Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wheatt v. City of East Cleveland

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio

November 14, 2017

DERRICK WHEATT, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF EAST CLEVELAND, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER [RESOLVING DOC. NO. 123]

          JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action, [1] the City Defendants[2] seek leave to amend their answer to Plaintiffs' complaint.[3] For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the City Defendants' motion for leave to amend.

         I. Legal Standard

         A plaintiff seeking leave to amend its pleading after the “deadline passes . . . first must show good cause under [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 16(b).[4] “The primary measure of Rule 16's good cause standard is the moving party's diligence in attempting to meet the case management order's requirements.”[5] “Another relevant consideration is possible prejudice to the party opposing the modification.”[6]

         Once a party shows good cause, a court may grant a party leave to amend its pleading under Rule 15(a)(2).[7] That rule specifies that “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.”[8] This lenient standard furthers the general policy of deciding cases on their merits rather than on procedural technicalities.[9] “In general, the Sixth Circuit is very liberal in permitting amendments.”[10]

         Leave to amend should be granted so long as amending will not cause “undue prejudice to the opposing party.”[11] “Delay by itself is not sufficient reason to deny a motion to amend.”[12]Instead, courts look to whether there is also a showing of “significant” prejudice.[13]

         II. Discussion

         The City Defendants seek leave to amend their answer nearly six months after the Court's May 15, 2017 deadline for amendments.[14]

         A. Public Records Request

         The Court finds that the City Defendants have not shown good cause for their delay in seeking to amend.[15] Their arguments that there was no valid public records request do not support the contention that justice requires that the Court grant leave to amend.[16]

         The City Defendants argue that newly discovered evidence requires that they amend their answer. Namely, the City Defendants claim that they have discovered that there was never a valid public records request made by Plaintiffs' attorney in 1998. The evidence they cite, however, was wholly within their control during the entire pendency of this litigation.

         The City Defendants had almost two months between the time Plaintiffs filed their complaint and the Court's amendment deadline. If the City Defendants did not undertake an adequate investigation of their own files during that time period, then they must suffer the consequences of that lapse, not Plaintiffs. This “new evidence” therefore does not provide sufficient reason for the Court to grant leave to amend.

         Further, amendment here is obviously prejudicial to Plaintiffs. The Court's deadline for amendments passed almost six months ago. In the intervening time, the parties have nearly completed discovery, have fully briefed two rounds of dispositive motions, and are set to go to trial in less than a month.

         Had the City sought to amend its answer closer to the original amendment deadline, Plaintiffs would have, at the very least, conducted additional discovery on the subjects the City now seeks to deny. With trial quickly approaching, conducting that additional discovery would be unduly burdensome, if not impossible.[17]

         The foregoing reasons are sufficient for the Court to deny the City Defendants' motion. However, the Court also denies this motion because amendment would be futile.

         In multiple filings seeking various different forms of relief after summary judgment, the City Defendants have argued that there was no valid public records request.[18] The Court will address this argument here. As explained below, this argument is without ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.