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Simpson v. Bishop
United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
May 30, 2019
JAMES HENRY SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
MARTESHA BISHOP, et al, Defendants.
A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge
a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and in forms
pauperis filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. By
Memorandum Order entered on May 9, 2019, the Court directed
Plaintiff to file a particularized complaint and denied
several motions. The Court explained:
In order to state a viable claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
plaintiff must allege that a person acting under color of
state law deprived him or her of a constitutional right or of
a right conferred by a law of the United States. See Dowe
v. Total Action Against Poverty in Roanoke Valley, 145
F.3d 653, 658 (4th Cir. 1998) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1983).
Courts must liberally construe pro se civil rights
complaints in order to address constitutional deprivations.
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir.
1978). Nevertheless, "[principles requiring generous
construction of pro se complaints are not... without
limits." Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775*F.2d
1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). Plaintiffs current terse and
conclusory allegations fail to provide each defendant with
fair notice of the facts and legal basis upon which his or
her liability rests. See Bell Atl Corp, v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
Plaintiff is DIRECTED, within fourteen (14) days of the date
of entry hereof, to particularize his complaint in
conformance with the following directions and in the order
set forth below:
a. At the very top of the particularized pleading, Plaintiff
is directed to place the following caption in all capital
letters "PARTICULARIZED COMPLAINT FOR CIVIL ACTION
b. The first paragraph of the particularized pleading must
contain a list of defendants. Thereafter, in the body of the
particularized complaint, Plaintiff must set forth legibly,
in separately numbered paragraphs, a short statement of the
facts giving rise to his claims for relief. Thereafter, in
separately captioned sections, Plaintiff must clearly
identify each civil right violated. Under each section, the
Plaintiff must list each defendant purportedly liable under
that legal theory and explain why he believes each defendant
is liable to him. Such explanation should reference the
specific numbered factual paragraphs in the body of the
particularized complaint that support that assertion.
Plaintiff shall also include a prayer for relief.
c. The particularized pleading will supplant the prior
complaints. The particularized pleading must stand or fall of
its own accord. Plaintiff may not reference statements in the
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE FOREGOING DIRECTIONS
WILL RESULT IN DISMISSAL OF THE ACTION.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(b).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a) provides that: "A
party asserting a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim may join, as independent or alternative
claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing
party." Nevertheless, when a plaintiff seeks to bring
multiple claims against multiple defendants, he must also
satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 which provides:
(2) Defendants. Persons . . . may
be joined in one action as defendants if:
(A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly,
severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising
out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and
(B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will
arise in the action.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). "Rule 20 does not authorize a
plaintiff to add claims 'against different parties [that]
present[ ] entirely different factual and legal
issues.'" Sykes v. Bayer Pharm. Corp., 548
F.Supp.2d 208, 218 (E.D. Va. 2008) (alterations in original)
(quoting Lovelace v. Lee, No. 7:03CV00395, 2007 WL
3069660, at *1 (W.D. Va. Oct. 21, 2007)). Accordingly,
Plaintiffs Particularized Complaint must also comport with
the joinder requirements. If Plaintiff fails to submit an
appropriate Particularized Complaint that comports with the
joinder requirements, the Court will drop all defendants not
properly joined with the first named defendant.
Plaintiff has filed several motions since the action was
filed. First, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend his
Complaint. (ECF No. 11.) Because Plaintiff may include any
defendants or supporting facts in his Particularized
Complaint, the Motion to Amend (ECF No. 11) is DENIED.
Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Retrieve Documents in which
he complains of the institution not sending or the
Clerk's office not filing a "Motionto Add
Defendant." (ECF No. 14, atl.) Because Plaintiff may
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