Donnell v. Taylor et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION denying 225 Motion to Dismiss ; denying 245 Motion to Dismiss ; overruling 262 OBJECTION TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE DECISION. Signed by Judge Ted Stewart on 04/12/2011. (asp)
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF UTAH
ANNETTE KAY DONNELL, an individual,
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTION
TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S
DECISION AND DENYING
MOTIONS TO DISMISS
ROGER TAYLOR, et al.,
Case No. 2:09-CV-127 TS
This matter is before the Court on an Objection to Magistrate Judge’s Decision filed by
Defendants Jeffrey B. Roylance and Summit Capital Advisors, Inc. (collectively the “Roylance
Defendants”). This matter is also before the Court on related Motions to Dismiss filed by the
Roylance Defendants and Defendants LBS Fund, L.P., and LBS Advisors, Inc. (collectively the
“LBS Defendants”). For the reasons discussed below, the Court will overrule the Objection and
deny the Motions to Dismiss.
On April 16, 2010, the last day for filing motions to amend pleadings, Plaintiff Donnell
filed a Motion to Amend, seeking to amend her First Amended Complaint.1 On August 12,
2010, the Magistrate Judge granted, in part, Donnell’s Motion to Amend.2 The Magistrate Judge
ordered Donnell to amend the proposed amended complaint in certain respects.3
Plaintiff Donnell did not file her new Complaint right away. Rather, she waited until
December 14, 2010, four months after the Magistrate Judge allowed amendment, to file her
Second Amended Complaint.4 In response, the Roylance Defendants and the LBS Defendants
both filed Motions to Strike or Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint.5 Defendants argued
that the Second Amended Complaint was improper under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;
different from the version originally allowed by the Court; untimely, unfair and prejudicial; and
barred by the doctrine of laches.
On February 16, 2011, the Magistrate Judge issued a Memorandum Decision and Order
Denying Motions to Strike Second Amended Complaint, in which the Magistrate Judge denied
Docket No. 166.
Docket No. 200.
Docket No. 219.
Docket Nos. 225 & 245.
the Motions to Strike, but did not rule on the dismissal aspects of Defendants’ Motions.6 The
Magistrate Judge rejected each of the arguments raised by Defendants.
The Roylance Defendants have now filed an Objection to the Magistrate Judge’s
Decision.7 Additionally, the dismissal aspects of Defendants’ Motions remain pending before the
OBJECTION TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S DECISION
The Roylance Defendants object to the Magistrate Judge’s Decision on two grounds.
First, Defendants argue that the Magistrate Judge lacked jurisdiction to rule upon the Motions to
Strike because they were dispositive. Second, the Magistrate Judge denied the Roylance
Defendants due process and set a dangerous precedent by allowing a party to file an amended
pleading that was not the same pleading originally presented to the parties and the Court in
seeking leave to amend. The Court finds that neither argument has merit.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a) allow a Magistrate Judge to consider
nondispositive pretrial matters. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) lists eight matters that are dispositive
as a matter of law and not within the authority of the Magistrate Judge under that provision.
Motions to strike are not among the listed categories. “Rule 72, the statute’s counterpart, focuses
Docket No. 258.
The LBS Defendants have not objected to the Magistrate Judge’s Decision, nor have they
joined in the Objection filed by the Roylance Defendants.
not on the title of the motion but rather on the effect of the order (i.e., was it dispositive or
nondispositive of a party’s defense or claim).”8
Defendants’ Motions sought either to strike or dismiss the Second Amended Complaint.
The Magistrate Judge’s Order made clear that he was only addressing the requests to strike and
did not resolve the dismissal component of the Motions.9 The Motions to Strike were not
dispositive and the Magistrate Judge’s decision did not dispose of any party’s claim or defense.
Therefore, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge acted within his authority.
For non-dispositive pretrial matters, this Court reviews the Magistrate Judge’s orders
under a “clearly erroneous or contrary to law” standard of review.10 Under the clearly erroneous
standard, this court will affirm the Magistrate Judge’s ruling “unless it ‘on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.’”11
Having reviewed the Magistrate Judge’s Decision and the Roylance Defendant’s
Objections thereto, the Court is not left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed. Therefore, Defendant’s Objection will be overruled.
ClearOne Commc’ns, Inc. v. Chiang, No. 2:07-CV-37 TC, 2010 WL 1257750, *2 n.5
(D. Utah Mar. 25, 2010).
Docket No. 258 at 2.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
Ocelot Oil Corp. v. Sparrow Indus., 847 F.2d 1458, 1464 (10th Cir. 1988) (quoting
United States v. United States Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss remain pending before the Court. As set forth above,
Defendants seek dismissal of the Second Amended Complaint on a number of grounds. Those
grounds were addressed by the Magistrate Judge in his Memorandum Decision and Order
Denying Motions to Strike Second Amended Complaint. The Court finds the reasoning of the
Magistrate Judge to be persuasive and, for substantially the same reasons, denies the Motions to
It is therefore
ORDERED that Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss (Docket Nos. 225 and 245) are
DENIED. It is further
ORDERED that Roylance’s Objection to Magistrate Judge Decision (Docket No. 262) is
DATED April 12, 2011.
BY THE COURT:
United States District Judge
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