United States District Court, D. New Mexico
Fashing United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on Counter-Plaintiff/Third
Party Plaintiff Jay Meyer's (“Meyer”) Motion
for Leave to File Second Amended Third Party Complaint (Doc.
86) filed November 7, 2016, and fully briefed December 16,
2016 (Doc. 104). For the following reasons, the Court denies
Scottra Carr (“Carr”) initiated this case against
defendants Jay Meyer and Dynamic Transit Company
(“Dynamic Transit”) in the Second Judicial
District Court for the State of New Mexico on July 6, 2015.
Doc. 1 at 9-12. On August 31, 2015, Dynamic Transit filed
an amended answer to Carr's complaint, which named
Celadon Trucking Services (“Celadon”) as a third
party defendant. Id. at 33-38. On October 9, 2015,
Meyer filed his answer to Carr's complaint and alleged
counterclaims against Carr and third party claims against
Celadon. Id. at 43-51. In counts 1 and 2, Meyer
alleged claims of negligence and negligence per se
against Carr, which caused Meyer to suffer damages.
Id. at 48-50. In counts 3 and 4, Meyer alleged that
Celadon was responsible for Carr's alleged negligence
based on the doctrine of respondeat superior, and also was
negligent in hiring, training, and supervising Carr.
Id. at 50. Celadon removed the case to this Court on
December 3, 2015. Id. at 1-8. On November 9, 2016,
Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen held a settlement
conference partially settling the case as to Carr's
claims against Meyer, and Dynamic Transit's third party
claims against Celadon. See Docs. 87, 100. The
remaining claims are Meyer's counter claims against Carr
and Meyer's third party claims against Celadon.
instant motion, Meyer seeks to add an additional claim
against Celadon for punitive damages. Doc. 86. Meyer's
punitive damages claim is based on emails sent from a Celadon
trainer, Coleen Harris (“Harris”), to
Celadon's training coordinator, George Hanssen
(“Hanssen”), dated 7/2/14 and 7/5/14, discussing
Carr's lack of driving skills. Id. at 4-5; Docs.
86-1 at 26, 92-10. A third email, dated 7/13/14, was sent
from Harris to Linda Roach, Celadon's driver manager, and
which included the 7/2/14 email from Harris to Hanssen. Doc.
86-1 at 27- 28. Meyer had these emails in his possession more
than three months prior to filing his motion to amend.
timeline of relevant events is helpful to understanding the
disposition of this motion.
Deadline for Meyer to move to amend pleadings
February 26, 2016 (Doc. 19)
Meyer served first set of discovery on Celadon
March 11, 2016 (Docs. 28, 29)
Celadon responds to discovery, but did not disclose
April 28, 2016 (Doc. 104-3)
Harris forwards 7/2/14 and 7/5/14 email to
June 2, 2016 (Doc. 104 at 4)
Celadon disclosed 7/13/14 email (with 7/2/14 email
June 21, 2016 (Docs. 104 at 5, 104-4)
Meyer took Harris' deposition
August 3, 2016 (Doc. 104-5)
Meyer took Carr's deposition
September 22, 2016 (Doc. 104 at 5)
October 17, 2016 (Doc. 19)
Meyer files his motion for leave to amend
November 7, 2016 (Doc. 86)
November 9, 2016 (Doc. 87)
initial pretrial conference is scheduled on January 10, 2017.
Doc. 38. The final pretrial conference is February 16, 2017
(Doc. 98), and a jury trial is scheduled for February 21,
2017 (Doc. 38).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs amendments to
scheduling orders, and Rule 15 governs amendments to
pleadings generally. Walker v. THI of New Mexico at Hobbs
Ctr., 262 F.R.D. 599, 603 (D.N.M. 2009). Here, while
Meyer can establish “good cause” under Rule 16,
his undue delay caused unfair prejudice to Celadon. I
therefore deny his motion under Rule 15.
Good Cause to Modify the Scheduling Order under Rule
seeking to amend his complaint after the scheduling order
deadline has passed is essentially seeking to modify the
scheduling order and must establish good cause for doing so.
Gorsuch, Ltd., B.C. v. Wells Fargo Nat. Bank
Ass'n, 771 F.3d 1230, 1241 (10th Cir. 2014). This
requirement stems from Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, which provides that a scheduling order “may
be modified only for good cause and with the judge's
consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The good cause
standard requires the moving party to show that the
scheduling deadlines could not be met despite the moving
party's diligent efforts. Gorsuch, Ltd., B.C.,
771 F.3d at 1240.
to the scheduling order, Meyer had until February 26, 2016,
to move to amend his pleadings or add additional parties.
Doc. 19. There is no dispute that Meyer did not have the
information necessary to add a punitive damages claim before
the February 26, 2016 deadline. Accordingly, Meyer
establishes good cause to amend the scheduling order under
Rule 16. See Layne Christensen Co. v. Bro-Tech
Corp., No. 09-cv-2381-JWL-GLR, 2011 WL 3847076, at *4
(D. Kan. 2011) (finding that defendant established good cause
under Rule 16 because the new information supporting the
amended answer was obtained after the deadline for
amendment); Pumpco, Inc. v. Schenker Int'l,
Inc., 204 F.R.D. 667, 668-69 (D. Colo. 2001) (“The
fact that a party first learns, through discovery or
disclosures, information necessary for the assertion of a
claim after the deadline to amend established in the
scheduling order has expired constitutes good cause to extend
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