United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION TO
JEFFREY ALKER MEYER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Bobby Johnson has sued the City of New Haven and individual
defendants Clarence Willoughby, Michael Quinn, Francisco
Ortiz, Patrick Redding, Herman Badger, and Andrew Muro for
wrongful arrest, conviction, and imprisonment. See
Doc. #23. Johnson now moves for leave to amend his complaint
principally to add as a defendant New Haven Police Department
Sergeant Christopher Mahon, who Johnson alleges supervised
Willoughby and Quinn's investigation into the murder for
which Johnson alleges that he was wrongfully convicted. Doc.
#138 at 1-2.
deny the motion to amend except to the extent that it is
unopposed with respect to dismissal of Count 6 in its
entirety. I conclude that Johnson did not exercise due
diligence in failing to add Mahon as a defendant at a much
earlier time in this litigation. I also conclude that
allowing Johnson to amend the complaint at this late date
would work substantial and unfair prejudice to the remaining
defendants. Lastly, I conclude that the proposed amendment
would be futile, because the statute of limitations has now
elapsed for Johnson's proposed claims against Mahon.
following facts are set forth as alleged by Johnson in his
amended complaint. Doc. #23. Herbert Fields was shot and
killed in New Haven on August 1, 2006. Id. at 5
(¶ 15). New Haven police investigated the killing,
including an investigation by detectives Clarence Willoughby
and Michael Quinn. Ibid. (¶ 16). Francisco
Ortiz was chief of the New Haven Police Department at the
time. Id. at 3 (¶ 9). Herman Badger served as
Officer in Charge of the department's detective bureau
until August 1, 2006, when he became Assistant Chief.
Id. at 4-5 (¶ 13). Andrew Muro led the
detective bureau from then until April of 2007, and Patrick
Redding then became Officer in Charge. Ibid.
(¶¶ 12, 14).
alleges that Willoughby and Quinn engaged in numerous acts of
misconduct during the investigation, including obtaining
false confessions from him and deliberately discounting
evidence that a different suspect-Richard Benson-was
responsible for the murder. See Id. at 7-8
(¶¶ 25-28), 12-13 (¶¶ 39-42).
Johnson's amended complaint also alleges that Quinn and
Willoughby engaged in improper interrogation tactics against
Johnson's friend Kwame Wells-Jordan in September of 2006,
while working alongside “an unidentified NHPD
supervisor.” Id. at 9 (¶ 30). The
complaint similarly alleges that the unnamed “NHPD
supervisor” participated in improper interrogation
tactics against Wells-Jordan a second time in November of
that year. Id. at 14 (¶ 45); 18-19 (¶ 60).
spent nine years in prison for the charge of murdering
Fields. In 2010, he brought a habeas corpus petition
in state court to develop evidence of his innocence, and in
2015, the Connecticut Superior Court at New Haven vacated his
conviction, nolled the charges against him, and allowed
Johnson to be released from prison. Id. at 28
September 1, 2017, Johnson sued defendants alleging numerous
violations of his civil rights. See Doc. #1. Johnson
filed an amended complaint on October 26, 2017. Doc. #23. He
currently maintains claims against Willoughby and Quinn for
fabricating evidence and coercing confessions against him, as
well as for malicious prosecution and a civil rights
conspiracy (Counts 1-3, 5), id. at 29-32
(¶¶ 91-106), 35-36 (¶¶ 115-18); claims
against all individual defendants for violating his due
process and fair trial rights (Count 4), id. at
33-35 (¶¶ 107-14); a supervisory liability claim
against Ortiz, Redding, Badger, and Muro (Count 7),
id. at 37-38 (¶¶ 123-28); a municipal
liability claim against the City of New Haven (Count 8),
id. at 38-41 (¶¶ 129-37); and various
claims under Connecticut state law (Counts 9-15),
id. at 42-49 (¶¶ 138-75).
November 1, 2017, the parties submitted their Rule 26(f)
Planning Report, which stipulated to a deadline of December
29, 2017, for amending the pleadings or joining parties. Doc.
#24 at 5. I adopted the deadline in the initial scheduling
order the following day. Doc. #25.
than a year passed before Johnson filed the instant motion on
February 11, 2019, to amend his complaint in order to add
Mahon as a defendant alongside Willoughby and Quinn to Counts
1-5 and to Counts 9-13 (alleging individual-rather than
municipal-liability under Connecticut law). Doc. #138 at 1.
Johnson argues that Mahon served as Quinn and
Willoughby's direct supervisor when they investigated the
Fields murder, and that his counsel only learned of
Mahon's role from the respective depositions of Muro and
Badger that took place on January 4 and 22, 2019.
Id. at 2. Johnson also argues that he only learned
the full scope of Quinn's misconduct in the investigation
of Benson-such as bypassing key pieces of evidence-at a
deposition of Quinn on November 28, 2018. Id. at 5.
proposed second amended complaint alleges that Mahon was the
“NHPD supervisor” involved in the Wells-Jordan
interrogations, Doc. #138-2 at 10-11 (¶ 31), 15-16
(¶ 48), 21 (¶ 65), that Mahon was present when
Quinn mishandled an interview with Benson, id. at
14-15 (¶¶ 44-45), that Mahon supervised and
received contemporaneous reports from Quinn and Willoughby of
every mishandled interview or interrogation in the Fields
investigation, id. at 17 (¶¶ 53-54), and
that Mahon specifically called Willoughby in to work on the
Fields investigation, id. at 20 (¶ 63).
Because Johnson's proposed amendment comes well after the
deadline for amended pleadings in the Court's scheduling
order, Johnson must show good cause to modify the deadline
for amending his complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 16(b)(4). See BPP Ill., LLC v. Royal Bank of
Scotland Grp. PLC, 859 F.3d 188, 195 (2d Cir. 2017).
“[T]he primary consideration is whether the moving
party can demonstrate diligence, ” as well as
“other relevant factors including, in particular,
whether allowing the amendment of the ...