United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Tallahassee Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CHARLES A. STAMPELOS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
December 1, 2016, Defendant filed a second motion to dismiss,
ECF No. 19, the pro se Plaintiff's amended complaint, ECF
No. 17. Plaintiff was advised of his obligation to file a
memorandum in opposition to the motion and directed to do so
no later than January 13, 2017. ECF No. 20.
Plaintiff filed a motion to amend the complaint, ECF No. 21,
on December 13, 2016, simultaneously providing the proposed
amended pleading, ECF No. 22. Plaintiff also filed a motion
for joinder, ECF No. 23, in which Plaintiff states he wants
to add another Defendant (Chairperson Coonrod) in this case.
Defendant opposes Plaintiff's requests. ECF No. 24.
January 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed his response to
Defendant's motion. ECF No. 25. Accordingly, all pending
motions are addressed in this Report and Recommendation.
to Amend and for Joinder
proposed second amended complaint names the Florida
Commission on Offender Review and Chairperson Melinda Coonrod
as Defendants. ECF No. 22 at 2. The claims brought (1)
challenge Rule 23-21.0155 (which permits suspending a
presumptive parole release date) as unconstitutional; (2) the
Commission violated Plaintiff's right to equal
protection; (3) the Commission violated Plaintiff's due
process right; (4) the Commission randomly suspends or
extends prisoner's presumptive parole release dates in
violation of due process. ECF No. 22 at 8-12. None of the
factual allegations pertain to Chairman Coonrod; rather, the
allegations address actions of the Commission. Therefore, the
motions to amend and for joinder should be denied because the
complaint does not sufficiently allege a basis for a claim
against Chairman Coonrod.
the motions should be denied because adding Chairman Coonrod
is duplicative and redundant. “[W]hen an officer is
sued under Section 1983 in his or her official capacity, the
suit is simply ‘another way of pleading an action
against an entity of which an officer is an
agent.'” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S.
 at 165, 105 S.Ct.  at 3105  (citing
Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658,
690 n.55, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 2035 n.55, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978))
(quoted in Busby v. City of Orlando, 931 F.2d 764,
776 (11th Cir. 1991)). Claims brought against state officers
in their official capacity are therefore, in actuality, suits
directly against the state agency that the officer
represents. Busby, 931 F.2d at 776; see also
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71
(1989) (“Obviously, state officials literally are
persons. But a suit against a state official in his or her
official capacity is not a suit against the official but
rather is a suit against the official's office.”).
Because adding Chairman Coonrad as a Defendant in her
official capacity is redundant to the claim brought against
the Commission, the motion for joinder should be denied. The
claim is unnecessary and the proposed second amended
complaint fails to state a claim against Defendant Coonrad.
The motion to amend should also be denied.
Commission filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's first
amended complaint, ECF No. 17, as untimely. ECF No. 19 at 5.
The Commission argues that Plaintiff is seeking to challenge
“the suspension of his PPRD that occurred in December,
2011.” Id. Because this case was not initiated
until July 25, 2016,  more than four years after entry of the
challenged decision, the Commission contends the case is
barred by Florida's four year limitation period.
Id. at 5-6. The Commission also argues it is
entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity, id. at 6-8,
and contend the amended complaint fails to state a claim.
Id. at 8-13.
complaint alleges that on December 14, 2011, the Commission
suspended Plaintiff's presumptive parole release date
[PPRD] which had been established as November 26, 2011. ECF
No. 17 at 5. Plaintiff alleged that the suspension violated
his right to due process because the Commission order
erroneously stated “it was based on a firearm that did
not exist.” Id. at 5. On July 31, 2015, the
Commission “entered a corrected order removing the
firearm factor, ” but reaffirmed that Plaintiff's
PPRD remained “suspended based instead on a
further claimed that the Commission “discriminated
against him by not extending his PPRD” for 2 years but,
instead, “suspended his PPRD indefinitely.”
Id. at 6, 9. He notes that other similarly situated
inmates “had their PPRD's extended but not
suspended.” Id. Plaintiff alleges that Florida
law permits the Commission to extend or modify a PPRD, but he
contends that the Commission is not authorized “to
suspend or override the PPRD.” Id. at 7. As
relief, Plaintiff requests declaratory and injunctive relief.
Id. at 10.
issue on whether a complaint should be dismissed pursuant
Rule 12(b)(6) for failing to state a claim upon which relief
can be granted is whether the plaintiff has alleged enough
plausible facts to support the claim stated. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955,
167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (retiring the standard from Conley
v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80
(1957). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937,
1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the ...