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Robinson v. Section 23, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 24, 2018

ALBERT ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SECTION 23 PROPOERTY OWNER'S ASSOCIATION, INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D. JUDGE

         WHEREAS, on May 30, 2018, Plaintiff, Albert Robinson, appearing pro se, [1] filed a complaint against eighteen individual and corporate defendants[2]; and

         WHEREAS, after many of the defendants were served with Plaintiff's complaint and several filed motions to dismiss, [3] and after Plaintiff filed his own “Motion for Final Summary Judgment” in his favor on his claims in his original complaint (Docket No. 28, Sept. 7, 2018), on October 19, 2018, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (Docket No. 66); and

         WHEREAS, pursuant to Federal Civil Procedure Rule 15(a)(1), “A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within: (A) 21 days after serving it, or (B) if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or 21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f), whichever is earlier.”; and

         WHEREAS, Rule 15(a)(2) further provides, “In all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.”; and

         WHEREAS, under Local Civil Rule 15.1, “a party who seeks leave to amend a pleading shall do so by motion, which shall state whether such motion is opposed, and shall attach to the motion: (1) a copy of the proposed amended pleading; and (2) a form of the amended pleading that shall indicate in what respect(s) it differs from the pleading which it proposes to amend, by bracketing or striking through materials to be deleted and underlining materials to be added”; and

         WHEREAS, the purpose of Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a) and Local Civil Rule 15.1 is “to give the Court and the parties a chance to evaluate the sufficiency of the proposed pleading, ” Folkman v. Roster Fin., 2005 WL 2000169, at *8 n.7 (D.N.J. 2005) (discussing the predecessor L. Civ. R. 7.1(f)) (citing U.F.C.W. Local 56 v. J.D.'s Market, 240 F.R.D. 149, 150 (D.N.J. 2007) (stating that one of the “cardinal rules” for a party seeking leave to amend a pleading is that a copy of the proposed amended pleading be attached to the motion)); see also Lake v. Arnold, 232 F.3d 360, 374 (3d Cir. 2000) (holding that even where the district court failed to provide a reason for its denial of plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint, the court had not abused its power in denying the motion because the plaintiffs' “failure to provide a draft Amended Complaint would be an adequate basis on which the court could deny the [plaintiffs'] request”); and

         WHEREAS, Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint does not meet the requirements of Rule 15(a)(1) such that he was permitted to file it without defendants' consent or leave of Court; and

         WHEREAS, for Rule 15(a)(2) to apply, Plaintiff has not indicated that he received defendants' consent to file his amended complaint, and Plaintiff (1) has failed to seek this Court's leave to file his amended complaint by way of a formal motion, and (2) has failed to demonstrate how his amended complaint differs from his original complaint[4]; and

         WHEREAS, even though Courts provide “greater leeway to pro se litigants” in narrow circumstances, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim, ” “they still must serve process on the correct defendants, ” and “[a]t the end of the day, they cannot flout procedural rules - they must abide by the same rules that apply to all other litigants, ” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citations omitted);

         Accordingly, ORDERED that Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint [66] be, and the same hereby is, STRICKEN, and Plaintiff's original complaint remains the operative pleading.[5]

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Notes:

[1] Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง ...


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