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.

Betar v. Advance Correctional

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Owensboro Division

February 27, 2018

GAYLON LEE BETAR PLAINTIFF
v.
ADVANCE CORRECTIONAL et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Joseph H. McKinley, Jr., Chief Judge

         Plaintiff Gaylon Lee Betar, a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the Hopkins County Jail (HCJ), filed a pro se complaint (DN 1). Subsequently, he filed what the Court construed to be a motion to amend the complaint (DN 6). On July 6, 2017, the Court performed initial review of the complaint and amendment (DN 7). Upon initial review of the complaint and amendment, the Court allowed the Fourteenth Amendment conditions-of-confinement and medical-treatment claims to proceed against Defendant Jodie Smith in her individual capacity. All other claims and Defendants were dismissed.

         On December 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a second motion to amend the complaint (DN 19) which is presently before the Court. Defendant Smith opposes the motion to amend (DN 20) because Plaintiff filed it after the time for discovery expired, Plaintiff has failed to answer discovery or fully cooperate in discovery, and Plaintiff has already been allowed to amend his complaint.

         Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states in pertinent part as follows:

         (1) Amending as a Matter of Course. A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within:

(A) 21 days after serving it, or
(B) 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.

         (2) Other Amendments. In 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.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Plaintiff's complaint was filed on March 13, 2017. Defendant Smith was served on or about August 3, 2017, and filed an answer to the complaint on August 7, 2017. Plaintiff's present motion to amend was filed on December 11, 2017, after the allowed 21 days. Thus, at this stage of the proceedings, Plaintiff may not amend as a matter of course.

         Plaintiff “may amend [his] pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). “The court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Id. However, “‘[a] motion to amend a complaint should be denied if the amendment is brought in bad faith, for dilatory purposes, results in undue delay or prejudice to the opposing party, or would be futile.'” Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 294 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Crawford v. Roane, 53 F.3d 750, 753 (6th Cir. 1995)). The decision as to whether justice requires the amendment is committed to the sound discretion of the trial court. Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330 (1971); Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). The exercise of the court's discretion must be guided by the animating principle behind Rule 15, which is “to make pleadings a means to achieve an orderly and fair administration of justice.” Griffin v. Cty. Sch. Bd. of Prince Edward Cty., 377 U.S. 218, 227 (1964). “The thrust of Rule 15 is to reinforce the principle that cases should be tried on their merits rather than the technicalities of pleadings.” Tefft v. Seward, 689 F.2d 637, 639 (6th Cir. 1982).

         There is no indication that the motion to amend was brought in bad faith or for dilatory purposes. Clearly, the motion to amend was brought late in the proceedings; however, “[t]he passage of time, without more, does not require that a motion to amend a complaint be denied.” Adams v. Gould Inc., 739 F.2d 858, 868 (3d Cir. 1984). The proposed amended causes of action are so similar to those already proceeding as not to cause prejudice to Defendant Smith. Further, Defendant Smith does not show that she will be prejudiced by allowing the amendment to proceed. For these reasons, IT IS ORDERED that the motion to amend (DN 19) is GRANTED.

         The amended complaint (DN 19) is now before the Court for review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir. 1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the reasons that follow, the Court will allow the following claims to proceed: (1) the Fourteenth Amendment conditions-of-confinement claim against Defendant Johnson in his individual capacity; and (2) the Fourteenth Amendment claim regarding denial of medical treatment against Defendant Johnson in his individual capacity.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         When a prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court must review the complaint and dismiss the complaint, or any portion of it, if it determines that the complaint is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d at 604. A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 90 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The trial court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Id. at 327. In order to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim, “a complaint must contain ...


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.