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Beyer v. Woods

United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, Southeastern Division

January 26, 2015

DALTON DONALD BEYER, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDY WOODS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint, motion for joinder of additional parties and amendments of pleadings, and motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. For the following reasons, the motions will be denied.

I. Background

Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against correctional officer Randy Woods, individually and in his official capacity, for alleged retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. The events at issue began on March 10, 2014, with plaintiff kicking his cell door.[1] Defendant Woods told plaintiff to stop kicking the door or he would spray plaintiff with pepper spray. Plaintiff continued kicking the door and told Woods, “if your [sic] going to spray me then do it.” Woods attempted to spray pepper spray through the food port but plaintiff blocked the food port with his body. Woods then pushed his arm through the food port to spray plaintiff. Plaintiff pinned Woods’s arm against the cell door with his body and Woods dropped the pepper spray in the cell. Plaintiff claims he picked up the pepper spray and handed it to the officers outside the cell. Plaintiff alleges that he later asked Woods if he was sprayed with pepper spray and Woods stated plaintiff did not spray him.

According to the exhibits attached to the complaint, Woods wrote a conduct violation on March 10, 2014, for assault on an officer. In the conduct violation, Woods claimed that plaintiff grabbed his arm through the food port and pinned it. Woods did not claim that plaintiff used the pepper spray against him.

In April 2014, plaintiff filed an informal resolution request complaining about the conduct violation. Plaintiff claimed that Woods placed his arm in the food port and dropped the pepper spray canister. The informal resolution request was not resolved.

On May 5, 2014, Woods rewrote the conduct violation regarding the March 10, 2014, incident. In the new conduct violation, Woods claimed that plaintiff grabbed his arm, pulling it into the food port and trapping it. Woods further claimed that plaintiff took the pepper spray canister out of his hand and sprayed him with it. Woods claimed that he rewrote the conduct violation for a technical reason. The updated conduct violation cited plaintiff for both assault on an officer and use of dangerous contraband.

On July 7, 2014, plaintiff filed this action against defendant Woods. On 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1) review, this Court found that, liberally construed, plaintiff’s complaint alleges that Woods added the new claims and charges to the conduct violation in retaliation for plaintiff’s April 2014 informal resolution request. Plaintiff claims that the new charges are false and that he has been more harshly punished as a result of the new charges. This Court held that plaintiff could proceed with the claim against Woods individually but dismissed the official capacity claim.

II. Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint

On January 9, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff states that he would like to add new defendants and legal claims. The motion, however, does not identify the new defendants or provide any explanation of the claims plaintiff would like to add, nor does it include a proposed amended complaint. As a result, plaintiff’s motion fails to provide any justification warranting an amended complaint and will be denied.

III. Motion for Joinder of Additional Parties and Amendment of Pleadings

On January 20, 2015, plaintiff filed a motion for joinder of additional parties and amendments of pleadings. In this pleading, plaintiff identified additional defendants and legal claims he would like to add in a combined motion and amended complaint. Plaintiff seeks to add six individuals, in their individual and official capacities, that he alleges are legally responsible for the operation of the prison and the welfare of the inmates, claiming that they did not act on their legal responsibility to protect him.

Specifically, plaintiff seeks to add the following individuals as defendants: George Lombardi, Direction/Commissioner of the State of Missouri Department of Corrections; Ian Wallace, Superintendent/Warden of Southeast Correctional Center (SECC); Paula Reed, Assistant Warden of SECC; Regina Beggs, Housing Unit Manager at SECC; Michael Vinson, Correctional Officer with rank of Lieutenant at SECC; and Brian Hoskins, Correctional Officer with rank of Sergeant at SECC. Plaintiff offers the following in support of his claims against these defendants: Lombardi, Wallace, and Reed are legally responsible for the operation of SECC and the welfare of inmates at SECC. Reed denied his grievance and Wallace denied the appeal on his grievance. Beggs is responsible for the housing unit that plaintiff was assigned to at SECC. The officers, warden, assistant warden, and housing unit manager did not act on their legally responsibilities to protect him and failed to protect him from any and all abuse with regard to his claim against defendant Woods. He also alleges that Hoskins was present at the time of the incident at his cell but does not allege that Hoskins was involved in the alleged retaliation by Woods, the only claim currently pending.

Plaintiff states his “legal claims” in one paragraph. Those claims include “excessive force, excessive amount of misconduct, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, due process, deliberate indifference, cruel and unusual punishment, failure to protect, [and] unsafe conditions.” The ...


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