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Doe v. Marshall

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

June 12, 2018

JOHN DOE #1, JOHN DOE #3, JOHN DOE #7, JOHN DOE # 9, and JOHN DOE #10, Plaintiffs,
v.
STEVEN T. MARSHALL, Attorney General of the State of Alabama, in his official capacity; CHARLES WARD, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, in his official capacity; and HAL TAYLOR, Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, in his official capacity, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          W. KEITH WATKINS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File Supplement to Second Amended Complaint (see Docs. # 132 & 134-1), which has been fully briefed (Docs. # 135 & 136). The motion is due to be granted in part and denied in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a case challenging the constitutionality of various provisions of the Alabama Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification Act (“ASORCNA, ” or the “Act”), Ala. Code § 15-20A-1 et seq. A more robust recap can be found in the court's most recent memorandum opinion and order on Defendants' motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 125.) For now, a brief overview of the case's procedural history will be sufficient.

         Plaintiffs filed their initial Complaint on August 20, 2015. (Doc. # 1.) That complaint was amended with the court's permission on November 18, 2015. (Doc. # 39.) Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and the court granted that motion in part and denied it in part on March 18, 2016. (Doc. # 51.) Then came another motion to amend the complaint — granted by the court on August 17, 2016 (Doc. # 80) — and another motion to dismiss (Doc. # 87). Before that motion could be ruled on, the Alabama legislature passed Alabama Act No. 2017-414 (the “Amendment”), which revised many of the challenged ASORCNA provisions. Supplemental briefing on the impact of those amendments was then ordered (see Docs. # 110, 113, & 114), and on March 14, 2018, the court granted in part and denied in part the motion to dismiss. (Doc. # 125.) Plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a third amended complaint was also denied without prejudice at that time.

         When all that was said and done, Plaintiffs' six counts in their second amended complaint were reduced to four: a challenge to ASORCNA's residency restrictions based on a due process right to intimate association (Count I); a due process vagueness challenge to ASORCNA's employment exclusion zones (the surviving claim of Count III); a First Amendment compelled-speech challenge to ASORCNA's branded-identification requirement (Count IV); and a First Amendment overbreadth challenge to ASORCNA's internet reporting requirements (Count V). Dismissed without prejudice were Plaintiffs' due process challenge based on an irrebuttable presumption of dangerousness (Count II), their vagueness challenge to residency exclusion zones and certain reporting requirements (two of the three claims brought under Count III), and their 42 U.S.C. § 1983 individual-capacity claims against the officers responsible for the implementation of ASORCNA's branded-identification requirement (Count VI).

         Plaintiffs now “seek to supplement their complaint to reflect the passage and implementation of Alabama Act No. 2017-414.” (Doc. # 132, at 1.)

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d) provides:

On motion and reasonable notice, the court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented. The court may permit supplementation even though the original pleading is defective in stating a claim or defense. The court may order that the opposing party plead to the supplemental pleading within a specified time.

         Courts generally agree that leave to file a supplemental pleading “should be freely granted when doing so will promote the economic and speedy disposition of the entire controversy between the parties, will not cause undue delay or trial inconvenience, and will not prejudice the rights of any of the other parties to the action.” 6A Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 1504 (3d ed. 2018) (collecting cases). This is a similar standard to that used in determining whether to grant leave to amend pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2), with the notable exception being that any supplementation must be based on a “transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d) (emphasis added). If a motion to supplement is based on events occurring before the pleading was filed, the court is free to construe it as a motion to amend. Aside from that, however, most other considerations are the same: “Would the supplementation be futile? Would a nonmovant be prejudiced? Has there been any unreasonable delay in presenting the supplementation? And would the supplementation facilitate the efficient resolution of current claims as well as any new ones?” W. Ala. Women's Ctr. v. Miller, 318 F.R.D. 143, 148 (M.D. Ala. 2016) (citations omitted); cf. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962) (listing “undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, [and] futility of amendment” as factors to consider on a motion to amend).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Generally stated, Plaintiffs seek to supplement their second amended complaint to:

- Add additional facts and plaintiffs to Count I's due process challenge to the Act's ...

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