Shaiban et al v. Cissna et al
ORDER granting Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint. Plaintiffs will have fourteen (14) days from the date of this order's entry to file an amended complaint. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to remove the seal from the Parties' "Joint Status Report." (Doc. No. 15 ). Signed by Chief Judge Frank D. Whitney on 3/8/19. (mga)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:18-CV-00153-FDW-DCK
L. FRANCIS CISSNA
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND
THIS MATTER is before the Court sua sponte on Parties’ Joint Status Report. (Doc. No.
15). Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit seeking, inter alia, a mandate from this Court to the Government
to hasten the adjudication of Plaintiffs’ applications for Permanent Resident status. (See Doc. No.
1, p. 13). According to the Parties’ Joint Status Report, the Government has completed its
evaluation of these applications. (See Doc. No. 15, p. 2). While Plaintiff asserts that “Defendants’
decision of Saleh Shaiban’s application was not in accordance with the law,” there is no question
that a decision was made regarding the application, and the only question remaining is whether
that decision was lawful. See id. Plaintiffs’ state, via the joint report, that “they will be filing a
motion for leave to file an amended complaint with Federal Defendants’ consent.” Id. at 1.
According to Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court “should freely
give leave [to amend a pleading] when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). In addition,
the Fourth Circuit’s policy is to “liberally allow amendment.” Adbul-Mumit v. Alexandria
Hyundai, LLC, 896 F.3d 278, 293 (4th Cir. 2018) (quoting Galustian v. Peter, 591 F.3d 724, 729
(4th Cir. 2010)). In this case, the basis for seeking leave to amend the complaint is clear to the
Court from the status report. This lawsuit has shifted substantially from seeking an expedited
review of all of Plaintiffs’ immigration applications to specifically challenging the decision as to
one of Plaintiffs’ applications. The Court will therefore sua sponte grant Plaintiffs leave to amend
The Court also notes that Parties filed their Joint Status Report under seal. Pursuant to
Local Rule 6.1(b), “[n]o materials may be filed under seal except by Court Order, pursuant to a
statute, or in accordance with a previously entered Rule 26(e) protective order.” LCvR 6.1(b).
Furthermore, “[a] party’s request to file materials under seal must be made by formal motion,
separate from the motion or other pleading sought to be sealed.” See LCvR 6.1(c) (stating
substantive requirements of a motion to seal). The Joint Status Report was improperly filed under
seal without an accompanying motion explaining the basis for a seal. Thus, the Court hereby orders
that the Joint Status report be unsealed.
For the reasons stated above, the Court sua sponte grants Plaintiff leave to amend the
complaint and Plaintiffs will have fourteen (14) days from the date of this order’s entry to file
an amended complaint. In addition, the Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to remove the seal
from the Parties’ “Joint Status Report.” (Doc. No. 15).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: March 8, 2019
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