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Hoglan v. Robinson

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division

October 14, 2016

DOUGLAS A. HOGLAN, Plaintiff,
v.
A. DAVID ROBINSON, et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Jackson L. Riser Senior United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Douglas A. Hoglan, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed an amended complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff names four staff of the Virginia Department of Corrections ("VDOC") as defendants: A. David Robinson, the VDOC's Chief of Corrections Operations; Melissa Welch, the Chair of the VDOC Publications Review Committee ("PRC"); and unnamed "PRC Member Number 2" and "PRC Member Number 3."

         Presently before me are Plaintiffs and Defendants' various motions after Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. After reviewing the record, I grant Plaintiffs second motion to amend and Defendants' motion for a protective order. Also, I deny Plaintiffs first motion to amend, motion to electronically file, motion for prisoner correspondence, and request to deny the motion for summary judgment. Ratliffe-Walker and Birckhead are substituted for defendants PRC Member Number 2 and PRC Member Number 3, Welch is terminated, and PRC Member Number 1 is joined. The Clerk shall send a waiver to PRC Member Number 1, and Plaintiff shall respond to the motion for summary judgment within twenty-one days.

         I.

         I first explain the adjudication of Plaintiff s two motions to amend and Defendants' request to substitute parties. For the following reasons, I grant the motions to update the defendants' names, deny the first motion to amend, and grant the second motion to amend.

         A.

         In the second motion to amend, Plaintiff seeks to substitute PRC Member Number 1 for defendant Welch and to terminate Welch.[1] Although Welch is the current Chair of the PRC, she was not a member of the PRC when it disapproved the book Plaintiff sought, Successful Glamour Photography, and added it to the Disapproved Publications List. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21, "PRC Member Number 1" is substituted for defendant Welch.

         Defendants' counsel notes in the motion for summary judgment that Dana Ratliffe-Walker and Teresa Birckhead are the two unnamed Committee members. Also in accordance with Rule 21, Ratliffe-Walker and Birckhead are substituted for defendants PRC Member Number 2 and PRC Member Number 3.

         B.

         To put the denial of the first motion to amend in the proper context, I briefly describe the four claims Plaintiff pursues in the amended complaint against Robinson, PRC Member Number 1, Ratliffe-Walker, and Birckhead. First, VDOC Operating Procedure ("OP") 802.1 is overbroad and vague for deeming "altered" or "modified" publications and other items as contraband. Second, OP 803.2 violates due process because the actual notice of disapproved photographs and publications is too vague to constitute adequate notice. Third, OPs 802.1 and 803.2 are unconstitutional, both facially and as applied, because they prohibit sexually explicit communications. Fourth, OP 803.2 allowed the PRC to prohibit Plaintiffs possession of Successful Glamour Photography. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and damages for all four claims.

         Via the first motion to amend, Plaintiff seeks to add two claims against Robinson and newly proposed defendants. Plaintiff wants to add claims about an amendment to OP 803.1 in May 2016 that prevents his receipt of e-mailed photographs via a prison's secure messaging service. Plaintiff also wants to add claims concerning a revision to Plaintiffs treatment plan that prohibits his possession of sexually-suggestive items as of April 14, 2016.[2] The newly proposed defendants are four regional staff of the VDOC who relate to the new claims only and not to the claims in the amended complaint.

         In the exercise of my discretion, I deny the second motion to amend. Neither of the proposed claims involves the defendant PRC members or Successful Glamour Photography. Furthermore, the proposed claims concern OP 803.1, which is different than OPs 802.1 and 803.2 challenged in the amended complaint. Moreover, delving into the circumstances of the treatment plan will necessitate delving into Plaintiffs crimes, mental health diagnoses, and other circumstances, all factors that would derail this litigation.[3] Because consideration of the proposed claims would cause undue delay and prejudice the rights of most defendants to this action, the second motion to amend is denied. See, e.g., Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Montgomery Envtl. Coal, v Fri. 366 F.Supp. 261, 266 (D.D.C. 1973).

         II.

         Also presently pending are Plaintiffs motion to electronically file, Plaintiffs motion for prisoner correspondence, Defendants' motion for a protective order, and Plaintiffs request to deny summary judgment until he receives discovery from Defendants. For the ...


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