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Rodrigues v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

October 31, 2016

Anthony L Rodrigues, Plaintiff,
v.
Charles L Ryan, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Eileen S. Willett, United States Magistrate Judge

         Pending before the Court are a number of motions, which the Court has reviewed and rules on as set forth below.

         I. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's “Motion to Supplement Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 174)

         On August 26, 2016, the Court deemed Plaintiff's “Rule 15(d) Motion for Leave to Supplement Original Pleading” (Doc. 139) a motion to amend the Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 15). (Doc. 168 at 2). The Court denied Plaintiff leave to amend the Second Amended Complaint because Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 139) was untimely filed and Plaintiff failed to show the good cause necessary for the Court to deviate from its Rule 16 Scheduling Order. (Doc. 168 at 4). In addition, Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 139) failed to comply with Local Rule of Civil Procedure 15.1. (Id.). The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a motion to supplement the Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 15) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d). (Id.). On September 9, 2016, Plaintiff filed a “Motion to Supplement Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 174) and “Supplemental Pleading to Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 175).[1]

         “Rule 15(d) permits the filing of a supplemental pleading which introduces a cause of action not alleged in the original complaint and not in existence when the original complaint was filed.” Cabrera v. City of Huntington Park, 159 F.3d 374, 382 (9th Cir. 1998) (citation omitted). “Rule 15(d) is intended to give district courts broad discretion in allowing supplemental pleadings” as it is “a tool of judicial economy and convenience.” Keith v. Volpe, 858 F.2d 467, 473 (9th Cir. 1988). “While leave to permit supplemental pleading is favored, it cannot be used to introduce a separate, distinct and new cause of action” that should have been the subject of a separate suit. Planned Parenthood of Southern Arizona v. Neely, 130 F.3d 400, 402 (9th Cir. 1997).

         There is currently one claim at issue in this case-Plaintiff's allegation that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical need to be in a smoke-free environment. (Doc. 104 at 9-11, 13-14). Plaintiff's “Supplemental Pleading” (Doc. 175) seeks to add six new defendants and two new claims. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were indifferent to his serious medical needs by refusing to provide Plaintiff with a “low fat reduced sodium medical diet.” (Doc. 175 at 2-7). Plaintiff also alleges the loss of personal property and emotional and physical injury arising from a prison riot that occurred in July 2015. (Id. at 10-23). The Court finds that the proposed new claims represent separate causes of action that are distinct from the cause of action currently at issue. To reiterate, the goal of Rule 15(d) is judicial efficiency. Keith, 858 F.2d at 473. This case is over two years old, discovery has closed, and briefing on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is nearly complete. (Docs. 166, 192-93). Judicial efficiency will not be served if Plaintiff is permitted to add two new claims unrelated to Plaintiff's existing cause of action against new defendants. Plaintiff's “Motion to Supplement Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 174) will be denied.

         B. Plaintiff's “Motion to Strike . . .” (Doc. 186) and Defendants' Request for Doubled Attorney Fees Pursuant to Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-349(A) (Docs. 182, 189, 191)

         Plaintiff has moved to strike Defendants' “Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement Second Amended Complaint” (Doc. 182). (Doc. 186). Defendants' Response (Doc. 182) is authorized by Local Rule of Civil Procedure 7.2(c). Plaintiff's Motion to Strike (Doc. 186) will be denied.

         In their Response (Doc. 182 at 6), Defendants request that the Court “order Plaintiff to pay Defendants' doubled reasonable attorney fees and expenses incurred as the result of Plaintiff's Motion to Supplement in an amount not to exceed five thousand dollars as set forth in A.R.S. 12-349.”[2] Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 12-349(A) provides that:

Except as otherwise provided by and not inconsistent with another statute, in any civil action commenced or appealed in a court of record in this state, the court shall assess reasonable attorney fees, expenses and, at the court's discretion, double damages of not to exceed five thousand dollars against an attorney or party, including this state and political subdivisions of this state, if the attorney or party does any of the following:
1. Brings or defends a claim without substantial justification.
2. Brings or defends a claim solely or primarily for delay or ...

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