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Cohen v. Longshore, No. 09-1563

By FindLaw Staff on October 20, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Denial of Motion to Amend Complaint Affirmed

In Cohen v. Longshore, No. 09-1563, plaintiff's appeal from the district court's denial of his motion to amend his complaint to state claims of false imprisonment and denial of access to the courts, the court reversed the order where 1) the district court abused its discretion when it denied the motion to file an amended complaint without any consideration of whether plaintiff had given an excusable cause for his delay in amending the complaint as directed; and 2) a petitioner who had no available remedy in habeas, through no lack of diligence on his part, was not barred by Heck from pursuing a section 1983 claim.

As the court wrote:  "Plaintiff Solomon Cohen, proceeding pro se, appeals from the district court's sua sponte dismissal of his civil rights complaint and denial of his motion to file an amended complaint late. Plaintiff, who was an immigration detainee at the time the underlying proceedings took place, sought in his amended complaint to raise claims of false imprisonment and denial of access to the courts. The district court denied Plaintiff's motion to amend on three grounds: (1) untimeliness, (2) his attachment of different exhibits to the three copies of his amended complaint, and (3) the futility of amendment. The court then dismissed both the original and amended complaints."

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