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Karmue v. Remington

United States District Court, D. Rhode Island

February 1, 2019

Kormahyah Karmue
v.
David Remington, Chief Deputy United States Marshal, et al.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the court is plaintiff Kormahyah Karmue's motion (Doc. No. 78) to amend the complaint in this matter. No defendant who has appeared in this action has responded to the motion. In his motion, Karmue seeks to: (1) amend the allegations and name defendants to the claims set forth in the May 18, 2018 Report and Recommendation (“May 18 R&R”) (Doc. No. 67) as Claims 7 and 8; and (2) assert claims against United States Marshals Service for the District of Rhode Island (“USMS-RI”) Chief Deputy David Remington.

         Discussion

         I. Standard for Motion to Amend

         In general, under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, leave to amend is to be “freely given.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). One ground for denying a proposed amendment is futility. See Todisco v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 497 F.3d 95, 98 (1st Cir. 2007). To assess whether the proposed amendment is futile, this court applies the standard for preliminary review of claims set forth in the May 18 R&R.

         II. Claim 7

         In the May 18 R&R, the court set forth Claim 7 as follows:

7. One or more unnamed [Donald D. Wyatt Detention Center (“WDC”)] officers violated Karmue's Fifth and/or Fourteenth Amendment right not to be subjected to punishment during pretrial confinement, or his Eighth Amendment right to avoid cruel and unusual punishment after sentencing, by forcing him to sleep in a top bunk with knowledge that such a bed assignment would cause Karmue pain due to his physical limitations occasioned by his medical conditions.

         Karmue now seeks to amend Claim 7 to allege that an individual whom he identifies as “Dr. David Blanchette” “forced [Karmue] to sleep in a top bunk in which he had to climb up and down a ladder . . . while he was in terrible hip, back, and leg pain.” The court presumes that Karmue intended to name “Dr. Edward Blanchette” as the defendant to Claim 7, as Dr. Edward Blanchette treated Karmue at the WDC and is already a defendant in this case.[1]

         Karmue has stated sufficient facts to allow Claim 7 to proceed against Dr. Edward Blanchette. Accordingly, the district judge should grant Karmue's motion to amend in part, to the extent Karmue seeks to amend Claim 7 to name Dr. Edward Blanchette as the defendant to that claim. In an Order issued simultaneously with this R&R (“Simultaneous Order”) the court vacates the portion of the May 18 R&R recommending dismissal of Claim 7.

         III. Claim 8

         In the May 18 R&R, the court set forth Claim 8 as follows:

8. One or more unnamed WDC officers violated Karmue's First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances when, in retaliation for Karmue's repeated requests for medical care and complaints about the inadequacy of his medical care, those officers caused Karmue to be transferred from the WDC medical clinic to SHU and then threatened to house Karmue in conditions worse than those in SHU.

         In the May 18 R&R, the court recommended the dismissal of this claim, as Karmue had failed to name a defendant responsible for the harms alleged therein. In his motion to amend (Doc. No. 78), Karmue ...


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