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Watson v. Witty

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

April 12, 2017

TERRY G. WATSON, Plaintiff,
KAREY L. WITTY, et al., Defendants.



         Before the Court are plaintiff's motions to amend his complaint [Doc. #50 and #56], a motion for reconsideration of his motions for injunctive relief [Doc. #54], and two “evidentiary” motions [Doc. #49 and #53]. Also before the Court is a motion for injunctive relief. [Doc. #55] Additionally, plaintiff seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis on an interlocutory appeal. [Doc. #58]

         After reviewing plaintiff's motions in their entirety, the Court will deny plaintiff's motions for reconsideration and his motions to present evidence will be stricken from the Court record. Plaintiff's motions to amend his complaint will also be denied because he has not attached a proposed amended complaint to his motions. Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief will also be denied for the reasons stated below. Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal will be granted. An initial partial filing fee on appeal of $66.37 will be assessed.


         Plaintiff, an inmate at Moberly Correctional Center (“MCC”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Court did a pre-service review of this action, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, on March 9, 2017. In the pre- service review, the Court found that plaintiff's claims for deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs relative to his leg and back issue survive review with respect to Dr. Aschok Chada, Dr. Paul Jones and Cathy Barton (Corizon, LLC employees). The Court found that several of plaintiff's ADA claims also survive review with respect to MDOC employees Lisa Pogue, Michelle Buckner, Correctional Officer Allen. See Memorandum and Order issued March 9, 2017, Docket #40. Plaintiff's additional claims, as well as several named defendants, however, were dismissed. Id.

         In its March 9, 2017 Memorandum and Order, the Court struck from the record sixteen (16) stand-alone declarations filed by plaintiff in this action. The Court reminded plaintiff that he was told in the Court's December 2, 2016 Memorandum and Order that the Court does not accept amendments by interlineation or supplementation. In addition, the Court does not accept discovery to be filed as a stand-alone document in the Court record. Rather, discovery may only be filed as an attachment in support of a motion. See Eastern District of Missouri Local Rules.

         Accordingly, sixteen (16) of plaintiff's declarations were stricken from the Court record in the Court's March 9, 2017 Memorandum and Order. Nevertheless, plaintiff continued to file “declarations” with this Court. In the Court's March 20, 2017 Memorandum and Order, the Court not only struck two (2) additional “declarations” from the Court record, but it also instructed the Clerk of Court not to accept any additional stand-alone “declarations” from plaintiff in this action. Plaintiff was instructed that he could not file supplements to his pleadings or motions, or file with the Court discovery. Thus, in accordance with this Court's Local Rules, his stand-alone evidentiary “declarations” would not be filed in the Court record unless they are sent in support of a motion or a pleading. The Court then examined plaintiff's ninth (9th) request for injunctive relief in this matter.[1]


         A. Motions to Amend Complaint

          Before the Court are two motions to amend the complaint. [Doc. #50 and #56] On December 12, 2016, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order reviewing plaintiff's original complaint in this matter. See Docket #14. In that Memorandum and Order, the Court informed plaintiff that he needed to file an amended complaint in this action because he had, “. . .submitted various supplemental pleadings and ‘evidence' in the form of multiple motions and various other ‘exhibits.'” Plaintiff was then informed that the Court does not accept “amendments by interlineation, ” as neither the Court nor defendants should be required to comb through plaintiff's multiple filings to match-up allegations with defendants. In addition, plaintiff was informed at that time that in order to amend his pleading, he would be required to submit a proposed amended complaint, at the time he sought leave to amend. See Popoalii v. Correctional Medical Services, 512 F.3d 488, 497 (8th Cir. 2008). Moreover, “no supplements to his amended complaint, or exhibits or motions to the Court to “accept evidence, ” would be allowed during this premature pleading stage.

         Despite being given these instructions in December, plaintiff has submitted two “supplements” to his amended complaint. In Docket #50 and #56 he seeks to change multiple pleading errors in his amended complaint, [2] and he seeks to add a new count to his complaint as well. In short, he has identified his mistakes from this Court's Memorandum and Order and Order of Partial Dismissal issued on March 9, 2017, and he seeks to redress those errors by supplementing his amended complaint. He also seeks to add an additional count to his amended complaint in support of his newest motion for preliminary injunction. See Docket #52.

         The Court will deny plaintiff's piece-meal attempts to amend his complaint in this action. As plaintiff has been told in this Court's prior Memoranda and Orders, he cannot supplement his pleading through amendments by interlineation. If plaintiff wishes to amend his second amended complaint, he must submit a motion to amend and attach his fully amended pleading to his amended complaint, written on a court-provided form.

         B. Motions for Reconsideration of Injunctive Relief

          In plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the denial of his request for injunctive relief [Doc. #54], plaintiff seeks reconsideration of the March 9, 2017 Memorandum and Order denying his request to restrict defendants from enforcing the “food visit policies” against him at Moberly Correctional Center. Plaintiff's original request for injunctive relief relating to the food visit policies is encompassed in Docket #28.

         As noted in the March 9, 2017 Memorandum and Order, plaintiff wished to have a food visit with his family, but he stated that in order to have a food visit, an inmate needed to “earn” the visit by either working or attending a class. Plaintiff believed that the MCC policy requiring this was discriminatory when applied to persons who were “disabled.” In his motion [Doc. #28], plaintiff asserted that he was “unable to work” and had a “four-year degree, ” so “requiring him to attend classes that are far below his education level are redundant and purposeless” and violate his Fifth Amendment right.

         The Court noted, in denying plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief, that plaintiff had not included a copy of the MCC Food Visit Policy. Additionally, plaintiff had not included factual information as to when he asked for and was denied a specific food visit. Indeed, as noted in the Court's Order, it was clear that the food visit plaintiff anticipated, had not yet occurred, and he had not yet grieved his alleged inability to participate in his purported food visit. Thus, plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief was denied.

         In plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the motion for injunctive relief [Doc. #54], plaintiff states that he was denied a food visit with his family on February 18, 2017. He claims that he asked his caseworker, Don Ridgeway, for a food visit on February 6, 2017, but he was told that MCC standard operating procedure required him to “work” fourteen (14) hours to earn such a visit. Plaintiff states that he filed an IRR relating to the denial, and it was denied. Plaintiff has attached a copy of his IRR to his motion, as well as the response to the IRR. Plaintiff has also attached a copy of the MDOC rules relating to food visits.

         According to the IRR Response and the MDOC Guidelines, the MCC Food Visit Guidelines state that an offender must actively participate in any combination of approved “positive activities” for each of the three ...

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