Catlin Syndicated Limited v. Ramuji, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER FINDING AS MOOT 128 MOTION for Summary Judgment, GRANTING 139 MOTION for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. Catlin Syndicate Limited is hereby ORDERED to file its Second Amended Complaint (and any attachments) into CM/ECF as a separate and distinct docket entry. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 4/18/2018. (JLC)
2018 Apr-18 PM 03:20
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CATLIN SYNDICATE LIMITED,
RAMUJI, LLC d/b/a BUDGET INN and
PEOPLES INDEPENDENT BANK,
RAMUJI, LLC, PEOPLE’S
Counterclaim/Third Party Plaintiffs, )
GREAT AMERICAN ASSURANCE
Third-Party Plaintiff Intervenor,
RANDY JONES & ASSOCIATES, INC.,
JON PAIR, CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS )
AT LLOYD’S, LONDON SUBSCRIBING )
SEVERALLY TO POLICY NO. ULL
20018, named as “SYNDICATE 1414 AT
LLOYD’S (ASCOT UNDERWRITING
LIMITED), SYNDICATE 5820 AT
LLOYD’S (ANV SYNDICATES
LIMITED), SYNDICATE 727 AT
LLOYD’S (S.A. MEACOCH & COMPANY )
LIMITED), and SYNDICATE 1861 at
LLOYD’s (ANV SYNDICATED
Case No.: 4:16-CV-1331-VEH
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
INTRODUCTION AND RELEVANT BACKGROUND
Before the Court is Catlin Syndicate Limited’s (“Catlin”) Motion for Leave to
Amend Complaint (the “Motion”) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2)
filed on March 29, 2018. (Doc. 139). In its Motion, Catlin asks the Court to “allow
Catlin to file a Second Amended Complaint.” (Id. at 9). Catlin attached the Second
Amended Complaint to the Motion. (Doc. 139-1). According to Catlin, “[t]he purpose
of the requested amendment is to add another example of . . . a misrepresentation in
Ramuji’s completed application which was recently discovered.” (Doc. 139 at 3).
The Motion notes that Ramuji opposes this amendment. (See id.) (“Counsel for
Ramuji opposes any amendment that changes or adds any newly asserted grounds that
Underwriters wish to add to their efforts to void the Policy.”).1 The Motion is silent
regarding whether People’s Independent Bank (“PIB”) opposes the Motion. (See
generally id.). Importantly, under this Court’s Uniform Initial Order, any opposition
to the Motion had to be filed within 14 days. (Doc. 3 at 23 ¶2).2 The time to oppose
the Motion has passed. Accordingly, it is now ripe for review.
Catlin represents to the Court that the amendment is really just adding more facts
surrounding another misrepresentation for which they want rescission. (See Doc. 139 at 3-4).
The Court notes that the Motion also should have stated “the parties’ attempts to resolve
the issue.” (See Doc. 3 at 22-23).
Rule 15(a) states:
(a) Amendments Before Trial.
(1) Amending as a Matter of Course. A party may amend its
pleading once as a matter of course within:
(A) 21 days after serving it, or
(B) if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is
required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or
21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or
(f), whichever is earlier.
(2) Other Amendments. In all other cases, a party may amend its
pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the
court's leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so
FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a). The Eleventh Circuit has explained Rule 15:
The thrust of Rule 15(a) is to allow parties to have their claims heard on
the merits, and accordingly, district courts should liberally grant leave
to amend when “the underlying facts or circumstances relied upon by a
plaintiff may be a proper subject of relief.” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S.
178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 230, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962). Nevertheless, a
motion for leave to amend may appropriately be denied “(1) where there
has been undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, or repeated failure to
cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed; (2) where
allowing amendment would cause undue prejudice to the opposing
party; or (3) where amendment would be futile.” Bryant v. Dupree, 252
F.3d 1161, 1163 (11th Cir.2001).
In re Engle Cases, 767 F.3d 1082, 1108-09 (11th Cir. 2014). “[The Eleventh Circuit]
review[s] for abuse of discretion.” See Bryant v. Dupree, 252 F.3d 1161, 1163 (11th
Cir. 2001) (citing Henson v. Columbus Bank & Trust Co., 770 F.2d 1566, 1574 (11th
Rule 15(a)(2) is clear that this “court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a)(2). Given that there was no opposition to the Motion
within the time allotted under the Uniform Initial Order, the other parties must not
oppose the amended pleadings with any sense of zeal or urgency. Further, the docket
sheet reflects that the deadline to amend pleadings is May 23, 2018, so this Motion
was timely. (Docket Entry November 13, 2017). Catlin represents that there is no
prejudice from this amendment. (See Doc. 139 at 5). The other parties did not brief
Catlin notes that “[t]here is no dispositive motion pending with respect to the
claims in the First Amended Complaint, so this amendment will not disrupt the
litigation.” (See id. at 9). However, Catlin has moved for summary judgment on
Count II in the First Amended Complaint. (Doc. 128 at 2) (“Catlin states that there
are no genuine issues of fact, and Catlin is entitled to a judgment on Count II of its
First Amended Complaint.”); (see also Doc. 129). While it appears that this current
Motion is only attempting to amend Count I (not the subject of the motion for
summary judgment– Count II), the motion for summary judgment is not yet under
submission because of continued discovery. (Docs. 130, 131, 138). Given that the
motion for summary judgment is not even under submission, the Court MOOTS
Catlin’s motion for summary judgment on Count II. (Doc. 128). The Court prefers for
a party to have one operative pleading at a time (not multiple versions). The Court
points out that dispositive motions are not due until January 23, 2019. (CM/ECF
Docket Entry from November 13, 2017).
For these reasons, this Motion is due to be GRANTED.
The Motion is GRANTED. (Doc. 139). Catlin is ORDERED to file its Second
Amended Complaint (and any attachments) into CM/ECF as a separate and distinct
docket entry. Catlin’s motion for summary judgment is TERMED as MOOT without
prejudice. (Doc. 128).
DONE and ORDERED this the 18th day of April, 2018.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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