United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
se Plaintiff Christopher Baines, who is currently
incarcerated at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
("MWCI") in Suffield, Connecticut, brings this
civil rights action against defendants M. Pillai and
Shortridge, who were at all relevant times medical personnel
at that prison facility. In particular, Plaintiff alleges that,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Defendants acted under
color of state law when they violated his Eighth Amendment
right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by
treating his serious medical needs, arising from Type 1
diabetes, with indifference.
28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint and dismiss any portion that
"(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief."
See 28 U.S.C.§ 1915A(b)(1)-(2). Therefore, on
December 15, 2016, the Court filed an "Initial Review
Order" ("IRO") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b)(2), dismissing Plaintiff's claims for monetary
damages against the the two defendants in their official
capacities and all negligence claims. See Baines v.
Pillai, No. 3:16-CV-01374 (CSH), 2016 WL 7246071, at
*3-4 (D. Conn. Dec. 15, 2016). The Court concluded in the IRO
that the Plaintiff had "stated plausible claims that Dr.
Pillai and Nurse Shortridge were deliberately indifferent to
his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment"
so that those claims were allowed to proceed. 2016 WL
7246071, at *4.
Rule 15(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for leave to file
an amended complaint to provide additional factual
allegations and add defendants. Doc. 10. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(1), a party may amend its
pleading "once as a matter of course within: (A) 21 days
after serving [the complaint], or (B) . . . [within] 21 days
after service of a responsive pleading or 21 days after
service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f) [motion to
dismiss, for more definite statement, or to strike,
respectively], whichever is earlier." Because a
complaint is a pleading "to which a responsive pleading
is required, " and no defendant in this action has filed
an answer or motion addressed to the complaint, the Plaintiff
may amend once as a matter of right. Accordingly, his request
to amend will be granted.
One Operative Complaint
general, when granting a motion to amend, the Court directs
the Clerk to docket the proposed "Amended
Complaint" attached to the motion. However, in the case
at bar, the proposed "Amended Complaint" is
incomplete in form and thus cannot be docketed. In the
introduction to the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff explains
that he is filing the amended pleading to document
"further instances of severe diabetic low blood
pressure" and additional "medical history of
improper medical care for a severely chronic medical
condition and deliberate indifference." Doc. 10, at 1.
Plaintiff also adds four defendants in the case caption,
includes allegations regarding those four defendants, and
specifies Dr. Pillai's first name as
"Omprakash." Id., at 1-19.
problem arises, however, because there can be only one
operative complaint in an action. An amended complaint does
not supplement the original complaint. Rather, it replaces
and supercedes the original complaint, becoming the operative
complaint in the action. Therefore, the amended complaint
must contain all claims against all defendants that will
proceed in the action. See, e.g., Delaney v.
Zaki, No. 9:13-CV-0648 (DNH/TWD), 2014 WL 4966914, at *1
(N.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2014) ("No portion of the prior
complaint shall be incorporated into the amended complaint by
proposed "Amended Complaint, " Plaintiff simply
identifies the new defendants and sets forth the additional
claims and allegations he wishes to assert. The amended
complaint begins where the former complaint left off -
i.e., specifying only allegations of medical
deliberate indifference (times when Plaintiff suffered
diabetic blood sugar seizures) after those described
in the original complaint. Furthermore, in the amended
complaint, with respect to relief, Plaintiff seeks
declaratory and injunctive relief from the defendants in
their official capacities, but fails to also include his
prior request for monetary damages from defendants in their
light of Plaintiff's pro se status, the Court
treats his pleadings with leniency. See, e.g., Triestman
v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 470 F.3d 471, 475 (2d Cir.
2006) ("[This] policy of liberally construing pro
se submissions is driven by the understanding that
'[i]mplicit in the right of self-representation is an
obligation on the part of the court to make reasonable
allowances to protect pro se litigants from inadvertent
forfeiture of important rights because of their lack of legal
training.'" (quoting Traguth v. Zuck, 710
F.2d 90, 95 (2d Cir.1983)); Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d
636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007) (same).
Court therefore directs Plaintiff to file a revised amended
complaint that incorporates all defendants, claims,
allegations, and requests for relief. In particular,
Plaintiff must, if he wishes, include his allegations of
Eighth Amendment medical deliberate indifference against
defendants Pillai and Shortridge (which he asserted in his
original complaint), as well as the new allegations he
asserted against Pillai, Shortridge, and the four new
defendants in the currently proposed amended complaint.
Plaintiff must file this revised amended complaint on or
before Wednesday, May 10, 2017.