Laues-Gholston v. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, LLC
ORDER Overruling Plaintiff's 25 and 29 Objections, Accepting the Recommendation Contained in the Magistrate Judge's 23 Report and Recommendation Dated June 12, 2014, Granting Plaintiff's First 8 Motion to Amend His Complaint, Denying Without Prejudice Plaintiff's Second 11 Motion to Amend His Complaint and Denying as Moot Plaintiff's 27 Motion to Withdraw His Motions to Amend. Signed by District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith. (Goltz, D)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Civil Action No. 14-CV-10844
HON. MARK A. GOLDSMITH
SERVICES USA, LLC, et al.,
ORDER (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS (DKTS. 25, 29), (2)
ACCEPTING THE RECOMMENDATION CONTAINED IN THE MAGISTRATE
JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION DATED JUNE 12, 2014 (DKT. 23), (3)
GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S FIRST MOTION TO AMEND HIS COMPLAINT (DKT. 8)
(4) DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFF’S SECOND MOTION TO AMEND
HIS COMPLAINT (DKT. 11), and (5) DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO
WITHDRAW HIS MOTIONS TO AMEND (DKT. 27)
In this case, Plaintiff Roy Laues-Gholston, proceeding pro se, asserts claims under the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act against Defendants Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USAm
LLC and the Law Offices of Richard A. Green (“LORG”). Compl. (Dkt. 1). All pretrial matters
have been referred to Magistrate Judge David R. Grand. The matter is presently before the Court
on various objections filed by Plaintiff Roy Laues-Gholston (Dkts. 25, 29) to the Magistrate
Judge’s Report and Recommendation (R&R) (Dkt. 23) and order (Dkt. 28).
Plaintiff’s initial complaint was filed on February 24, 2014, and an answer was filed on
March 13, 2014. On March 27, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint
(Dkt. 8) to add Richard A. Green as a Defendant and to sign his complaint. On April 14, 2014,
Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on the docket (Dkt. 10), although his motion to amend had
not been addressed by the Magistrate Judge or the Court. On April 17, 2014, Plaintiff filed a
second motion to amend his complaint (Dkt. 11), seeking to change the name of Defendant
LORG to Defendant “Richard A. Green, P.C.,” and to change the address listed for that
Defendant (Dkt. 11). Defendants filed a response (Dkt. 16), arguing that “the entity known as
‘Richard A. Green, P.C.’ is, upon information and belief, a public accounting firm which is not
related to this action and is not a proper party.” Resp. at 2.
Defendants assert that after Plaintiff
filed his first motion to amend, Defendants informed Plaintiff that they had no opposition to his
proposed amended complaint. Id.
On June 12, 2014, the Magistrate Judge filed an R&R that recommended granting
Plaintiff’s first motion to amend and denying the second motion to amend (Dkt. 23). The R&R
notes that the parties appear to agree that the first amended complaint is proper. R&R at 3.
Regarding the second amended complaint, the R&R states that Plaintiff has not submitted
sufficient information to allow the Court to determine whether Richard A. Green, P.C., should be
substituted for LORG, and that the second motion to amend should be denied without prejudice.
Id. at 3-4.
Plaintiff filed objections to the R&R (Dkt. 25). Plaintiff raises the following objections:
(i) Defendant LORG should not represent Defendant Mercedes-Benz; (ii) “LORG as MBFS
representation in the State of Michigan Circuit Court proceedings;” (iii) “LORG filing of the
Disclosure statement naming a party that is not a part of this complaint”; (iv) “LORG address;”
and (v) “The discovery conference was ‘moot.’” First Obj. at 7.
Subsequently, on June 27, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion to withdraw as moot his two
motions to amend (Dkt. 27). In this motion, Plaintiff indicates that he seeks to wait until after
discovery to amend his complaint. On July 18, 2014, Magistrate Judge Grand entered an order
(Dkt. 28) denying the motion to withdraw. The order states, in part, “The motions Plaintiff seeks
to withdraw have already been recommended for ruling, and thus are no longer before this
Court.” Order at 2. Plaintiff filed objections to the Magistrate Judge’s order (Dkt. 29); Plaintiff
argues that the order violates the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by not allowing Plaintiff to
liberally amend his complaint. Obj. at 6.
In light of these objections, the Court turns to governing law. The Court reviews de novo
any portion of the R&R to which a specific objection has been made. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
When a party objects to a Magistrate Judge’s non-dispositive order, the Court must “modify or
set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(a). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), a party may amend its pleading once as a
matter of course within twenty-one days of service of a responsive pleading, if a responsive
pleading is required; once the deadline to amend as a matter of course has expired, a party “may
amend its pleading only with the opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave.”
