United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Brunswick Division
ORDER AND MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
Complaint and Motion to Amend or Add Parties. (Docs. 32, 33.)
Defendants Brooks, Hall, and Juran filed a Response. (Doc.
35.) For the reasons which follow, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, (doc. 32), and
DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Amend or Add Parties, (doc.
33). The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of Court to file
Plaintiff's “Petition of Complaint and
Claim”, (doc. 32-1), as Plaintiff's “First
Supplemental Complaint” upon the docket of this
case. In addition, I RECOMMEND the Court DISMISS
as moot the Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants Brooks,
Hall, and Juran (doc. 26).
Complaint, Plaintiff alleged Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs and safety while he
was a pretrial detainee at the Glynn County Detention Center
in Brunswick, Georgia, in February and March 2016.
Specifically, Plaintiff asserted he fell in his own urine
while he was in the medical unit because his left elbow and
hip socket were broken, and Defendants refused to help
Plaintiff for more than an hour, despite his cries for help.
(Doc. 1, pp. 5-6.) Defendant Gunderson eventually examined
Plaintiff's injuries, and Plaintiff was transferred to
Southeast Georgia Health System and then to Memorial Hospital
in Savannah, Georgia, due to the severity of his injuries.
(Id. at p. 6.)
two and a half weeks after Plaintiff's return to the
Glynn County Detention Center, Plaintiff slipped while trying
to get his drink off of a table and hurt his hip, back, neck,
and left elbow. Nurse Johnson examined Plaintiff, and he was
once again transported to Southeast Georgia Health System.
Medical personnel at the hospital examined Plaintiff and
discharged him with a left arm sling and prescription pain
medication. (Id. at p. 5.)
days later, Plaintiff attended his preliminary hearing.
Defendant Hall, Ms. Franks, Major Heath, and Sergeant Neaves
claimed that Defendant Gunderson told them Plaintiff did not
need an arm sling. Defendant Hall, Ms. Franks, Major Heath,
and Sergeant Neaves then used physical force to remove the
sling from Plaintiff's arm, causing Plaintiff more
physical pain. (Id.) On August 23, 2016, the Court
ordered service of Plaintiff's Complaint upon Defendants.
Gunderson filed an Answer and Counterclaim to Plaintiff's
Complaint. (Doc. 19.) The Court issued a Scheduling Notice on
September 30, 2016, and advised the parties that amended
pleadings were due no later than November 28, 2016. (Doc.
21.) Defendants Brooks, Hall, and Juran filed a Motion to
Dismiss and their Answer on November 8, 2016. (Docs. 26, 27.)
Plaintiff then filed his Motions to Amend on November 18 and
28, 2016. (Docs. 32, 33.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1), a party may amend
his complaint once as a matter of right within twenty-one
(21) days after service of a responsive pleading or a motion
under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f). Even when a party may not amend
as a matter of right, he may amend with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). “The court should freely give
leave when justice so requires.” Id. While
leave to amend is generally freely given, it is by no means
guaranteed. “The function of Rule 15(a), which provides
generally for the amendment of pleadings, is to enable a
party to assert matters that were overlooked or were unknown
at the time he interposed the original complaint or
answer.” 6 Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal Practice
and Procedure: Civil 2d § 1473. However, the decision on
whether to grant a motion to amend is within the sound
discretion of the trial court. Addington v. Farmer's
Elevator Mut., Ins. Co., 650 F.2d 663, 666 (5th Cir.
1981). “In making this determination, a court should
consider whether there has been undue delay in filing, bad
faith or dilatory motives, prejudice to the opposing parties,
and the futility of the amendment.” Cooks v. United
States, No. CV 114-195, 2015 WL 7069665, at *1 (S.D. Ga.
Nov. 13, 2015) (quoting Saewitz v. Lexington Ins.
Co., 133 F. App'x 695, 699 (11th Cir. 2005)).
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (Doc. 32)
contends he is seeking $250, 000.00 in monetary damages in
this case as recovery for his medical care costs, court fees,
and expenses. (Doc. 32.) Defendants Brooks, Hall, and Juran
do not oppose Plaintiff's Motion to Amend, as Plaintiff
is proceeding pro se and perhaps did not realize he
needed to specify that he is seeking monetary damages in his
original Complaint. (Doc. 35, p. 2.) However, these
Defendants maintain Plaintiff's amendment does not affect
their Motion to Dismiss because they moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's equitable relief claims against them.
filed his Motion to Amend within twenty-one (21) days of the
filing of Defendants' responsive pleadings, and he can
amend as a matter of right. Thus, the Court GRANTS
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend, and Plaintiff now seeks
monetary damages against Defendants. Defendants Brooks, Hall,
and Juran have no opposition to this amendment, and Defendant
Gunderson failed to object to Plaintiff's desired
amendment. Additionally, the Court finds this amendment will
avoid piecemeal litigation by allowing Plaintiff to seek all
forms of relief against Defendants in one cause of
action. However, Plaintiff's desired amendment
does have an effect on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, to
which the Court now turns.
Motion to Dismiss Filed by Defendants Brooks, Hall, ...