Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sargent v. Long

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

June 22, 2018

VINCENT E. SARGENT, Plaintiff,
v.
STEVE LONG, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER [1]

          NANNETTE A. BAKER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Third Amended Motion to Amend Complaint. [Doc. 25.] Defendants did not respond and the time to do so has now passed. Plaintiff's motion is timely filed. For the following reasons, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion.

         Standard of Review

         The Court should freely give leave to amend a pleading when justice so requires. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Parties do not have an absolute right to amend their pleadings even under this liberal standard. Sherman v. Winco Fireworks, Inc., 532 F.3d 709, 715 (8th Cir. 2008). “A district court appropriately denies the movant leave to amend if there are compelling reasons such as undue delay, bad faith, or dilatory motive, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the non-moving party, or futility of the amendment.” Id. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires that a claim for relief must contain a short and plain statement that demonstrates grounds for the court's jurisdiction, showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, and a demand for the relief sought. The pleading standard does not require detailed factual allegations, “but it demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A pleading that offers labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. Amendments to a complaint filed in forma pauperis must also survive frivolity review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1).

         Discussion

         Sargent filed his original complaint on January 17, 2017. [Doc. 1.] The Court ordered Sargent to file an amended complaint on a court ordered form, which he completed on February 21, 2017. [Doc. 6.] On August 4, 2017, the Court dismissed some of the claims in the first amended complaint. Subsequently, Sargent filed two motions to amend complaint [Docs. 15, 23], which were denied without prejudice. [Docs. 17, 24.]

         In his most recent proposed second amended complaint, Sargent attempts to re-assert previously dismissed claims against current and former Defendants Robin Norris, Steve Long, Dave Domire and Doug Worsham. The proposed second amended complaint also divides claim 2 into claims 2 and 3 and contains a fourth claim that is listed as claim 3 in the first amended complaint.

         The Court will address the proposed revisions individually. First, Sargent attempts to reassert claims against former defendant Robin Norris and current defendant Doug Worsham in Claim 1. The Court previously dismissed the Claim 1 claims against Doug Worsham and Robin Norris, because Plaintiff's allegations were “too conclusory to state a claim for relief at this time.” [Doc. 8.] In the first amended complaint, Sargent alleged the following:

Doug Worsham, S.R.S.P. and Robin Norris, Cen. Off. F.S.C., collectively instituted the rule of serving fasting inmates a sack lunch under the guise of accommodation, but has only resulted in a form of punishment for practicing your seriously held religious duty in violation of the 1st amendment right to free practice of religion, the 14th amendment to equal protection and to be free from discrimination, and the R.L.I.P.A.

[Doc. 6 at 7.] In the proposed second amended complaint, the language is similar and states as follows:

Doug Worsham, Supervisor of Religious and Spiritual Programming and Robin Norris, Central Office Food Service Coordinator, collectively instituted the rule of serving fasting inmates a sack lunch under the guise of accommodation, but has only resulted in a form of punishment for practicing your seriously held religious duty in violation of the 1st amendment right to free practice of religion, the 14th amendment right to equal protection and to be free from discrimination, and the R.L.U.I.P.A. Doug Worsham and Robin Norris knew or should have known what their actions entailed and that they were violating my rights as stated above. (See attached Exhibit A).

[Doc. 25-1 at 2-3.] The Exhibit A referenced in the proposed amended complaint, a response to an Inmate Resolution Request (IRR), states the following:

According to the guidelines for Ramadan 2014 provided by Doug Worsham, MDOC Supervisor of Religious/Spiritual Programming, sack meals will be provided for the evening meal for Ramadan participants. Snack meals (for supper) will be distributed and consumed in a location and manner that the respective institution deems suitable. Breakfast is served as a hot meal and the evening meal served as a sack lunch as per instructions from Central Office Food Service Coordinator Robin Norris and Supervisor of Religious/Spiritual Programming Doug Worsham. . . . Based on these findings, I cannot support you IRR.

[Doc. 25-1, Ex. A.] Exhibit A was not attached to the first amended complaint. Exhibit A indicates that Robin Norris and Doug Worsham were involved in instituting the “sack lunch” rules. “A statement in a pleading may be adopted by reference elsewhere in the same pleading or in any other pleading or motion. A copy of a written instrument that is an exhibit to a pleading is a part of the pleading for all purposes.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c); see also Quinn v. Ocwen FederalBank FSB, 470 F.3d 1240, 1243 (8th Cir. 2006) (per curiam). Therefore, the Court will allow Plaintiff's claims against Norris and Worsham to proceed. See Sterling/Sayyed v. Banks, 72 Fed. App'x 504, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.