United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
McNulty United States District Judge.
Joseph Johnson, is a state prisoner proceeding pro se with a
petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254. In his original petition, petitioner signed a
Mason notice, wherein he declared "under
penalty of perjury that [he had] been notified that [he] must
include in this petition all grounds for relief from the
conviction or sentence that [he] challenged." (DE 1 at
17.) Respondent, Steven Johnson, has filed a response to the
petition, and petitioner filed a reply to that response. (DE
filing his reply brief, petitioner filed a letter indicating
that he still had a second petition for post-conviction
relief ("PCR") pending before the state courts. (DE
9.) He subsequently filed a motion to amend his habeas
petition which is presently before the Court. (DE 10.)
Petitioner's three-page declaration in support of his
motion recites the history of petitioner's PCR proceeding
and then asserts, "That petitioner wish[es] to expand
his petition to add a Ground Two newly discovered evidence
that has been fully exhausted." (Id.)
Petitioner provides no information about the nature of this
claim other than to assert that he "received newly
discovered video evidence that supported petitioner's
innocence." (Id. ¶ 15.) Respondent has not
opposed the motion.
28 U.S.C. § 2242, a motion to amend a habeas petition is
governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15. See 28
U.S.C. § 2242; Fed.R.Civ.P. 15; see also Wilkerson
v. Superintendent Fayette SCI, 871 F.3d 221, 236 (3d
Cir. 2017) (applying Rule 15 in habeas proceeding). Once a
party's time to amend as matter of course under Rule
15(a)(1) has elapsed, an amendment requires leave of the Court.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Rule 15 directs courts to "freely
give leave when justice so requires." Fed.R.Civ.P.
petitioner fails to demonstrate that justice requires
granting him leave to amend because he provides no
description of the claim he apparently desires to add.
Indeed, his declaration in support of the motion includes
only two sentences regarding the amendment, which no more
than hint at a claim in some way concerning purportedly newly
discovered video evidence. (See DE 10 ¶¶
14-15.) Without some more substantive description of a
proposed amendment, the Court has no basis to determine
whether leave to amend is justified. Furthermore,
petitioner's motion falls well short of the Local Civil
Rule's requirements for a motion for leave to amend.
Local Civil Rule 15.1 requires such a motion to include a
copy of the proposed amended pleading and "a form of the
amended pleading that shall indicate in what respect(s) it
differs from the pleading it proposes to
amend." L. Civ. R. 15.1(a).
I will deny petitioner's motion to amend without
prejudice to the filing of a renewed motion to amend that
includes a description of the proposed amendment sufficient
for the Court to assess whether justice requires granting
leave to amend. Petitioner must file any additional motion to
amend his petition within 45 days of the entry of this order.
If the Court receives no motion to amend within that time, it
will rule on the habeas petition as filed.
IT IS this 16th day of September, 2019
that petitioner's motion to amend his petition, (DE 10),
is hereby denied without prejudice to the filing of a renewed
motion to amend that includes a description of the proposed
amendment sufficient for the Court to assess whether justice
requires granting leave to amend; and it is further
that petitioner must file any renewed motion to amend his
petition within 45 days of the entry of this memorandum and
order; if no additional motion to amend is received within
this time, the Court will decide the original habeas petition
based on the filings presently before it; and it is further
that the Clerk shall serve this memorandum and order upon
petitioner by regular U.S. mail.
 Additionally, Rule 12 of the Rules
Governing § 2254 Cases states that "[t]he Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, to the extent that they are not
inconsistent with any statutory provisions or these rules,
may be applied to a proceeding under these rules." Rule
12, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, foil. 28 U.S.C. §
2254. The Rules Governing § 2254 Cases contain no
specific provision regarding amendment.
 A party may amend a 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."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). As petitioner did not file his motion
to amend until nearly a year after respondent answered the