United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE
se Plaintiff Michael Vaughan filed a renewed motion for
leave to file a fourth amended complaint (DN 64) with an
attached proposed fourth amended complaint. For the following
reasons, the Court will grant that motion in part and deny it
complaint and second amended complaint, which the Court
considered on initial review, were filed while Plaintiff was
housed at the Roederer Correctional Complex (RCC). Plaintiff
has since been transferred to the Luther Luckett Correctional
proposed amended complaint seeks to add twelve new Defendants
in their individual and official capacities. Five of the
newly named Defendants are employees at the RCC: Unit
Administrator Rebecca Barker; computer technician Eric
Ribenboim; Major Arnold Chisholm; Lt. Geisler; and Angela
French. The remainder of the newly named Defendants are
employees of LLCC, where Plaintiff has been transferred:
Warden Scott Jordan; Deputy Wardens James Coyne, Jessie
Stacks, and Jessie Ferguson; Cathy Buck; Dagon Moon; and
Captain Tim Forgy.
claims arising after the dates of the complaint and amended
complaints considered by the Court on initial review are
actually considered to be supplementing rather than amending
the complaint. Rule 15(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure provides in pertinent part: “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.” “[A]
supplemental pleading addresses events occurring subsequent
to the initial pleading and adds to such pleading.”
Habitat Educ. Ctr., Inc. v. Kimbell, 250 F.R.D. 397,
401 (E.D. Wis. 2008).
granting of a motion to file a supplemental pleading is
within the discretion of the trial court and, as a general
rule, applications for leave to file a supplemental pleading
are normally granted. Stewart v. Shelby Tissue,
Inc., 189 F.R.D. 357, 362 (W.D. Tenn. 1999). Motions to
supplement under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d) must be presented within
a reasonable period of time. Id.
supplemental pleading may include new facts, new claims, new
defenses, and new parties. Id. at 361. Such events
need not arise out of the same transaction or occurrence as
the original claim but must have some relationship to the
original pleading. Habitat, 250 F.R.D. at 402. In
considering whether to allow a plaintiff to supplement his
complaint, the Court should consider (1) undue delay in
filing the motion; (2) lack of notice to adverse parties; (3)
whether the movant is acting in bad faith or with a dilatory
motive; (4) failure to cure deficiencies by previous
amendments; (5) the possibility of undue prejudice to adverse
parties; and (6) whether amendment is futile. Bromley v.
Mich. Educ. Ass'n-NEA, 178 F.R.D. 148, 154 (E.D.
Mich. 1998). Where the original pleading placed the defendant
on notice that the disputed conduct was of a continuing
nature, the supplemental complaint should be allowed.
rule does not, however, allow a plaintiff to add new claims
relating to new events at a completely different prison
involving not the original defendants but a whole new cast of
characters. In such circumstances, leave to supplement should
be denied, because there is “no linkage” between
the new allegations and those set forth in the original
complaint. See Klos v. Haskell, 835 F.Supp. 710, 716
the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion insofar as it
seeks to add the LLCC Defendants, i.e., Defendants
Jordan, Coyne, Stacks, Ferguson, Buck, Moon, and Forgy, and
causes of action related to occurrences at LLCC,
i.e., Plaintiff's claim that the LLCC law
library is inadequate.
only allegation regarding Barker has to do with grievances he
filed. However, Plaintiff does not have a cause of action
against Barker because “there is no cause of action for
the improper adjudication, or failure to adjudicate, an
inmate's grievances.” Shankle v.
Tennessee, No. 07-2454B/P, 2007 WL 4255245, at *2 (W.D.
Tenn. Nov. 29, 2007); see also Skinner v. Govorchin,
463 F.3d 518, 525 (6th Cir. 2006) (“Skinner's
complaint regarding Wolfenbarger's denial of
Skinner's grievance appeal, it is clear, fails to state a
claim.”); Lee v. Mich. Parole Bd., 104
Fed.Appx. 490, 493 (6th Cir. 2004) (“Section 1983
liability may not be imposed simply because a defendant
denied an administrative grievance or failed to act based
upon information contained in a grievance.”);
Nwaebo v. Hawk-Sawyer, 83 Fed.Appx. 85, 86 (6th Cir.
2003) (holding that defendants “cannot be subject to
§ 1983 liability simply because they denied [the
plaintiff's] administrative grievances or failed to act
based upon information contained in his grievances”).
Consequently, the Court will deny leave to add Barker as a
Defendant to this action because to do so would be futile.
alleges that Defendant French is the RCC mail-room
supervisor. He states that he filed a grievance about
Defendant French reading two pieces of legal mail after RCC
and the Kentucky Department of Corrections were notified that
Plaintiff had filed suit. He states that this grievance was
“quashed using ‘grievance gaming' by
Defendant Barker.” The Court will allow Plaintiff's
claim against Defendant French for reading his legal mail out
of his presence to go forward. See, e.g., Kensu
v. Haigh, 87 F.3d 172, 174 (6th Cir. 1996); Odom v.
Pheral, No. 5:12CV-P73-R, 2013 WL 1703868, at *9 (W.D.
Ky. Apr. 19, 2013).
already explained to Plaintiff in the Court's initial
review, Plaintiff's claims against Defendants in their
official capacities are deemed claims against the
Commonwealth of Kentucky itself. See Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985). To state a § 1983
claim, a plaintiff must allege that a “person”
acting under color of state law deprived the plaintiff of a
right secured by the Constitution or federal law.
See § 1983. States, state agencies, and state
officials sued in their official capacities for money damages
are not “persons” subject to suit under §
1983. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 71 (1989). Thus, Plaintiff cannot seek money damages