Farmers Edge Inc. et al v. Farmobile, LLC et al
ORDER - Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend Answer and Counterclaims (Filing No. 85 ) is granted. Defendants shall file their proposed amended pleading by February 13, 2017. Plaintiff shall respond to the amended pleading within fourteen days of its submission. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Susan M. Bazis. (GJG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
FARMERS EDGE INC., FARMERS EDGE
(US) INC., AND FARMERS EDGE (US)
FARMOBILE, LLC, JASON G. TATGE,
HEATH GARRETT GERLOCK, AND
RANDALL THOMAS NUSS,
This matter is before the Court on Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave
to Amend Answer and Counterclaims. (Filing No. 85.) For the reasons expressed below, the
motion will be granted.
Plaintiffs Farmers Edge, Inc., Farmers Edge (US) Inc., and Farmers Edge (US) LLC
(collectively “Plaintiffs”) instituted this action on April 29, 2016.
(Filing No. 1.)
Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs Farmobile, LLC, Jason G. Tatge, Heath Garrett Gerlock, and
Randall Thomas Nuss (collectively “Defendants”) filed their Answer and Counterclaims on July
8, 2016. (Filing No. 44.) The Answer and Counterclaims contains fraudulent misrepresentation
counterclaims asserted on behalf of Defendants Gerlock and Tatge.
On August 19, 2016, Plaintiffs moved to dismiss the fraudulent misrepresentation
counterclaims pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 9(b) and 12(b)(6). (Filing No. 65.)
Plaintiffs’ Motion to Dismiss is presently pending before the Court.
Defendants seek leave to amend their pleading in order to add factual details regarding
their fraudulent misrepresentation counterclaims. Defendants maintain that through ongoing
discovery, they have identified facts and communications which provide additional detail upon
which to base these counterclaims.
Plaintiffs oppose Defendants’ Motion to Amend, and request that the Court hold the
motion in abeyance pending a ruling on Plaintiffs’ Motion to Dismiss.
(Filing No. 65.)
Plaintiffs assert that the Motion to Amend is premature because the proposed amendment will
not remedy all the alleged defects in the fraudulent misrepresentation counterclaims. Thus,
according to Plaintiffs, the most efficient course would be for the Court to refrain from ruling on
the Motion to Amend until Plaintiffs’ Motion to Dismiss is resolved.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, a court should “freely give leave” to amend a
pleading “when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15. Nevertheless, the right to amend is not
limitless. “A denial of leave to amend may be justified by undue delay, bad faith on the party of
the moving party, futility of the amendment or unfair prejudice to the opposing party.” Amrine
v. Brooks, 522 F.3d 823, 833 (8th Cir. 2008) (quotation and citation omitted). Whether to grant a
motion for leave to amend is within the sound discretion of the district court. Popoalii v.
Correctional Medical Services, 512 F.3d 488, 497 (8th Cir. 2008).
The Court sees no real reason not to grant Defendants’ Motion to Amend at this time.
This case is less than a year old, and the motion is timely under the initial progression order.
(Filing No. 49.) There has been no assertion that Defendants acted in bad faith in seeking to
amend or that Plaintiffs would be unfairly prejudiced by the requested amendment. Plaintiffs’
unsupported assertion that the proposed amendment will not cure all deficiencies in the
counterclaims does not support the legal conclusion that amendment would be futile. See Briscoe
v. County of St. Louis, Missouri, 690 F.3d 1004, 1015 (8th Cir. 2012) (stating that when a court
denies leave to amend on the basis of futility, “it means the district court has reached the legal
conclusion that the amended complaint could not withstand a motion to dismiss under Rule
Moreover, judicial economy favors allowing Defendants to amend at this time. It makes
little sense for the Court to undergo the process of analyzing alleged deficiencies in the
fraudulent misrepresentation counterclaims, only to have the deficiencies cured by a previouslyrequested amendment.
Therefore, Defendants’ Motion to Amend (Filing No. 85) will be
IT IS ORDERED that Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to Amend
Answer and Counterclaims (Filing No. 85) is granted. Defendants shall file their proposed
amended pleading by February 13, 2017. Plaintiff shall respond to the amended pleading within
fourteen days of its submission.
Dated this 8th day of February, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Susan M. Bazis
United States Magistrate Judge
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