United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON PENDING MOTIONS
William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court.
cause is before the Court on several motions filed by the
Plaintiff, each of which is addressed, in turn, below.
the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Rehearing on Defendants'
[sic] and Issues Dismissed on Summary Judgment (Dkt. No.
110). In this motion, the Plaintiff argues that “[t]his
trial was biased and unfair to issue summary judgment to move
to dismiss defendants' [sic] and motion of the issues
brought forth because the plaintiff did not receive emails of
all documents within the case as did the defendants'
[sic].” Dkt. No. 110 at 1. While the Plaintiff explains
why she would prefer to receive service from the Court via
email rather than via the United States Mail, she does not
actually deny receiving notice of the Defendants' motion
to dismiss and for summary judgment. In fact she did receive
it; she also filed a timely response to it. The Plaintiff
also received the notice required by this Court's Local
Rule 56-1(k), which explains the right to respond to a motion
for summary judgment and the risk associated with failing to
do so. Because the response she filed was lacking in
substance, the Court gave her an additional opportunity to
respond, something the Court was not obligated to do:
That courts are required to give liberal construction to pro
se pleadings is well established. Kaba v. Stepp, 458
F.3d 678, 687 (7th Cir. 2006). However, it is also well
established that pro se litigants are not excused
from compliance with procedural rules. See McNeil v.
United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113, 113 S.Ct. 1980, 124
L.Ed.2d 21 (1993) (noting that the Supreme Court has
“never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary
civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse
mistakes by those who proceed without counsel”).
Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th
Cir. 2008). The fact that the Plaintiff failed properly to
respond to the Defendants' motion simply is not excused
by her pro se status.
event, the Plaintiff does not offer any substantive reason
why she believes the Court's ruling was incorrect. She
has asked for a “rehearing, ” but she has not
given the Court anything to consider. Accordingly, the motion
must be, and is, DENIED.
Plaintiff's other two motions are a Motion to Add
Parties' [sic] (Dkt. No. 124) and a Motion to Supplement
Complaint (Dkt. No. 125). Both of these motions are
DENIED, as they are both procedurally and
regard to procedure, if the Plaintiff wishes to add either
parties or claims to this case, she must do so by filing a
motion for leave to amend her complaint, which must be
accompanied by the proposed amended complaint that she wishes
to file. See Local Rule 15-1 (A motion to amend a
pleading must “be accompanied by a proposed order and
one signed original and one copy of the proposed amended
pleading” and “[a]mendments to a pleading must
reproduce the entire pleading as amended.”). In the
proposed amended complaint, the Plaintiff must set out all of
her claims and include facts sufficient to demonstrate why
each new defendant is a proper defendant in this case; in
other words, what does she allege that each defendant did
that makes that defendant liable to her in some way. The
Plaintiff is correct that she is entitled to some leniency
with regard to her pleadings as a pro se litigant,
but she is not excused from filing a pleading altogether or
from complying with the procedures set forth in the
Court's Local Rules.
regard to substance, if the Plaintiff wishes to reassert any
of the claims that already have been dismissed, she must
explain in her motion (not in the amended complaint) why she
believes it is appropriate to do so. For example, the Court
dismissed her retaliation claim because she failed to
identify any protected activity that she engaged in other
than her 2012 EEOC complaint, which she lodged after the
adverse actions-termination in 2009 and failure to hire in
2012-occurred. Unless the Plaintiff can identify protected
activity that she engaged in prior to an adverse action taken
by a Defendant, she cannot bring a retaliation claim; it is
impossible to retaliate against someone for an action that
has not yet been taken. The Court gave a reason for
dismissing each claim that was dismissed; the Plaintiff may
seek leave to reassert a claim only if she can, in good
faith, explain how she has remedied the problem that led to
the claim being dismissed. Further, with regard to the
Plaintiff's Title VII claim relating to the fact that she
was not hired in 2012, the Court did not dismiss that claim,
but rather found that the Defendants were entitled to summary
judgment as to it. The Plaintiff is not entitled to attempt
to re-plead that claim because it was not dismissed on the
pleadings. Therefore, that claim should not be included in
any proposed amended complaint.
reiterate: If the Plaintiff wishes to attempt to add a claim
or a defendant to this case, whether or not the claim or
defendant has previously been part of this case, she must
file a motion for leave to amend her complaint. Along with
that motion, she must file her proposed amended complaint.
That proposed amended complaint must be a stand-alone
document; it may not refer to any other documents or previous
complaints. Someone who knows nothing about this case should
be able to read the proposed amended complaint and understand
what the Plaintiff alleges each defendant did, when the
defendant did it, and what statute or right the Plaintiff
believes was violated by the defendant's actions. In the
motion for leave, for any claim that the Court already has
dismissed, the Plaintiff must specifically address the reason
the Court gave for the dismissal and explain what additional
facts she has included in the proposed amended complaint that
make the claim viable. Simply reasserting a claim that has
been dismissed without remedying the deficiencies that led to
the dismissal is not permitted.
Plaintiff must file any motion for leave to amend her
complaint by November 8, 2017. The Defendant need
not respond to the motion unless invited to do so by the
Court. In the event a timely motion for leave to amend is
filed, the deadline for dispositive motions is
extended to 21 days following the Court's ruling on the
motion for leave to amend.