Johnson et al v. Champion
ORDER denying 122 Motion to Amend Complaint. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 11/5/2013. Copy mailed to plaintiffs. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
REGINALD JOHNSON, et al.,
RANDALL CHAMPIONS, et al.,
) CIVIL ACTION 12-0334-WS-M
The plaintiffs have filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint.
(Doc. 122). The purpose of the proposed amendment is to add claims of fraud and
The deadline for filing motions for leave to amend the pleadings,
established by the Rule 16(b) scheduling order, expired on March 8, 2013. (Doc.
39 at 2). Such a schedule “may be modified only for good cause.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
16(b); accord Sosa v. Airprint Systems, Inc., 133 F.3d 1417, 1418 (11th Cir. 1998).
“This good cause standard precludes modification unless the schedule could not
‘be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension.’” Id. at 1418
(quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 advisory committee notes). The plaintiffs do not
acknowledge Rule 16(b)(4), but they are nonetheless bound by it.
As this Court has noted, the diligence required by the rule includes
diligence in discovering the information on which a proposed new claim or
defense is based. Jackson v. Winn-Dixie, Inc., 2008 WL 4183399 (S.D. Ala.
2008). The plaintiffs’ proposed new claim is based on information from
documents recorded in Mobile County Probate Court and with the West Virginia
Secretary of State. (Doc. 123 at 1). That is, the plaintiffs rely on public records to
which they have at all times had access. The plaintiffs filed this action in May
2012 and so had almost ten months in which to discover this information and seek
amendment before the March 2013 deadline passed. That they failed to do so
cannot be attributed to anything other than lack of diligence in seeking the
information. Their lack of diligence is underscored by the eight additional months
after expiration of the deadline that passed before they sought amendment.
The plaintiffs’ lack of diligence is even more obvious when viewed in the
context of their lengthy history of litigating in this District the ownership of the
realty at issue in this action. See Johnson v. Wood, Civil Action No. 05-0391-KDB; Johnson v. City of Satsuma, Civil Action No. 04-0445-CG-M; Johnson v.
Mobile County, Civil Action No. 99-0574-CB-M. Their similar efforts in state
court are catalogued in Johnson, Doc. 211. In short, the plaintiffs have had well
over a decade of litigation in which to discover the information on which they now
rely, and their failure to take advantage of this extraordinarily long period
epitomizes an absence of diligence.
For the reasons set forth above, the plaintiffs’ motion for leave to file an
amended complaint is denied.
DONE and ORDERED this 5th day of November, 2013.
s/WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?