United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
HONORABLE SARA LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion of plaintiff Brian
Tucker (“Tucker”) to file a second amended
complaint, instanter. (Doc. No. 33 [“Mot.
Amend”].) The motion is unopposed. For the reasons that
follow, the motion is granted, in part.
brought this action against defendants on January 19, 2017,
seeking damages against defendants for injuries he allegedly
sustained “while in the custody of the Stark County
Sheriff's Deputies and the Stark County Jail from January
20, 2015 through January 27, 2015.” (Doc. No. 3 (First
Amended Complaint [“FAC”]) ¶ 1; see
Doc. No. 1 (Complaint).) He amended his complaint once, as a
matter of right, that same day (January 19, 2017).
(See FAC.) The FAC raised claims against defendants
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Ohio law.
Court conducted a case management conference on September 6,
2017, after which the Court issued a case management plan and
trial order that, among other things, identified December 6,
2017 as the deadline to add parties or amend the pleadings.
December 5, 2017, plaintiffs filed the instant motion to
amend, and appended a copy of the proposed pleading thereto.
Defendants have not filed a response to the motion, but the
parties have indicated in a recently filed joint status
report that the motion to amend is unopposed. (Doc. No. 35 at
365.) By way of amendment, plaintiff seeks to add new party
defendants Correctional Officers Laurice Jackson, Mitchell
Paulen, Nicole Justice, Jacob Tate, and Zehnder. In his
motion to amend, Tucker explains that he identified these
individuals in paragraph 6 of the complaint and FAC, and
described their allegedly liable conduct in the body of these
pleadings, but inadvertently failed to include them in the
case caption. (Mot. at 323.) Having just realized the error,
Tucker now moves to amend. (Id.)
responsive pleading is filed, the complaining party may amend
the pleadings only with the opposing party's written
consent or by leave of court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). “The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Id. The decision whether to permit
the amendment is committed to the discretion of the trial
court. See Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research,
Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330-32, 91 S.Ct. 795, 28 L.Ed.2d 77
(1971) (citation omitted); Estes v. Ky. Util., 636
F.2d 1131, 1133 (6th Cir. 1980). The trial court's
discretion, however, is “limited by Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)'s liberal policy of permitting amendments to ensure
the determination of claims on the merits.” Marks
v. Shell Oil Co., 830 F.2d 68, 69 (6th Cir. 1987)
to amend may be denied when it would result in undue delay,
prejudice to the opposing party, or repeated failure to cure
deficiencies in the complaint.” Phelps v.
McClellan, 30 F.3d 658, 662 (6th Cir. 1994) (citing
Forman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9
L.Ed.2d 222 (1962); Duchon v. Cajon Co., 791 F.2d
43, 48 (6th Cir. 1986)). When a party has delayed in seeking
amendment, the court weighs the cause shown for the delay
against the resulting prejudice to the opposing party.
Head v. Timken Roller Bearing Co., 486 F.2d 870, 873
(6th Cir. 1973). “In determining what constitutes
prejudice, the court considers whether the assertion of the
new claim or defense would: require the opponent to expend
significant additional resources to conduct discovery and
prepare for trial; significantly delay the resolution of the
dispute; or prevent the plaintiff from bringing a timely
action in another jurisdiction.” Phelps, 30
F.3d at 662-63 (citation omitted). The longer the period of
unexplained delay, the less prejudice the adverse party will
be required to show to defeat the motion. Id. at 662
this is now the third iteration of the complaint, the Court
finds no evidence of significant prejudice to the opposing
parties, a likelihood of substantial delay in the
proceedings, or a repeated failure to cure deficiencies in
the pleadings. Additionally, the request to amend has been
filed before the expiration of the deadline to add parties or
amend the pleadings and with more than six months left in
discovery, and there is no evidence to suggest that the
amendment will cause defendants to expend significant
additional expenses conducting discovery. With this
amendment, the Court trusts that the parties will be able to
move beyond the pleading stage and proceed uninterrupted with
the case management plan that governs this case.
in light of the mandate of Rule 15(a) that leave should be
“freely” given, the Court rules that
“justice so requires” that the motion to amend be
granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a).
Court grants plaintiffs motion. On or before January 29,
2018, plaintiff shall file the second amended complaint
attached to his motion at Doc. No. 33-1.
IS SO ORDERED
 The addition of new parties is
governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 21, which provides, in relevant
part: “On motion or on its own, the court may at any
time, on just ...