Wei et al v. Rocky Point International LLC
ORDER signed by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller on 8/4/2017: GRANTING in part and DENYING in part 62 Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Answer, to File Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment, and for Protective Order. See Order for further details. (cc: all counsel) (jm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
SEAH CHEE WEI,
Case No. 16-CV-1282-JPS
ROCKY POINT INTERNATIONAL LLC,
On July 31, 2017, Defendant Rocky Point International LLC (“Rocky
Point”) filed a motion for leave to amend its answer, to file a cross-motion
for summary judgment, and for protective order. (Docket #62). For the
reasons stated below, the motion will be granted in part and denied in
The Court entered a scheduling order in this case in January 2017.
(Docket #31). In that order, the Court set the dispositive motion cutoff date
as July 1, 2017, and scheduled trial to begin on October 23, 2017. Id. On the
dispositive motion deadline, Plaintiff filed a motion for partial summary
judgment. (Docket #53). Rocky Point filed nothing.
On July 31, 2017, in addition to its opposition to Plaintiff’s motion,
Rocky Point requested the Court’s leave to amend its answer, to file its
own cross-motion for summary judgment out of time, and for a protective
order stalling all discovery until the resolution of its cross-motion. (Docket
#62). Rocky Point explains that in parallel proceedings going on in
Singapore, a judge issued an order on June 30, 2017, finding that there was
no fraud in the fund transfers underlying this case. Id. at 1–2. Rocky
Page 1 of 4
Point’s multifaceted requests for relief are aimed at bringing a defense of
collateral estoppel into these proceedings. Id. at 3.
Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
courts should freely grant leave to amend a pleading where justice so
requires. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
(1962). Indeed, “[a]s a general rule, district courts should liberally grant
leave to amend pleadings.” Mulvania v. Sheriff of Rock Island County, 850
F.3d 849, 854 (7th Cir. 2017). That said, courts enjoy discretion to deny
such leave “where there is undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive,
repeated failure to cure deficiencies, undue prejudice to defendants, or
where the amendment would be futile.” Arreola v. Godinez, 546 F.3d 788,
796 (7th Cir. 2008). In egregious cases, even delay, standing alone, can
require denial of leave to amend. Feldman v. Allegheny Int’l, Inc., 850 F.2d
1217, 1225 (7th Cir. 1988); Perrian v. O’Grady, 958 F.2d 192, 195 (7th Cir.
1992). More often, delay warrants denial of leave where it would work
prejudice against the other parties or cause unacceptable additional delay
in the ultimate resolution of the case. See Dubicz v. Commonwealth Edison
Co., 377 F.3d 787, 793 (7th Cir. 2004); McCoy v. Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.,
760 F.3d 674, 687 (7th Cir. 2014) (“The underlying concern is the prejudice
to the [party] rather than simple passage of time.”).
Against this backdrop, the Court is not inclined to entertain Rocky
Point’s late-coming defense. While the Court appreciates that the
Singaporean ruling came only a day before the dispositive motion
deadline, at no time prior to its July 31, 2017 filing did Rocky Point ever
apprise the Court that the foreign proceedings might give rise to a new
defense. Waiting until a month after this Court’s dispositive-motion
Page 2 of 4
deadline and a month after receiving the Singaporean ruling to raise this
issue for the first time is inexcusable. It prejudices Plaintiff, who must
pivot his efforts to resist a defense never asserted prior to the dispositive
motion deadline, and allowing the cross-motion to proceed would delay
the ultimate resolution of this case, something the Court is loath to
Nevertheless, in light of the strong policies favoring amendment of
pleadings, the Court will grant Rocky Point leave to amend its answer to
include a collateral estoppel defense. But to allay the concerns for
prejudice against Plaintiff and potential delay in resolving this matter, the
Court will not allow Rocky Point leave to file its cross-motion for
summary judgment, nor will the Court enter a protective order against
further discovery until adjudication of the collateral estoppel defense.
First, the proposed cross-motion is over a month late, and allowing it to
brief fully would not leave the Court sufficient time to consider it prior to
trial. Second, as to the motion for protective order, the Court would never
entertain a motion to stay all discovery in a case based on a party’s legal
argument. All parties appearing before this branch of the Court are
expected to take discovery on all pertinent issues simultaneously. This
protocol improves the efficiency and focus of the discovery process and
ensures that cases are disposed of in a timely manner.
The Court will treat the facts and arguments Rocky Point submitted
regarding collateral estoppel as simply part of its opposition to Plaintiff’s
motion for partial summary judgment. In his reply in support of his
motion, Plaintiff shall address the facts and arguments as to collateral
estoppel (in addition to Rocky Point’s other arguments).
Page 3 of 4
IT IS ORDERED that Rocky Point’s motion for leave to amend its
answer, to file a cross-motion for summary judgment, and for protective
order (Docket #62) be and the same is hereby GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part as stated herein.
Dated at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 4th day of August, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
U.S. District Judge
Page 4 of 4
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?