Jimenez v. Teague et al
ORDER DENYING 73 Motion to supplement Complaint. Signed by Judge David A. Ezra. (wg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
SAN ANTONIO DIVISION
SGT. CHRIS TEAGUE, CHIEF LEE §
MCVAY, HONDO POLICE OFFICER, §
and MEDINA COUNTY DEPUTY
CV. NO. 5:13-CV-876-DAE
ORDER DENYING LEAVE TO FILE A SUPPLEMENTAL COMPLAINT
Before the Court is a Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental
Complaint filed by Plaintiff Bobby Jimenez (“Jimenez”) (Dkt. # 73).1 Pursuant to
Local Rule 7(h), the Court finds this matter appropriate for disposition without a
hearing. For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Jimenez’s motion (Dkt.
Because Jimenez proceeds pro se, the Court must liberally construe his filings.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520–21 (1972); Windland v. Quarterman, 578
F.3d 314, 316 (5th Cir. 2009) (noting the “well-established precedent requiring that
[the court] construe pro se briefs liberally”).
Jimenez’s motion arises out of his suit against Sergeant Chris Teague
(“Teague”) of the Castroville Police Department, Castroville Police Chief Lee
McVay (“McVay”), the Castroville Police Department, and the City of Castroville
(collectively, “Defendants”) for alleged constitutional violations that occurred
when he was allegedly transported in an excrement-littered K–9 unit cage. (Dkt.
# 12 at 4–7.) On January 8, 2015, this Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s
Memorandum and Recommendation, thereby dismissing the claims against
McVay, the Castroville Police Department, and the City of Castroville. (Dkt.
# 74.) Accordingly, the only live claim that remains is Jimenez’s § 1983 claim
against Teague, which is set for trial in late June 2015. (Dkt. # 75.)
The scheduling order in the case required the parties to submit all
amended pleadings by February 24, 2014, and all dispositive motions by June 9,
2014. (Dkt. # 29.) Plaintiff filed the instant motion, seeking leave to amend his
complaint to add former Castroville Police Sergeant Neuman 2 (“Neuman”) as a
named defendant, on August 29, 2014—over six months after the amended
pleading deadline, nearly three months after the dispositive motions deadline, and a
month and a half after the Magistrate Judge issued his Memorandum and
Although Jimenez refers to him as “Nueman,” a discovery document provided by
Defendants spells the individual’s name “Neuman.” (Dkt. # 70, Ex. A.) The Court
adopts that spelling.
Recommendation on Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. # 73 at
1–2; see also Dkts. ## 29, 66.)
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b), a party must show good
cause to amend a pleading after the deadline set forth in the scheduling order.
Gentilello v. Rege, 627 F.3d 540, 546 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing S&W Enters., L.L.C.
v. SouthTrust Bank of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 536 (5th Cir. 2003)). To show
good cause, a plaintiff must demonstrate that, despite his diligence, the deadlines
could not reasonably have been met. S&W Enters., 315 F.3d at 536. Courts weigh
four factors in this analysis: “(1) the explanation for the failure to timely move for
leave to amend; (2) the importance of the amendment; (3) potential prejudice in
allowing the amendment; and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure such
prejudice.” Sw. Bell Telephone Co. v. City of El Paso, 346 F.3d 541, 546 (5th Cir.
2003). If a party can demonstrate good cause to extend the deadlines set forth in
the scheduling order, the Court then applies the more liberal standard under
Federal Rule of Procedure 15(a) to determine whether to grant leave to amend.
Sw. Bell Telephone Co., 346 F.3d at 546 (citing S&W Enters., 315 F.3d at 536).
Because Jimenez filed his motion months after the scheduling order’s
deadline to amend pleadings, the Court must first determine whether there is good
cause to extend the deadline. Applying the four-factor balancing test, the Court
finds that Jimenez has failed to show good cause to extend the deadline for filing
First, Jimenez failed to present a reasonable explanation for his failure
to timely move to amend. Jimenez contends that his motion is untimely because he
did not know the name of Teague’s direct supervisor when he filed his complaint
and only discovered that information when Defendants produced a letter during
discovery from Teague to Neuman asking to be removed from the K–9 unit. (Dkt.
# 73 at 1.) Even if Jimenez was unable to learn of Nueman’s role in the Castroville
Police Department until he received Defendants’ discovery responses, he still
waited at least three months after the close of discovery on May 17, 2014, before
filing his motion for leave to amend. He provides no explanation for such delay.
Accordingly, Jimenez has failed to provide a reasonable explanation for his failure
to timely move. Compare Barrois v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., No. 09-380, 2010
WL 908739, at *3 (E.D. La. Mar. 9, 2010) (denying leave to amend when, even
though the movant did not know the names of potential third-parties before the
deadline for filing third-party complaints, it became aware of those parties shortly
thereafter but nevertheless waited six months to investigate those parties), with
Total Safety U.S., Inc. v. Rowland, No. 13-6109, 2014 WL 4693114, at *3–4 (E.D.
