Wolf et al v. Schadegg et al
ORDER by Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix on 3/9/16. Motion to Amend Complaint and Add Additional Parties # 36 is DENIED.(lgale, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 15-cv-01035-KLM
DAVID J. WOLF, an individual, and
WOLF AUTO CENTER STERLING LLC, a Colorado limited liability company,
MICHAEL SCHADEGG, an individual,
SHAWN COCHRAN, an individual,
JOHN DOES 1 THROUGH 3, and
ENTERED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE KRISTEN L. MIX
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Amend Complaint and Add
Additional Parties [#36]1 (the “Motion”). Defendants filed a Response [#42] in opposition
to the Motion, and Plaintiffs filed a Reply [#43]. The Court has reviewed the Motion,
Response, Reply, the entire case file, and the applicable law, and is sufficiently advised in
the premises. For the reasons set forth below,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion [#36] is DENIED.
Pursuant to the Motion [#36], Plaintiffs seek to amend the Complaint [#1] to add
additional claims and defendants. Plaintiffs state that evidence supporting the addition of
these claims and defendants has been acquired through the discovery process. See
Motion [#36] at 2.
“[#36]” is an example of the convention the Court uses to identify the docket number
assigned to a specific paper by the Court's case management and electronic case filing system
(CM/ECF). This convention is used throughout this Order.
On September 17, 2015, the Court set the deadline to join parties and amend
pleadings to November 18, 2015. See Scheduling Order [#24] at 8. On November 5,
2015, the Court granted the parties’ request to extend this deadline to December 30, 2015.
Minute Order [#30]. On December 23, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Amend Complaint
[#33], which the Court denied on December 30, 2015, for failure to comply with the
conferral requirements of D.C.COLO.LCivR 7.1(a).
Minute Order [#34].
explanation, Plaintiffs waited more than three weeks to renew their request to amend the
Complaint. See Motion [#36]. In the Motion [#36], Plaintiffs do not seek an extension of
the deadline to join parties and amend pleadings, although they do address this issue in
the Reply [#43] after Defendants pointed out in their Response [#42] that the deadline had
Because the Motion [#36] was filed after the deadline to join parties and amend
pleadings expired, Plaintiffs must provide good cause for their failure to timely move for
amendment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). If good cause is shown, the Court next
considers any arguments raised by the parties related to whether justice would be served
by amendment. Specifically, the Court should grant leave to amend “freely . . . when
justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Leave to amend need not be given, however,
when the moving party unduly delayed, failed to amend despite ample opportunity to do so,
the nonmoving party would be unduly prejudiced, or amendment would be futile. Foman
v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).
To meet the Rule 16(b)(4) standard, Plaintiffs must “show that [they were] diligent
in attempting to meet the [pleading amendment] deadline,” this standard can be met by the
provision of “an adequate explanation for any delay.” Minter v. Prime Equip. Co., 451 F3d
1196, 1205 & n.4 (10th Cir. 2006) (explaining that lateness itself does not justify denial of
a motion to amend, but “undue” lateness does). Here, however, Plaintiffs provide no
adequate explanation for their delay in filing the Motion more than three weeks after the
deadline. See Reply [#43] at 4-6. The first Motion to Amend Complaint [#33] was timely
filed on December 23, 2015, and denied on December 30, 2015, the same day as the
deadline to join parties and amend pleadings. The only reason for denial at that time was
that Plaintiffs failed to confer with opposing counsel prior to filing the motion. See Minute
Plaintiffs provide no explanation for waiting twenty-two days to file the present
Motion [#36] after the Court denied the original Motion to Amend Complaint [#33]. See
Reply [#43]. They do not state that they were diligently conferring with Defendants during
this period. They do not state that the Motion [#36] required revision based on discovery
received after December 23, 2015, the date the original Motion to Amend Complaint [#33]
was filed. They do not state that any personal or professional circumstances necessitated
a delay in refiling the Motion [#36]. They do not state that the parties were engaged in
fruitful settlement discussions during this period. In short, not only is there no adequate
explanation for delay, but there appears to be simply no explanation for the delay.
“While rigid adherence to the pretrial scheduling order is not advisable,” SIL-FIO v.
SFHC, Inc., 917 F.2d 1507, 1519 (10th Cir. 1990), the pleading amendment deadline
requires that parties conduct discovery efficiently and promptly in order to timely comply.
See Granite Southlands Town Center LLC v. Alberta Town Center, LLC, No.
09-cv-00799-ZLW-KLM, 2010 WL 2635524, at *2 (D. Colo. June 8, 2010) (noting that
“deadlines to amend a party's pleading are set at the outset of the case to require [parties]
to prioritize their discovery and attempt to obtain information that may be relevant to claim
amendment sooner rather than later.”); Sanchez v. City & Cty. of Denver ex rel. Bd. of
Water Comm’rs, No. 07-cv-01805-MSK-BNB, 2007 WL 4557842, at *1 (D. Colo. Dec. 20,
2007) (noting that “the purpose of the deadline to amend and add contained in the
Scheduling Order is to force the parties to make any known amendments immediately so
that all discovery in the case, including the earliest discovery, is taken with the claims and
defenses as the parties expect them to be”).
However, pursuant to Minter v. Prime Equipment Co., in order to meet the Rule
16(b)(4) standard, Plaintiffs must “show that [they were] diligent in attempting to meet the
[pleading amendment] deadline,” which standard can be met by the provision of “an
adequate explanation for any delay.” 451 F3d 1196, 1205 & n.4. In the absence of any
explanation whatsoever, the Court must deny the Motion [#36] for failure to comply with the
good cause standard of Rule 16(b)(4). See Gorsuch, Ltd., B.C. v. Wells Fargo Nat’l Bank
Ass’n, 771 F.3d 1230, 1241 (10th Cir. 2014) (“We now hold that parties seeking to amend
their complaints after a scheduling order deadline must establish good cause for doing
so.”); see also id. at 1242 (“Because [the plaintiffs] lacked good cause for the delay in
amending their complaint, it was within the district court’s discretion to deny their motion
pursuant to Rule 16(b)(4).”).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion [#36] is DENIED.
Dated: March 9, 2016
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