United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. CAUTHRON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
Complaint, along with Defendant's Response and
Plaintiff's Reply thereto. (See Dkt. Nos. 44,
49, 50.) The Motion is now at issue.
originally filed this case against Defendant in July 2018. By
October 2018, the Court had entered a Scheduling Order
establishing pretrial deadlines. (See Dkt. No. 11.)
The parties thereafter engaged in discovery, culminating in
Defendant's summary judgment motion, which the Court
recently addressed. (See Dkt. No. 46.) Given the
parties' latest request for an extension-which the Court
granted-this case is now on the December trial docket.
now moves to amend or correct her complaint. She believes
that she has already established-both through the factual
grounds within her complaint and through the evidence she has
collected through discovery-sufficient factual grounds for a
claim under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
(“FMLA”). (Dkt. No. 44, p. 3.) In her view, the
only change here would be to add an FMLA claim as a new legal
theory. Defendant responds, though, by pointing out that this
case is very close to trial and Plaintiff has not presented
good cause to amend at this stage of the litigation.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides, in pertinent part,
that “a party may amend its pleading only with the
opposing party's written consent or the court's
leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). But here, where the
movant is seeking leave to amend after a scheduling order
deadline, the movant must establish good cause to amend.
See Gorsuch, Ltd., B.C. v. Wells Fargo Nat'l Bank
Ass'n, 771 F.3d 1230 (10th Cir. 2014). To meet this
standard, a movant generally must show that the
“scheduling deadlines cannot be met despite a
party's diligent efforts.” Pumpco, Inc. v.
Schenker Int'l, Inc., 204 F.R.D. 667, 668 (D. Colo.
of good cause are present when a party, for example, learns
of new information through discovery, or when a change in the
law occurs after the scheduling deadline. Id. at
668. When determining whether to allow the amendment, courts
should consider whether any of the following are present:
undue delay, undue prejudice to the opposing party, bad faith
or dilatory motive, failure to cure deficiencies by
amendments previously allowed, or futility of amendment.
See Frank v. U.S. West, Inc., 3 F.3d 1357, 1365
(10th Cir. 1993). Ultimately, though, whether to grant leave
to amend is within the trial court's discretion.
Woolsey v. Marion Labs., Inc., 934 F.2d 1452, 1462
(10th Cir. 1991).
Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to establish good cause
to amend her complaint. Plaintiff learned about the
possibility of bringing an FMLA claim during the discovery
process, which closed August 15, 2019. According to her, she
brought this to Defendant's attention as early as July
2019. (Dkt. No. 44, p. 3.) So even though it is unclear
precisely when she learned about the viability of any FMLA
claim, at the very least, she waited over two months before
moving to amend her complaint.
in her motion, she does not argue that she moved with due
diligence to bring this to the Court's attention.
Instead, she largely focuses on including this claim in the
final pretrial report. (Dkt. No. 44, pp. 4-9.) But Plaintiff
conflates inclusion in the pretrial report with the standard
for a movant on a motion to amend-particularly after the
scheduling order deadlines have passed. Here, Plaintiff's
amendment deadline passed in October 2018. (See Dkt.
No. 11.) As mentioned, moreover, discovery closed in August
2019. Put simply, Plaintiff has presented no compelling
reason (1) why this motion could not have been made months
ago, and (2) why it is so compelling to include this claim so
soon before trial. And even though Plaintiff would not oppose
further discovery on this claim should Defendant ask for it,
Court finds that such a delay at this point would be
unjustified. In short, Plaintiff has failed to present good
cause to amend her complaint. Her motion will therefore be
these reasons, Plaintiffs Motion to Amend Complaint ...