respect to amended pleadings, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1) permits a party to “amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days after serving it, or if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or 21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f), whichever is earlier.” However, where that time has passed, Rule 15(a)(2) provides that, “[i]n all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” While the Federal Rules encourage a liberal construction of Rule 15, it may be appropriate to deny leave to amend a complaint “where there is undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of the amendment, etc.” Miller v. Champion Enters., Inc., 346 F.3d 660, 690 (6th Cir. 2003).

         2. Motion to Strike

         Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions to strike. Such motions are generally disfavored. Fed. Savings and Loan Ins. Corp. v. Bourdette, 718 F.Supp. 649, 662 (E.D. Tenn. 1989). Rule 12(f) empowers the Court to “order stricken from any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” The Federal Rules define a “pleading” as follows:

[A] complaint and an answer; a reply to a counterclaim denominated as such; an answer to a cross-claim, if the answer contains a cross-claim; a third-party complaint, if a person who was not an original third party is summoned under the provisions of Rule 14; ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.