United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND A
MOTION (ECF NO. 14) AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION [ECF NO. 13]
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Introduction and Background
prisoner Earl Flynn Truss, Jr., commenced this action in 2011
by filing a pro se civil rights complaint that named
four employees of the Michigan Department of Corrections as
defendants. See ECF No. 1. At the time, defendant
Jane Doe was a district supervisor, George Murphy was a field
agent, Michelle Hornes was an area supervisor, and Patricia
L. Caruso was the Director of the Michigan Department of
explained in his complaint that he was paroled from his state
sentence to a federal detainer on August 12, 2005, and that
he was subsequently released from federal prison and sent to
a federal half-way house. He violated the rules of the
half-way house and was sent to the Dickerson Facility in
Hamtramck, Michigan for the duration of his federal sentence.
Prior to his discharge from the Dickerson Facility in 2008,
defendant Murphy recommended that the Michigan Department of
Corrections extend Plaintiff's state parole term.
argued in his civil rights complaint that the Michigan Parole
Board lacked jurisdiction over him because his parole term
expired before the Parole Board extended it. Plaintiff also
alleged that defendant Murphy had no documentation to
validate the extension of his parole, that state officials
did not follow proper procedures, and that he was deprived of
his liberty without due process of law.
April 8, 2011, the Court summarily dismissed Plaintiff's
complaint as frivolous and for failure to state a plausible
claim for which relief could be granted. See ECF No.
6. The Court noted that Plaintiff was challenging the fact or
duration of his confinement and that his complaint would have
been more appropriate in a habeas corpus petition, following
exhaustion of state remedies. See Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499-500 & 499 n. 14 (1973).
The Court determined that Plaintiff had no right to money
damages under the favorable-termination rule of Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), because he had
failed to show that the decision to extend his Michigan
parole term was invalidated by state officials or impugned by
federal officials on habeas corpus review. The Court also
determined that the complaint failed to state a claim against
Jane Doe, Michelle Hornes, and Patricia Caruso because
Plaintiff had not explained what those defendants did to
violate his constitutional rights and because vicarious
liability was not applicable to suits under § 1983.
April 25, 2011, Plaintiff moved for relief from judgment on
grounds that the Court erroneously applied Heck to
his case and that the Court dismissed his complaint without
first allowing him to amend his complaint. See ECF
No. 8. The Court denied Plaintiff's motion because
Plaintiff had failed to demonstrate that the Court committed
a clear error or that some exceptional circumstance justified
relief from judgment. See ECF No. 9. The Court also
denied Plaintiff's request to amend his complaint
because, at the time, indigent prisoners were not permitted
to amend their complaint to avoid sua sponte
dismissal of a complaint under 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A. See Benson v. O'Brian, 179
F.3d 1014, 1016 (6th Cir. 1999), and McGore v.
Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 612 (6th Cir. 1997).
2018, Plaintiff filed a second motion for relief from
judgment in which he asked for permission to amend and to
re-submit his complaint. See ECF No. 11. The basis
for his motion was the Sixth Circuit's decision in
LaFountain v. Harry, 716 F.3d 944 (6th Cir. 2013),
which overruled McGore and held that a federal
district court may allow a plaintiff to amend his complaint
even when the complaint is subject to dismissal under the
screening provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
Id. at 951. Plaintiff argued that, in light of the
Sixth Circuit's decision in LaFountain, this
Court erred when it stated in its order denying his first
motion for relief from judgment that he had no right to amend
Court denied Plaintiff's second motion for relief from
judgment because: (1) the rule that an indigent prisoner
could not amend his complaint was the law in this Circuit at
the time Plaintiff filed his first motion for relief from
judgment; (2) Plaintiff did not bring his second motion for
relief from judgment within a reasonable time; and (3) after
Plaintiff filed his civil rights complaint, he raised his
claim about the extension of his parole in a federal habeas
corpus petition that United States District Judge Janet T.
Neff dismissed for failure to raise a meritorious federal
claim. See Truss v. Burt, No. 1:13-cv-710 (W.D.
Mich. Oct. 3, 2013) (unpublished). The Court concluded from
Judge Neff's decision in Plaintiff's habeas case that
leave to amend his complaint would be futile and that
Plaintiff was not entitled to reinstate his complaint.
The Pending Motions
before the Court are Plaintiff's motion for
reconsideration of his second motion for relief from judgment
and Plaintiff's motion to amend the motion for
reconsideration. In his motion for reconsideration, Plaintiff
alleges that the Court erred in determining that he did not
file his second motion for relief judgment within a
reasonable time and that he had not shown extraordinary
circumstances justifying relief from judgment. Plaintiff also
maintains that a prisoner can always challenge the procedures
used to determine parole issues.
motion to amend, Plaintiff seeks permission to supplement his
motion for reconsideration with additional facts. He points
out that defendant George Murphy was personally involved in
the decision to extend his parole, that defendant “Jane
Doe” is actually Leslie V. Tyrus who approved Mr.
Murphy's request for an extension of parole, and that the
delay in filing his second motion for relief from judgment
was due to his pursuit of habeas corpus relief in state and
motion to amend is granted, but, for the following reasons,
the motion for reconsideration will be denied.