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Simpson v. Bishop

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 30, 2019

JAMES HENRY SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTESHA BISHOP, et al, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, 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, [1]a 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)).

         Accordingly, 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 NUMBER 3:18CV796."
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 prior complaints.
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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