The Court first addresses, and rejects, Plaintiff’s objections to the R&R. As an initial
matter, these objections do not point to any claimed errors in the R&R; nor do the objections
explain why Richard A. Green, P.C., as opposed to LORG, would be a proper Defendant in this
matter. Rather, the objections raise issues that were not presented to the Magistrate Judge in the
motions to amend; indeed, although the objections are not a model of clarity, they appear to
present arguments that are unrelated to the motions to amend. Parties are generally not permitted
to raise new arguments or claims before the district court that were not presented to the
Magistrate Judge. See Murr v. United States, 200 F.3d 895, 902 n.1 (6th Cir. 2000). For these
reasons, rejection of these objections is warranted.1
Further, the Court has reviewed the briefs and the R&R, and concludes that, as the R&R
This ruling is without prejudice to Plaintiff’s right to file motions premised on the substance of
these grounds that were not presented to the Magistrate Judge.
recommends, Plaintiff’s first motion to amend should be granted and his second motion to
amend should be denied without prejudice. Granting Plaintiff’s first motion to amend is proper
for two reasons: (i) the first motion to amend, with the attached proposed amended complaint,
was filed fourteen days after entry of Defendant’s answer to the complaint, and thus Plaintiff was
entitled to amend as a matter of course under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a); and (ii) the
parties agree that the first amended complaint is proper.
However, regarding the second motion to amend, which seeks to substitute Richard A.
Green, P.C. for LORG as a party Defendant, Plaintiff has presented no evidence that Richard A.
Green, P.C. is the proper Defendant. Moreover, LORG maintains that Richard A. Green, P.C. is
an unrelated entity and not a proper party to this case. For these reasons, it is appropriate to deny
without prejudice Plaintiff’s second motion to amend. Plaintiff may renew his motion to add
Richard A. Green, P.C. as a party if Plaintiff is able to present evidence that this entity is a
Because the Court has addressed the two motions to amend, Plaintiff’s motion to
withdraw must be denied as moot. Accordingly, the Court overrules Plaintiff’s objections to the
Magistrate Judge’s order denying the motion to withdraw. The Court notes, as well, that these
objections do not point to any clear error in the order or argue that the order is contrary to law;
rather, the objections primarily seek to reserve Plaintiff’s right to amend his complaint in the
future. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, Plaintiff may amend his pleading “with the
opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave,” and nothing in this order or in the
Magistrate Judge’s R&R and order prohibits Plaintiff from filing additional motions to amend.
For these reasons, the Court overrules Plaintiff’s objections, accepts the recommendation
contained in the R&R, grants Plaintiff’s first motion to amend, denies without prejudice his
second motion to amend, and denies as moot his motion to withdraw.2
Dated: August 11, 2014
s/Mark A. Goldsmith
MARK A. GOLDSMITH
United States District Judge
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that the foregoing document was served upon counsel of record
and any unrepresented parties via the Court's ECF System to their respective email or First Class
U.S. mail addresses disclosed on the Notice of Electronic Filing on August 11, 2014.
s/Deborah J. Goltz
DEBORAH J. GOLTZ
In his objections and motion, Plaintiff raises miscellaneous other arguments, which the Court
rejects. First, Plaintiff asserts that the Magistrate Judge did not “timely respond” to his first
motion to amend, Pl. First Obj. at 6, 8, but Plaintiff does not explain what deadlines the
Magistrate Judge allegedly breached or why the claimed untimeliness would provide a basis for
rejecting the R&R. Second, Plaintiff argues that all judicial officers presiding over this case
should provide “verification that any actor who reviews or affects case number 14-10844 in any
way furnish and enter into the record their oath to uphold the Constitution.” Mot. to Withdraw at
1. However, Plaintiff does not provide any authority that supports his argument or indicates that
his request is proper. Third, Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge erred in listing
“Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, LLC” as a Defendant, but Plaintiff does not explain
why this constituted error; indeed, Plaintiff’s initial complaint and both of his proposed
amendments name Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, LLC as a Defendant. Fourth,
Plaintiff, in his objections, seeks a declaratory judgment “as to the proper parties currently before
this court in this instant case.” Pl. Second Obj. at 7. However, Plaintiff’s request for a
declaratory judgment is unsupported and is contained, not in a properly-filed motion, but in one
sentence of his objections. For these reasons, the Court rejects these miscellaneous arguments.
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