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Allah v. Bartkowski

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 17, 2017

JUSTICE RASIDEEN ALLAH, Plaintiff,
v.
GREG BARTKOWSKI Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          HONORABLE TONIANNE J. BONGIOVANNI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff, Justice Rasideen Allah's (“Plaintiff”) motion to file an amended complaint against Defendants Greg Bartkowski, Michele R. Ricci, Christopher Holmes, William Moliens, James [Jimmy] Barnes, Crystal Ann Raupp, Dr. Flora Defilippo, Mr. Zell, Thomas Steckel, Hatima Ismail, Ruben Ortiz, Captain B. Kennedy and Lieutenant Alaimo, (collectively, “Defendants”) (Docket Entry No. 110). Defendants have not filed an opposition to Plaintiff's motion. The Court has fully reviewed and considered all arguments made in support of, and in opposition to, Plaintiff's motion. The Court considers Plaintiff's motion without oral argument pursuant to L.Civ.R. 78.1(b). For the reasons set forth more fully below, Plaintiff's motion to file an amended complaint is GRANTED.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         On June 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants alleging violations of the Eight Amendment and the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment due to his placement in the Management Control Unit (“MCU”) of the New Jersey State Prison. (Docket Entry No. 1). Upon its sua sponte screening of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2), the District Court dismissed all claims finding that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. (Docket Entry No. 8). Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration (Docket Entry No. 10) which was denied (Docket Entry No. 13). Plaintiff appealed (Docket Entry No. 15) and the Third Circuit vacated the dismissal and remanded the case (Docket Entry No. 20). Defendants then filed two motions to dismiss (Docket Entry Nos. 81 and 83). Plaintiff's counsel filed his notice of appearance on October 16, 2015 (Docket Entry No. 84) and filed opposition to the motions to dismiss on November 2, 2015 (Docket Entry No. 86). The District Court denied both motions to dismiss on April 21, 2016. (Docket Entry Nos. 92 and 93). Defendants then filed answers on May 20, 2016 and May 23, 2016. (Docket Entry Nos. 97 and 98). The Court entered a scheduling order on July 13, 2016 setting a fact discovery end date of January 31, 2017. (Docket Entry No. 102). Plaintiff filed the instant motion on February 15, 2017.

         A. Plaintiff's Motion to Amend

         Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to:

1) Add ten additional Defendants “who significantly contributed to the enactment and enforcement of policies and practices that have caused Plaintiff and similarly situated prisoners considerable suffering”;
2) Add information regarding international standards of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment with respect to solitary confinement;
3) Add further elaborations about Defendants' willful ignorance or deliberate indifference toward Plaintiff and similarly situated victims in the MCU;
4) Reorganize the original complaint “with much of the same language for clarity's sake”; and
5) Supplement the original complaint by adding information regarding events post the 2011 pro se filing by Plaintiff.

Pl.'s Br. in Supp. of Mot. at 2.

         Plaintiff notes that he does not seek to add any new legal theories. Id. The ten additional Defendants that Plaintiff seeks to add are Chris Christie-the Governor of New Jersey[1], Gary Lanigan-Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, Steven Johnson-Administrator of New Jersey State Prison (“NJSP”), Warren[2]-Administrator of NJSP from 2011 to 2013, Stephen D'Ilio-Administrator of NJSP from 2013 to 2015, Norris[3]-Director of Operations and MCURC Chairperson at NJSP from 2014 to 2016, Melinda Haley-Special Legal Advisor at the Office of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, T. Maines-Assistant Superintendent and/or Associate Administrator of NJSP from 2014 to present, George Robinson-Assistant Superintendent and/or Associate Administrator at NJSP from 2013 to 2016, Lieutenant Major Ptaszenski-Custody Supervisor and Member of the MCU Review Committee from 2014 to the present.

         II. ...


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