United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
REONA J. DALY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to File Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 63). For the
reasons set forth below, the Motion is
filed his Complaint in this action on September 21, 2016
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
Plaintiff's Complaint was dismissed on January 9, 2017
after threshold review, and Plaintiff was granted leave to
file a First Amended Complaint (Doc. 5). Plaintiff filed his
First Amended Complaint on January 27, 2017 (Doc. 8). On May
30, 2017, after a threshold review, Counts 1 and 2 were
dismissed without prejudice, and Count 3 was dismissed with
prejudice (Doc. 10). Again, Plaintiff was granted leave to
file an amended complaint. Plaintiff filed a Second Amended
Complaint on June 22, 2017 (Doc. 17). The Second Amended
Complaint was dismissed with prejudice on October 30, 2017
after the Court's threshold review (Doc. 22). Plaintiff
appealed the dismissal to the Seventh Circuit, which remanded
the case for proceedings on Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment
and substantive due process claims against Defendants Butler,
Lashbrook, and Christianson (Doc. 33).
to these claims, Plaintiff alleges he was detained beyond his
mandatory supervised release date (“MSR”) despite
having proposed a suitable residence months before the same.
Plaintiff wrote to Butler and Lashbrook to notify them about
his alleged illegal incarceration, but he never received a
response. Plaintiff remained incarcerated for one year beyond
motion for leave to file a third amended complaint, Plaintiff
seeks to add Salvador Godinez, Director of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), and Rick
Harrington, Warden of Menard, as named defendants in his
Fourteenth Amendment and Eighth Amendment claims. Plaintiff
also seeks to add a procedural due process claim pursuant to
the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments against all defendants
(Butler, Lashbrook, Christianson, Godinez, and Harrington).
object, asserting such amendments are futile based on the
statute of limitations. Defendants also assert that
Plaintiff's proposed amendments would cause them undue
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that a party may amend
a pleading and that leave to amend should be freely given
"when justice so requires." The Seventh Circuit
maintains a liberal attitude toward the amendment of
pleadings "so that cases may be decided on the merits
and not on the basis of technicalities." Stern v.
U.S. Gypsum, Inc., 547 F.2d 1329, 1334 (7th Cir. 1977).
The Circuit recognizes that "the complaint merely serves
to put the defendant on notice and is to be freely amended or
constructively amended as the case develops, as long as
amendments do not unfairly surprise or prejudice the
defendant." Toth v. USX Corp., 883 F.2d 1297,
1298 (7th Cir. 1989); see also Winger v. Winger, 82
F.3d 140, 144 (7th Cir. 1996) ("The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure create [a system] in which the complaint does
not fix the plaintiff's rights but may be amended at any
time to conform to the evidence.") (quotation omitted).
A court may also deny a party leave to amend if there is
undue delay, dilatory motive or futility. Guise v. BMW
Mortgage, LLC, 377 F.3d 795, 801 (7th Cir. 2004).
contend Plaintiff's motion to amend should be denied
because the proposed amendments are futile based on the
statute of limitations, and because allowing the amendments
would cause undue prejudice.
regard to undue prejudice, Defendants assert they have
already filed an answer to Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint. Notably, Defendants do not argue that the proposed
amendments would require significant duplication or expansion
of discovery in this matter, and the Court does not find any
evidence of the same. Because this matter is in the early
stages of discovery, requiring Defendants to answer a
substantially similar complaint is not unduly prejudicial.
The focus of Defendants' argument appears to be on the
statute of limitations defense. The Court finds, however,
that such argument is better suited for a motion to dismiss
that will allow for more robust briefing on the issues. For
these reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Third
Amended Complaint (Doc. 63) is GRANTED.
Plaintiff is directed to file his Third Amended Complaint in
a separate docket entry by October 11, 2019.