United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Amend Complaint and Motion to Remand, filed on April 3, 2018
(the “Motion”) (Doc. 5). Defendant filed its
Response in Partial Opposition to the Motion on April 17,
2018 (Doc. 7). Plaintiff filed her Reply brief on May 1, 2018
(Doc. 14). Having thoroughly reviewed the parties'
submissions and the relevant law, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend is well taken and is granted.
The Court further uses its discretion to decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's remaining
state law claims for the reasons stated herein. As such,
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand is also well taken and will
be granted upon Plaintiff's filing of her Amended
case originated from a complaint for personal injury filed on
October 19, 2016, in state court in the Thirteenth Judicial
District of New Mexico, under the title Julie Rogers v.
Los Lunas Public Schools, D-1329-CV-2016-01568.
Defendant Los Lunas Public Schools filed an Answer to the
Complaint on December 5, 2016. (Doc. 3). The parties in the
state court action engaged in discovery over the next year,
including taking Plaintiff's deposition.
D-1329-CV-2015-01568 (Doc. 6-1). Los Lunas Public Schools
filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on October 2,
2017, in which it argues, inter alia, that
Plaintiff's sole federal constitutional claim fails
against it as a public entity, because Section 1983 affords
no respondeat superior liability under Monell v.
Dep't of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978). (Doc.
6-1 at 31-71). After a hearing, the state court granted the
motion in part and denied it in part on January 5, 2018.
(Doc. 6-2 at 70-71). In the order, judgment was entered in
favor of Defendant on Count I for False Charges, which
included the sole federal constitutional claim in the
Complaint, Count III, because there is no waiver of immunity
under the New Mexico Torts Claims Act for intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and Count VI for Punitive
Damages. (Id.) Plaintiff moved to amend her
Complaint in state court on December 4, 2017 to add two
individual defendants, (Id. at 54-60), which the
state court granted on February 15, 2018. (Id. at
83-84). Plaintiff filed the amended complaint on March 2,
2018. (Id. at 85-91).
individual defendants filed a Notice of Removal on March 6,
2018. (Doc. 1). In the Notice of Removal, Defendants contend
that the “Complaint is subject to the jurisdiction of
this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because Rogers
asserts federal constitutional claims against Defendants
Ferreya and Moore in their individual and official
capacities.” (Id. at 2). Defendants then filed
an Answer on March 15, 2018. (Doc. 3). The Court issued an
Initial Scheduling Order, which was later vacated pursuant to
Plaintiffs' unopposed motion on April 26, 2018.
See (Doc. 4 [Initial Scheduling Order]; Doc. 12
[Motion to Vacate Initial Scheduling Order]; Doc. 13 [Order
Granting Motion to Vacate]).
to the Initial Scheduling Order being entered, on April 3,
2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Complaint and Motion
to Remand. (Doc. 5). Plaintiff contends that the amended
state court complaint only maintained a federal
constitutional claim against the individual defendants by
mistake, and seeks leave of the Court to amend the Complaint
to withdraw the federal claim. (Id. at 2-3).
Plaintiff filed her motion to amend only one month after the
case was removed to federal court. This Court has taken no
substantive action in this case thus far.
Amendments of Pleadings
(1) [a] party may amend its pleading once as a matter of
(A) 21 days after serving it, or
(B) If the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is
required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or
21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or
(f), whichever is earlier.
(2) …In all other cases, 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.
purpose of Rule 15(a) is “to provide litigants
‘the maximum opportunity for each claim to be decided
on its merits rather than on procedural niceties.'”
Minter v. Prime Equip. Co., 451 F.3d 1196, 1204
(10th Cir. 2006) (quoting Hardin v. Manitowoc-Forsythe
Corp., 691 F.2d 449, 456 (10th Cir. 1982). However, the
Court may deny leave upon a showing of any of the following:
“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.” Frank v. U.S. West, Inc.,
3 F.3d 1357, 1365 (10th Cir. 1993).
Remand and ...