United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' motion to file
a second amended complaint, instanter. (Doc. No. 37
[“Mot. Amend”].) The motion is unopposed. For the
reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.
brought this action in state court against defendants on
August 15, 2017, seeking damages against defendants for
injuries plaintiff Minor Doe, a student of the Jackson School
District, sustained when she was allegedly assaulted by
another student while riding on a school bus. (Doc. No. 1-2
(Complaint [“Compl.”]) ¶ 17.) On September
13, 2017, defendants removed the action to federal court.
(Doc. No. 1 (Notice of Removal).)
original complaint contained one federal civil rights claim
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as four claims
brought under Ohio statutory and common law. On January 35,
2018, the Court granted plaintiffs' unopposed motion to
file a first amended complaint for the sole purpose of
identifying by name the previously unknown bus driver, Jimmie
Singleton. (Doc. No. 22.)
now seek to further amend their pleadings to add two
additional defendants, six claims, and numerous factual
allegations. According to plaintiffs, the amendments are
necessary in order “to assert claims which conform to
the evidence discovered recently through depositions.”
(Mot. at 237.) Plaintiffs explain that they did not have
access to the information that forms the basis for their
amendments because responses to their written discovery were
delayed and they did not otherwise obtain the information
until the recent deposition of seven individuals.
(Id.) Defendants have failed to file a response to
the motion, and the time for registering an opposition has
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) (citation omitted).
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
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. While some adjustment of the dates and
deadlines in this case may be necessary, the case is still in
its early stages, and the Court does not anticipate that the
adjustment to the dates in its trial schedule will be
drastic. Finally, the present motion represents
only plaintiffs' second request to amend, and the first
request was limited to identifying one of the defendants by
name. As such, plaintiffs have not demonstrated a repeated
failure to cure deficiencies in the pleadings.
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). The Court,
therefore, GRANTS plaintiffs' motion to file a second
amended complaint, instanter.
IS SO ORDERED
 The addition of new parties is
governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 21, which provides: “On motion
or on its own, the court may at any time, on just terms, add
or drop a party.”
 The parties have filed a joint motion
to extend the expert discovery and dispositive motions
deadlines by thirty 30day to account for plaintiffs'
request to further amend the complaint and the fact that they
have yet to complete expert discovery. (Doc. No. 45.) Neither
request interferes with the trial in this matter, which is
currently scheduled for January 28, 2019 on a two week
standby basis. The joint motion is GRANTED. The parties shall
have leave until August 23, 2018 to complete expert
discovery. Dispositive motions shall be ...