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White v. Taylor

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 14, 2014

ERIC TAYLOR, et al., Defendants.

Mr. Kashief White, Apt. G-304, Clemonton, NJ, Plaintiff Pro Se.

Anne E. Walters, Esq. Office of County Counsel Camden, NJ, Attorney for Defendants Warden Eric Taylor, Deputy Warden, Christopher Fossler, Deputy Warden Anthony Pizzaro, Rodney, Greco, Camden County and Camden County Freeholders.


JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.

I. Introduction

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Kashief White's motion to file an amended complaint.[1] [Docket Item 63.] Plaintiff alleges he suffered from inadequate nutrition and constitutionally deficient conditions at the Camden County Correctional Facility ("CCCF") in Camden, N.J. He now seeks to amend his complaint against the Camden County Defendants, [2] adding official and individual capacity claims against the individual County Defendants, adding factual allegations in support of his claims, and adding a prayer for injunctive relief.

For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny the motion to amend on the grounds of undue delay, prejudice to Defendants, and futility.

II. Background

A. Facts

The background of this case has been discussed at length in previous opinions, which are incorporated herein. See White v. Taylor, No. 10-5485, 2013 WL 4595885, at *1-*2 (D.N.J. Aug. 28, 2013), ECF No. 54; White v. Taylor, No. 10-5485, 2013 WL 1412300, at *1-*2 (D.N.J. Apr. 5, 2013), ECF No. 40; Cook v. Taylor, No. 10-2643, 2012 WL 4959519, at *1-*2 (D.N.J. Oct. 16, 2012). In brief, Plaintiff was confined at CCCF from December 2008 through April 2010 as a pretrial detainee. (Am. Compl. [Docket Item 44-1] at 2, 16.) He alleges that he suffered physical injuries due to nutritionally deficient meals prepared by the Aramark Defendants, [3] who provided meal service at the facility. He also alleges that the conditions of confinement were constitutionally deficient because of (1) overcrowding, (2) the lack of adequate cleaning supplies, (3) improper handling of medical needs, (4) understaffing, and (5) the failure to classify inmates or to prevent violence.

B. Procedural History

Plaintiff and many other detainees and inmates brought virtually identical suits complaining of the general conditions at CCCF, as well as the unsanitary meal presentation and inadequate nutrition. The cases were consolidated for a time, but eventually de-consolidated because the Court was unable to locate pro bono counsel willing to accept appointments to represent the plaintiffs. [Docket Item 12.] After deconsolidation, the Aramark Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on March 6, 2012 [Docket Item 14], which Plaintiff did not oppose. The Court dismissed claims against the Aramark Defendants in all cases except Plaintiff's, because before the Court decided the motion, the Court terminated Plaintiff's case without prejudice for failure to comply with L. Civ. R. 10.1(a).[4] [Docket Item 24.] See Simmons v. Taylor, No. 10-1192, 2012 WL 3863792, at *4 (D.N.J. Sept. 5, 2012) (dismissing claims); Cook, 2012 WL 4959519, at *2 (same); Kunst v. Taylor, No. 10-1608, 2012 WL 5451275, at *3 (D.N.J. Nov. 5, 2012) (same).

Plaintiff reemerged six weeks later to file a notice of change of address. [Docket Item 26.] Six months after that, Plaintiff moved to reopen his case. [Docket Item 28.] The Court reopened Plaintiff's case and reinstated the Aramark Defendants' motion to dismiss. [Docket Items 14 & 30.] Plaintiff requested, and received, additional time to file opposition, and then simultaneously filed his opposition and a motion to amend the Complaint, without attaching a proposed Amended Complaint. [Docket Item 35]. The Court granted the Aramark Defendants' motion to dismiss without prejudice and granted Plaintiff additional time to file his motion to amend. [Docket Item 41.] Upon Plaintiff's refiling of his motion to amend, the Court granted the motion as to Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause claim against the Aramark Defendants, because Plaintiff alleged that the small meal portions did not provide him adequate nutrition and resulted in physical injuries. White, 2013 WL 4595885, at *5. The Court denied Plaintiff's motion to add a conspiracy claim against both the Aramark Defendants and the County Defendants. Id . at *5-*6.

By letter on January 23, 2014, Matthew J. Behr, Esq., counsel for the Aramark Defendants, alerted the Court that he was having difficulty communicating with Plaintiff, that Plaintiff was not answering Defendants' discovery requests, and that legal correspondence sent to Plaintiff was returned as undeliverable. [Docket Item 61.] The Court mailed a letter to Plaintiff requesting that he to explain why he had been unable to answer Defendants' requests and why he did not update his address with the Court. [Docket Item 62.] Plaintiff never responded to the Court's letter but, approximately one week later, filed the present motion to amend his Complaint. Plaintiff has not ...

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