United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
H.L. Perez-Montes United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is a civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 by pro se Plaintiff Elizabeth Simon
(“Simon”). The named defendants are Karen Medlock
(“Medlock”) (District V Forensic Coordinator),
Michelle Duncan (“Duncan”) (Director of Community
Forensic Service and Medlock's supervisor), and Rebekah
Gee (“Gee”), Secretary of the Louisiana
Department of Health and Hospitals. Simon contends she was
maliciously prosecuted and falsely arrested by Defendants.
Simon seeks punitive and compensatory damages in excess of
$75, 000. Simon is not presently incarcerated.
contends she is an insanity acquittee, found not guilty by
reason of insanity on September 29, 2003. Simon was given a
“Conditional Release and Probation Supervision”
form to sign. Simon alleges she signed it without the
assistance of counsel and when she was not on medication
(Doc. 1). Simon was supervised by Kenneth Cooley initially,
then Mike Cole, then by Karen Medlock beginning in 2011.
contends she and Medlock never got along and admits she told
Medlock she should be fired. As a result, Medlock recommended
to the Court that, since Simon was in psychosis, she needed
to be placed in jail (Doc. 1). Simon contends that Medlock
can only authorize her hospitalization and that the
recommendation of jail constitutes malicious prosecution.
Simon contends Medlock then demanded an immediate meeting
with her while Medlock was at work, and had Simon arrested to
failing to go to the meeting (Doc. 1).
Plaintiff's first Motion to Amend is
filed a motion to amend her complaint to add the State of
Louisiana as a Defendant (Doc. 18).
seeks to add the State because she was never placed in any
inpatient psychiatric facility after her trial due to a lack
of bed space for females (Doc. 18). In response, the State of
Louisiana filed a Motion to Dismiss [the Amended Complaint]
for Lack of Jurisdiction (Doc. 23).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure mandates that leave
to amend “be freely given when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Determining when justice
requires permission to amend rests within the discretion of
the trial court.Bisby v. Garza, 2008 WL 465320, at
*1 (S.D. Tex. 2008) (citing Zenith Radio Corp. v.
Hazeltine Research, Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330 (1971);
Nilsen v. City of Moss Point, Miss., 621 F.2d 117,
122 (5th Cir.1980)). However, joinder of additional
defendants in an action requires permission from the court,
and the defendants must be involved in the same transaction
or occurrence, with common questions of law or fact, as the
originally named defendants. Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 20. In
exercising its discretion in considering a motion to amend a
complaint, the district court may consider, among other
factors, undue delay, dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, and undue prejudice to the opposing party by allowing
the amendment. Bisby, 2008 WL 465320, at *1 (citing
Daves v. Payless Cashways, Inc., 661 F.2d 1022, 1024
(5th Cir. 1981)).
within the district court's discretion to deny a motion
to amend if it is futile. See Stripling v. Jordan
Production Co., L.L.C., 234 F.3d 863, 872-73 (5th Cir.
2000). A proposed amended complaint is “futile”
if it fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. See id. at 873. Therefore, the issue is
whether in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and with
every doubt resolved in his behalf, the proposed amended
complaint states any valid claim for relief. See id.
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution bars
suits in federal court by citizens of a state against their
own state or a state agency or department. See Richardson
v. Southern University, 118 F.3d 450, 452 (5th Cir.
1997), cert. den., 522 U.S. 1078 (1998) (citing
Delahoussaye v. City of New Iberia, 937 F.2d 144,
146 (5th Cir. 1991)). As evidenced by its Motion to Dismiss
(Doc. 23), the State of Louisiana has not consented to this
suit. In addition, the Fifth Circuit has held the Louisiana
Department of Health and Human Services is an arm of the
State entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. See Darlak
v. Bobear, 814 F.2d 1055 (5th Cir. 1987). Therefore,
Simon's proposed amendment to add the State of Louisiana
as a defendant would be futile.
Simon's Motion to Amend to add the State of Louisiana as
a Defendant (Doc. 18) is DENIED.
Plaintiff's second Motion to Amend is
filed a second Motion to Amend the Complaint to ask that she
be discharged from monitoring by ...