United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MARVIN E. OWENS, Plaintiff,
STATE OF CONNECTICUT JUDICIAL BRANCH, et al., Defendants.
RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
F. Martinez United States Magistrate Judge
before the court is the plaintiff's "Motion for
Filing Late Documents." (Doc. #50.) The plaintiff
requests that the court permit him to amend his complaint out
following background, though lengthy, is necessary to place
the instant motion in context.
2016, the plaintiff, who is self-represented and proceeding
in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights action
against the City of Bridgeport and various Bridgeport Police
Officers. In August 2016, the plaintiff amended his
complaint. The amended complaint asserted fourteen claims
against six defendants. (Doc. #8.) I reviewed the amended
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and issued a
recommended ruling. I recommended dismissal of all claims
except the plaintiff's § 1983 claims concerning his
May 21, 2015 and June 25, 2015 arrests at his home in
response to 911 calls and dismissal of all defendants except
for officers Michael Novia, Lawrence Lazaro and Daniel
Feroni. (Doc. #13.) U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny
adopted the recommended ruling. (Doc. #16.) In February 2017,
the defendants filed an answer denying the allegations and
asserting an affirmative defense of qualified immunity. (Doc.
#21.) In March 2017, the court issued a scheduling order.
(Doc. #25.) Pursuant to the scheduling order, the deadline
for filing a motion to amend the complaint was April 30, 2017
and the deadline for completing discovery was November 1,
September 22, 2017, months after the deadline, the plaintiff
filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint. (Doc. #41.)
The plaintiff did not submit a proposed amended complaint.
The plaintiff stated that he wished to amend his complaint as
a result of "defendants' affirmative defenses . . .
as well as genuine material facts existing into
plaintiffs' claims." The plaintiff requested that
the court permit him to "add" claims of
"targeting, filing false police reports, conspiracy to
violate civil rights and illegal entry." (Doc. #41.) As
best as the court can discern from the plaintiff's
motion, the plaintiff appears to allege that there were
incidents involving defendant Novia that took place before
defendant Novia arrested the plaintiff on May 21, 2015. The
plaintiff says defendant Novia had "been targeting
plaintiff" and that there had been "three prior
encounters" with plaintiff "in which false
report[s] were filed." (Doc. #41 at 3.) The plaintiff
also says that defendant Novia illegally entered the
plaintiff's house on June 25, 2015 in conjunction with
the plaintiff's arrest. Finally, the plaintiff alleges,
without more, that defendants Lazaro, Novia and Feroni
conspired to violate his civil rights. The defendants filed
an objection to the plaintiff's motion on the grounds
that the motion was untimely. (Doc. #44.) On October 23,
2017, I denied the plaintiff's motion on the grounds that
the deadline in which to file such a motion was April 30,
2017 and that the plaintiff had not demonstrated good cause.
same day, on the eve of the close of discovery,
plaintiff filed the instant "Motion for Filing Late
Documents" in which he seeks to "show good
cause." (Doc. #50.) The plaintiff says good cause exists
for his failure to meet the court's deadline because of a
number of reasons - including that he was incarcerated for a
portion the time, was "dealing with criminal matters,
" and was depressed.
. . . a scheduling order governs amendments to the complaint,
and a plaintiff wishes to amend after the deadline to do so
has passed, the plaintiff must show good cause" pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b). BPP Illinois, LLC v. Royal Bank of
Scotland Grp. PLC, 859 F.3d 188, 195 (2d Cir. 2017).
"By limiting the time for amendments, the rule is
designed to offer a measure of certainty in pretrial
proceedings, ensuring that at some point both the parties and
the pleadings will be fixed." Parker v. Columbia
Pictures Industries, 204 F.3d 326, 339-40 (2d
Cir. 2000) (internal quotations omitted). "'Good
cause' depends on the diligence of the moving
party." Id. at 340. A plaintiff's
"pro se status does not relieve him of
compliance with Rule 16(b)'s diligence requirement."
Valentin v. City of Rochester, No. 11CV6238(CJS),
2016 WL 5661729, at *7 (W.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2016). "Good
cause is demonstrated by a showing that 'despite . . .
having exercised diligence, the applicable deadline could not
have been reasonably met' by the plaintiff."
Soroof Trading Development Co. v. GE Microgen, Inc.,
283 F.R.D. 142, 147 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). In addition,
"[g]ood cause is not present 'when the proposed
amendment rests on information that the party knew, or should
have known, in advance of the deadline.'"
Williams v. Town of Hempstead, No.
16CV1992(ADS)(AYS), 2017 WL 4712219, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 18,
2017)(quoting Enzymotec Ltd. v. NBTY, Inc., 754
F.Supp.2d 527, 536 (E.D.N.Y. 2010)). See, e.g.,
Valentin, 2016 WL 5661729, at *6 ("where the
substance of the proposed amendment was known to the movant
[earlier in the proceedings], but the movant nevertheless
failed to act, courts have denied leave to amend under Rule
16."); Cummins, Inc. v. New York Life Ins., No.
10 CIV. 9252, 2012 WL 3870308, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 6, 2012)
("the court may deny leave to amend where the party
seeking it knew or should have known the facts sought to be
added to the complaint"); Wolk v. Kodak Imaging
Network, Inc., 840 F.Supp.2d 724, 737 (S.D.N.Y.
2012)(plaintiff failed to show good cause to add a claim
where there was no evidence that the proposed claim
"turns on any facts that were not available to
[plaintiff] when she commenced this action"),
aff'd sub nom. Wolk v. Photobucket.com, Inc.,
569 Fed.Appx. 51 (2d Cir. 2014); Ruotolo v. City of New
York, No. 03CV5045(SHS), 2006 WL 2372236, at *2
(S.D.N.Y. Aug. 16, 2006)("A court may deny a motion to
amend when the movant knew or should have known of the facts
upon which the amendment is based when the original pleading
was filed, particularly when the movant offers no excuse for
the delay."), aff'd, 514 F.3d 184 (2d Cir.
the plaintiff has not demonstrated that he acted with
diligence in seeking to amend his complaint. The proposed
additional claims either predate or arise from the incidents
alleged in the operative complaint. The plaintiff had ample time
in which to move to add additional claims and allegations
prior to the deadline and offers no persuasive reason for his
failure to do so. He has not shouldered his burden of
demonstrating good cause.
foregoing reasons, the plaintiff's "Motion for
Filing Late Documents" (doc. #50) is denied.
not a Recommended Ruling but a ruling on a nondispositive
motion. See MPI Tech A/S v. Int'l Bus. MachinesCorp., No. 15CIV4891(LGS)(DCF), 2017 WL 481444, at
*3 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2017)("Courts in the Second Circuit
have generally considered motions to amend a complaint as
nondispositive."); MidAtl. Framing, LLC v.
Varish Constr., Inc., No. 313CV01376(MAD)(DEP), 2017 WL
4011260, at *2 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 11, 2017)(denial of
Plaintiff's motion to amend is treated as a
nondispositive matter). As such, it is ...