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Merritte v. C/O Kessell

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 9, 2014

CALVIN MERRITTE, # R-53322, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O KESSELL, C/O GANGLOFF, MARC HODGE, J. FREEMAN, and TATE, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court for review of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 167). Plaintiff tendered this pleading on November 13, 2014, along with his motion for leave to file an amended and supplemented complaint (Doc. 160). The undersigned granted Plaintiff's motion in open court on November 20, 2014 (Doc. 163).

1. Background

Plaintiff brought this action on March 27, 2012, while he was confined at Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence") (Doc. 1). He subsequently filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 17) on May 15, 2012. After conducting the required merits review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A, the undersigned Judge concluded that Plaintiff stated the following cognizable federal claims, and he was allowed to proceed with the action:

Count 1: Defendants Kessell, Gangloff, Tate, J. Freeman, and Breeden[1] retaliated against Plaintiff and threatened him after he exercised his First Amendment right to file grievances against them;
Count 2: Defendants Tate and Breeden identified Plaintiff as a "stooly, " thereby subjecting him to a risk of serious harm from other inmates;
Count 3: Defendant Warden Hodge refused to transfer Plaintiff and denied his requests for protective measures in light of Plaintiff's fear of imminent harm.

(See Doc. 24, pp. 3-4).

The factual allegations underlying Counts 1-3 described events that occurred from January through April 2012.

In December 2012, Plaintiff sought leave to file a Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 54). His motion was denied because the proposed amended complaint did not comply with SDIL Local Rule 15.1, which requires all new material in an amended pleading to be underlined (Doc. 66). Plaintiff was advised that he could re-file a motion for leave to file an amended complaint accompanied by a proposed amendment that complies with SDIL-LR 15.1. He was also advised that any proposed amended pleading must adhere to the "short and plain statement" requirement in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, as well as the joinder principles of Rule 20.

Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's denial of his motion for leave to amend (Doc. 70). He submitted another proposed Third Amended Complaint along with his motion. The Court denied the reconsideration motion and rejected the proposed amended pleading, noting that it again failed to meet the formatting requirements of SDIL-LR 15.1 (Doc. 71). Plaintiff was, however, granted an extension of time to file another Third Amended Complaint, up to March 28, 2013 (Doc. 73). He never tendered another proposed amended pleading within that deadline. The Defendants answered the Second Amended Complaint on March 14, 2013 (Doc. 76).

On May 9, 2013, Plaintiff filed an interlocutory appeal of the denial of his motion for preliminary injunctive relief (Doc. 84). The Court of Appeals remanded the matter to this Court for further proceedings one year later, on May 9, 2014 (Doc. 132).

Six months later, Plaintiff submitted the proposed Third ...


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