La. Sept. 18, 2014) (granting leave to amend where there was only a delay of
between one and two months between the discovery of new information and the
motion to amend).
Second, and most importantly, Jimenez has failed to establish the
importance of the extending the deadline. In his motion, Jimenez suggests that
Neuman is an important party to the suit because, as Teague’s supervisor, he must
have been aware of prisoners being transported in excrement-littered cages and is
therefore an appropriate defendant in the suit. (See Dkt. # 73 at 1.) However,
Jimenez’s only factual allegation in support of that argument is a memo that
Teague wrote to Neuman in January 2011, in which Teague requested to relinquish
his duties as a K–9 officer. (Dkt. # 70, Ex. A.) At most, the memo suggests that
Neuman supervised Teague in some capacity; Jimenez presents no factual
allegations or evidence to show that Neuman acted in the requisite manner or with
the requisite culpability to have any sort of liability under § 1983. 3 Accordingly,
Because “Section 1983 offers no respondeat superior liability,” supervisory
officials are not vicariously liable for the actions of their subordinates. Pineda,
291 F.3d 325, 328 (5th Cir. 2002); Thompkins v. Belt, 828 F.2d 298, 303 (5th Cir.
1987). A supervisor is only liable under § 1983 if he (1) fails to adequately train or
supervise the officers involved in the constitutional deprivation or fails to
promulgate policy, and that failure gave rise to the deprivation, or
(2) “implement[s] a policy so deficient that the policy itself is a repudiation of
constitutional rights and is the moving force of the constitutional violation.” Porter
v. Epps, 659 F.3d 440, 446 (5th Cir. 2011); Thompson v. Upshur Cnty., Tex., 245
F.3d 447, 459 (5th Cir. 2001); Thompkins, 828 F.2d at 304 (internal quotation
marks omitted). Additionally, the plaintiff “must show that the supervisor act[ed],
or fail[ed] to act, with deliberate indifference to violations of others’ constitutional
rights committed by their subordinates.” Gates v. Tex. Dep’t of Prot. & Reg.
Jimenez has failed to demonstrate that extension of the deadline is important to his
suit. See, e.g., N. Cypress Med. Ctr. Operating Co. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Tex., No. H-08-2379, 2011 WL 582638, at *3 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 9, 2011) (finding
that the amendment “was not of great importance” in part because it was unclear
whether the proposed amendment was an independent cause of action under Texas
Finally, granting Jimenez’s motion to amend would significantly
prejudice Defendants in a way incurable by a continuance. At the time that
Jimenez filed his motion to amend, Defendants had already filed their Motion for
Summary Judgment and the Magistrate Judge had already issued his Memorandum
and Recommendation. Even if the Court were to permit the amendment and
continue the trial, which is set for late June 2015, a new claim against Neuman
would require the parties to undergo additional discovery and, likely, file a second
motion for summary judgment that would relitigate many of the issues that have
already been litigated with respect to other defendants. Given the additional
resources and expense that the proposed amendment would impose on the parties,
a continuance cannot cure the prejudice that the amendment would cause. See,
e.g., Ruiz v. Univ. of Tex. M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr., 291 F.R.D. 170, 171–72
(S.D. Tex. 2013) (finding incurable prejudice because the amendment would
Servs., 537 F.3d 404, 435 (5th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted, alterations and emphasis in original).
require reconsideration of case strategy and additional motions and responses);
Valcho v. Dall. Cnty. Hosp. Dist., 658 F. Supp. 2d 802, 815 (N.D. Tex. 2009)
(finding that the prejudice of amending the complaint to include state-law claims
was not curable by a continuance, given that the opposing party had already filed a
motion for summary judgment).
Because the weight of the good cause factors all cut against Jimenez,
the Court finds that there is not good cause to extend the pleading amendment
deadline set forth in the scheduling order. 4 Accordingly, the Court DENIES
Jimenez’s Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint (Dkt. # 73).
For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Jimenez’s Motion for
Leave to File a Supplemental Complaint (Dkt. # 73).
Even if the Court were to have found that good cause existed to extend the
scheduling order deadline, denial of the motion would nevertheless be proper
because the amendment would be futile. An amendment is futile when it “would
fail to state a claim upon which relief could be granted,” as determined under the
12(b)(6) standard. Stripling v. Jordan Prod. Co., LLC, 234 F.3d 863, 873 (5th Cir.
2000). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Because Jimenez has failed to identify any
facts to show supervisory liability under Section 1983, as discussed above, the
amendment would be futile.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: San Antonio, Texas, February 26, 2015.
David Alan Ezra
Senior United States Distict Judge
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