United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. Russell, Senior Judge United States.
matter comes before the Court upon four Motions. First,
Plaintiff Michael Cooper (“Plaintiff”) has filed
a Motion to Compel and Amend Complaint. [DN 179.] Second,
Defendants 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
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.]
Motion to Compel & Amend Complaint and Motion to
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.
Motion to Compel & Amend Complaint
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).
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).
Motion to Strike
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; ...