United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MARVIN E. OWENS, Plaintiff,
DETECTIVE E. PEREZ, et al., Defendants.
RULING AND ORDER
F. Martinez United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff, Marvin Owens, who is self-represented, filed this
civil rights action asserting a variety of claims against
numerous defendants. (Doc. #1.) After a review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), I issued a
recommended ruling recommending the dismissal of all
defendants and claims with the exception of two claims
against defendant Fitzgerald: (1) a § 1983 claim for
unlawful seizure of the plaintiff's motorcycle and (2) a
state law claim of defamation. (Doc. #8.) In January 2018,
Judge Chatigny approved and adopted the recommended ruling.
Pending before the court is the plaintiff's motion for
leave to file an amended complaint. (Doc. #21.) For the reasons
that follow, the motion is denied.
plaintiff now seeks to assert new causes of action and name
17 additional defendants. The plaintiff wants to add as
defendants: "the United States of America, State of
Connecticut Agencies, Officers or employees;" Officer
Jorge Cintron; Officer A. Perez; John Doe 1; John Doe 2; John
Doe 3; Officer Beplio; Officer L. Perillo; Animal Control
Officer S. Lougal; Sergeant Nikola; Sheriff Marettie; the
State of Connecticut Department of Correction; Internal
Affairs Officer E. Rivera; Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim;
Jane Doe; City of Bridgeport; and the Bridgeport Police
Department. The proposed claims arise out of numerous and
varied incidents including: a September 2015 attempted
murder/carjacking; a November 2015 incident in which an
officer entered his home while he was sleeping and placed a
911 call falsely reporting that the plaintiff had a firearm;
a November 2016 incident involving the plaintiff's
eviction; being misidentified as a "Tony Blackman,"
a registered sex offender; an August 2016 entry into the
plaintiff's home by an Animal Control Officer to remove
the plaintiff's puppy; "targeting" and
"harassment" claims directed at Bridgeport Police;
and failure to protect and intervene claims directed at the
Bridgeport Police Department, City of Bridgeport, the State
of Connecticut and the United States.
Civ. P. 15(a)(2) provides that leave to amend "should
[be] freely give[n] . . . when justice so requires."
"[L]eave to amend, though liberally granted, may
properly be denied for: 'undue delay, bad faith or
dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure
to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue
prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the
amendment, futility of amendment, etc.'" Ruotolo
v. City of New York, 514 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir.
2008)(quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
as in this case, a party seeks to amend a complaint to add
more defendants, "a court must also consider Rule 20(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure." Barclay v.
Poland, No. 03-CV- 6585CJS, 2010 WL 3657664, *3
(W.D.N.Y. 2010). "Whether a plaintiff may join separate
individual defendants in one lawsuit is governed by
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2)." Orakwue v. City of New
York, No. 11-CV-6183, 2013 WL 5407211, at *8 (E.D.N.Y.
Sept. 25, 2013). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20 permits
joinder of claims against multiple defendants only if two
criteria are satisfied: (1) the claims "aris[e] out of
the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions
and occurrences;" and (2) "any question of law or
fact common to all defendants will arise in the action."
to amend a complaint is properly denied when allegations
asserted in the proposed amended complaint do not relate to
claims asserted in the original complaint." Taylor
v. Macomber, No. 97 CIV. 4127, 1999 WL 349696, at *6
(S.D.N.Y. May 27, 1999). See also St. Louis v.
McClain, No. 3:18CV1590(AWT), 2018 WL 5634941, at *1 (D.
Conn. Oct. 30, 2018) (dismissing complaint where the claims
"raised in the plaintiff's complaint are wholly
unrelated to one another. They involve separate events and
separate defendants and, thus, do not 'aris[e] out of the
same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions and
occurrences.'"); Melvin v. Connecticut, No.
3:16CV537(RNC), 2016 WL 3264155, at *2 (D. Conn. June 14,
2016)(dismissing complaint for failure to comply with Rule 20
where the "complaint joins in one action claims that are
wholly unrelated."); Klos v. Haskell, 835
F.Supp. 710, 715-16 (W.D.N.Y. 1993) (denying leave to amend
complaint to add unrelated claims), aff'd, 48 F.3d 81 (2d
Cir. 1995); Jones v. City of Buffalo, No. 96 Civ.
0739, 1997 WL 411910, at *2 (W.D.N.Y. July 15, 1997) (denying
leave to amend where plaintiff sought to add new defendants
and new claims having "absolutely no relation to events
described" in first amended complaint).
indicated, the operative complaint asserts claims against
defendant Fitzgerald concerning seizure of a motorcycle and
defamation. The plaintiff's proposed amended complaint
fails to comply with the requirements of Rule 20(a)(2). The
claims he seeks to add do not arise from the same occurrences
and do not share common questions of law or fact. "As
the claims do not need to be resolved in one lawsuit, they
are improperly joined." DeAngelis v. Long, No.
3:18CV755(MPS), 2018 WL 2138634, at *6 (D. Conn. May 9,
2018). See Webb v. Maldonaldo, No. 3:13CV144(RNC),
2013 WL 3243135, at *3 (D. Conn. June 26, 2013) (Plaintiff
did not comply with Rule 20 where "the complaint joins
in one action claims that are wholly unrelated");
Wilson v. McKenna, No. 3:12CV1581(VLB), 2015 WL
1471908, at *6 (D. Conn. Mar. 31, 2015) (fact that all
defendants injured plaintiff insufficient to warrant
these reasons, the plaintiff's motion for leave to amend
(doc. #21) is denied without prejudice.
not a recommended ruling. This is an order regarding
discovery and case management which is reviewable pursuant to
the "clearly erroneous" statutory standard of
review. See 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(A);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); and D. Conn. L. Civ. R. 72.2. As such, it
is an order of the Court unless reversed or modified by the
district judge upon motion timely made.
party may seek the district court's review of this
recommendation. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72, the parties shall have fourteen (14) days
from service of this report to serve and file written
objections. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(a), 6(d) & 72; Rule 72.2
of the Local Rules for Magistrate Judges. Failure to object
timely to this ruling precludes any further judicial review
of the decision. Knox v. Countrywide Bank, 673
Fed.Appx. 31, 33B34 (2d Cir. 2016). See Small v.
Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 892 F.2d 15, 16
(2d Cir. 1989) (per curiam)("failure to object timely to
a magistrate's report operates as a waiver of any further
judicial review of the magistrate's decision";
Frank v. Johnson, 968 F.2d 298, 300 (2d Cir. 1992)
(failure to file timely objections to Magistrate Judge's
recommended ruling waives further review of the ruling).
Judge Chatigny referred the case to the
undersigned for all pretrial matters. ...