United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
A. Sargus Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
who is proceeding pro se, brought this action on
January 16, 2019, while incarcerated at Belmont Correctional
Institution (“BCI”). (See Doc. 1).
Broadly speaking, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief against
17 BCI officials and employees for the alleged violation of
his First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
(See generally Docs. 3, 12, 32). Plaintiff has since
been released from custody, (see Doc. 30), and,
because he seeks only injunctive relief against Defendants,
(see Doc. 12), his case is now moot. Therefore, the
Undersigned withdraws her pending Report and Recommendation
(Doc. 38) and RECOMMENDS that
Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief be
DISMISSED as moot and that this case be
DISMISSED in its entirety.
following procedural history demonstrates, the Undersigned
has permitted Plaintiff, on multiple occasions, to amend his
filed his Complaint on January 22, 2019, (the “Original
Complaint”), asserting claims for various
constitutional violations against Defendants Gray, Haley,
Kolvek, Sattler, Haggerty, Terek, Murphy, Aubrey, Everhart,
Weer, Hunyadi, Stanforth, Kuryn, and Litzenberger. (Doc. 3).
In the Original Complaint, Plaintiff requested declaratory
and injunctive relief, as well as $50, 000 in compensatory
damages and $5, 000 in punitive damages against each
Defendant. (Id. at 2; 7-8).
on February 13, 2019, Plaintiff moved to amend to add
Defendants Taylor, Callarik, and Meager. (Doc. 4). The
Undersigned granted Plaintiff's Motion and directed
Plaintiff to file an amended complaint within 21 days. (Doc.
6). On March 15, 2019, Plaintiff requested an additional 30
days to file an amended complaint, which the Undersigned
granted. (Docs. 10, 11). Plaintiff filed the Amended
Complaint on March 22, 2019, substituting Defendant Scott for
Defendant Weer. (Doc. 12). Notably, however, Plaintiff failed
to request any form of relief in the Amended Complaint.
(See id.). Rather, he attached the Original
Complaint to the end of a 277- page exhibit accompanying the
Amended Complaint. (Doc. 12-2 at 270).
filed a Motion to Dismiss on May 9, 2019, noting the fact
that Plaintiff's Amended Complaint is silent regarding
relief. (Doc. 22 at 1-2). Defendants' Motion seemingly
alerted Plaintiff of this issue, because, on June 26, 2019,
he filed a Motion to Amend Relief Requested. (Doc. 32). In
his Motion, Plaintiff set forth 16 separate requests for
relief, all of which are injunctive. (See id.). For
example, Plaintiff requested that the Court require random
drug testing and ongoing training for all BCI staff and
contractors. (Id. at 1). Defendants moved to strike
Plaintiff's Motion as improper under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. (Doc. 35).
October 31, 2019, the Undersigned issued a Report and
Recommendation, recommending granting in part and denying in
part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 38). Pertinent
here, the Undersigned granted Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
Relief Requested and denied Defendants' Motion to Strike.
(Id. at 22). Therefore, in considering the merits of
Plaintiff's claims, the Undersigned considered the
Amended Complaint, (Doc. 12), and the relief requested in
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Relief Requested, (Doc. 32).
(See generally Doc. 38).
that Report and Recommendation was pending, it came to the
Court's attention that Plaintiff had been released from
custody. (See Doc. 30). So the Undersigned issued an
Order, noting that, because Plaintiff is seeking only
injunctive relief against Defendants, his claims most likely
became moot when he was released from custody. (Doc. 41). The
Undersigned directed the parties to meet and confer and file
a joint status report regarding which, if any of
Plaintiff's claim are still active following
Plaintiff's release from custody. (Id.).
timely filed a status report, explaining that,
“[a]lthough the Court Order indicated that a joint
status report be filed, Plaintiff has failed to confer with
the undersigned counsel in a timely manner after undersigned
counsel attempted to get into contact with Plaintiff.”
(Doc. 43 at 1). Defendants attached a copy of a December 20,
2019, letter and proposed status report that they sent to
Plaintiff. (Doc. 43-1). In their letter, Defendants explained
the Court's recent directive and asked Plaintiff to call
or write them regarding any changes to the proposed status
report by January 4, 2020. (Id. at 1). According to
Defendants, Plaintiff did not call counsel for Defendants
until January 10, 2019. (Doc. 43-1 at 1). Plaintiff explained
that he is still seeking the monetary damages requested in
his Original Complaint (Doc. 3). (Id.). But, as
explained below, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint superseded
the Original Complaint, and as such, Plaintiff's case
involves claims for only injunctive relief.
Undersigned must answer two questions: First, which pleading
serves as the operative pleading in this matter; and second,
whether Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief became
moot when he was released from custody.