United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
District Judge Jill N. Parrish
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER, Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Judge Jill N. Parrish referred this case to Chief Magistrate
Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court is Plaintiffs'
partially unopposed motion for leave to file a second amended
complaint. The court has carefully reviewed the
written memoranda submitted by the parties. Pursuant to Civil
Rule 7-1(f) of the Rules of Practice for the United States
District Court for the District of Utah, the court has
concluded that oral argument is not necessary and will
determine the motion on the basis of the written memoranda.
See DUCivR 7-1(f).
initial matter, the court notes that the Defendants who
responded to Plaintiffs' motion (collectively,
“Responding Defendants”) do not oppose it to the
extent that Plaintiffs seek to clarify their complaint by
withdrawing a category of damages and to conform certain
allegations in the complaint to the evidence discovered to
date. Accordingly, that portion of Plaintiffs' motion is
granted. The court now turns to the remainder of
Plaintiffs' motion, which seeks to add Steve Hanni
(“Hanni”) and Steve Luddington
(“Luddington”) as named defendants.
motion is brought under Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Under
that rule, “[t]he court should freely give leave”
to amend pleadings “when justice so requires.”
Id.; see also Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178,
182 (1962). The decision about whether to provide a party
leave to amend its pleadings “is within the discretion
of the trial court.” Minter v. Prime Equip.
Co., 451 F.3d 1196, 1204 (10th Cir. 2006) (quotations
and citation omitted). “Refusing leave to amend is
generally only justified upon a showing of undue delay, undue
prejudice to the opposing party, bad faith or dilatory
motive, failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, or futility of amendment.” Bylin v.
Billings, 568 F.3d 1224, 1229 (10th Cir. 2009)
(quotations and citation omitted).
court has determined that only the factors of undue delay and
prejudice are relevant to Plaintiffs' motion. The court
turns to addressing those factors.
is well settled in this circuit that untimeliness alone is a
sufficient reason to deny leave to amend . . ., especially
when the party filing the motion has no adequate explanation
for the delay . . . .” Frank v. U.S. West,
Inc., 3 F.3d 1357, 1365-66 (10th Cir. 1993) (citations
omitted); see also Woolsey v. Marion Labs., Inc.,
934 F.2d 1452, 1462 (10th Cir. 1991); Las Vegas Ice &
Cold Storage Co. v. Far West Bank, 893 F.2d 1182, 1185
(10th Cir. 1990); First City Bank, N.A. v. Air Capitol
Aircraft Sales, Inc., 820 F.2d 1127, 1133 (10th Cir.
1987). “Furthermore, ‘[w]here the party seeking
amendment knows or should have known of the facts upon which
the proposed amendment is based but fails to include them in
the original complaint, the motion to amend is subject to
denial.'” Frank, 3 F.3d at 1366 (quoting
Las Vegas Ice & Cold Storage Co., 893 F.2d at
1185); see also Fed. Ins. Co. v. Gates Learjet
Corp., 823 F.2d 383, 387 (10th Cir. 1987)
(“[C]ourts have denied leave to amend where the moving
party was aware of the facts on which the amendment was based
for some time prior to the filing of the motion to
addition to showing that there was no undue delay, when
an amendment is sought after the deadline for the amendment
of pleadings set forth in a scheduling order, most circuits
require that the parties show good cause as required under
Rule 16(b) [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]. The
Tenth Circuit “has not ruled on [this] question in the
context of an amendment to an existing pleading.”
DeMarco v. LaPay, No. 2:09-CV-190 TS, 2011 WL
5118299, at *1 (D. Utah Oct. 27, 2011) (quoting
Bylin, 568 F.3d at 1231 n.9) (second alteration in
original) (footnotes omitted); see also Fed.R.Civ.P.
16(b)(4) (“A schedule may be modified only for good
cause and with the judge's consent.”).
“However, it has noted the rough similarity between the
good cause standard of Rule 16(b) and [the Tenth
Circuit's] undue delay analysis under Rule 15 and that
appellate courts that have applied Rule 16 have afforded wide
discretion to district courts' applications of that
rule.” DeMarco, 2011 WL 5118299, at *1
(alteration in original) (quotations, citations, and
footnotes omitted). “When applied, the good cause
standard requires the . . . party to show that it has been
diligent in attempting to meet the deadlines, which means it
must provide an adequate explanation for any delay.”
Id. (quotations, citation, and footnote omitted).
the rough similarity between the Rule 16(b) good cause
standard and the undue delay analysis under Rule 15, the
court will consider them together. Specifically, the court
will focus on whether Plaintiffs have provided an adequate
explanation for the delay in bringing their motion.
pertinent portion of their motion, Plaintiffs seek to add
Hanni and Luddington as named defendants. The deadline for
Plaintiffs to bring a motion to amend their pleadings in this
case was April 4, 2017. Plaintiff's motion was not filed
until August 7, 2017, over four months after that
deadline. Plaintiffs attempt to explain the delay in
bringing their motion by asserting that ...