United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND REMANDING ACTION
TO STATE COURT
GREGORY B. WORMUTH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Order Allowing Plaintiff to File First Amended Complaint to
Recover Damages. Doc. 31. For the reasons that
follow, the Court finds that Plaintiff's Motion is
well-taken and should be GRANTED. Because this Court's
jurisdiction will cease once Plaintiff's amended
complaint is filed, the action is hereby REMANDED to the
Third Judicial District Court of New Mexico.
insurance coverage case was first filed in the Third Judicial
District Court of New Mexico on December 4, 2018. See
doc. 1 at 6. Defendant timely filed a Notice of Removal
on January 7, 2019. Doc. 1. Plaintiff did not oppose
removal, and the Court entered an order setting discovery
deadlines on April 10, 2019, setting a deadline of May 8,
2019 for Plaintiff to join additional parties or amend the
pleadings. Doc. 25. Defendant served its Rule
26(a)(1) initial disclosures on Plaintiff on March 6, 2019.
filed the instant Motion to Amend on May 8, 2019, requesting
the Court's leave to file an amended complaint naming
additional parties as defendants. See doc. 31.
Plaintiff asserts that the Motion to Amend was filed in good
faith, “[b]ased on the review of the information
contained in Defendant's initial disclosures and further
review of the case.” Id. at 1. She alleges
that the newly named defendants failed to perform
contracted-for work related to the water leak in
Plaintiff's house, giving rise to additional claims.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff explains that she only learned
of the scope of work performed by the additional parties, and
the fact that they did not perform as promised, through
Defendant's initial disclosures. Id.
filed a response in opposition on May 14, 2019, arguing that
Plaintiff's motion should be denied because it is unduly
delayed and represents a bad faith attempt to destroy
diversity jurisdiction. See doc. 33. Plaintiff filed a reply on
May 23, 2019, denying both of these allegations and
reiterating that her motion was filed in good faith based on
information revealed by Defendant's initial disclosures.
See doc. 36. The Motion to Amend is now before the Court.
parties agree that Plaintiff filed her Motion to Amend within
the deadline set by the Court for amending pleadings or
joining additional parties. See docs. 25, 31. Therefore,
Plaintiff's motion was timely and there can be no
argument that Plaintiff was required to meet an additional
“good cause” standard under Rule 16. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The applicable standard is found in
to Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“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). Whether to grant or
deny a motion to amend is “within the discretion of the
trial court.” Minter v. Prime Equip. Co., 451
F.3d 1196, 1204 (10th Cir. 2006) (quoting Zenith Radio
Corp. v. Hazeltine Research, Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330
(1971)). However, the purpose of Rule 15 is “to provide
litigants the maximum opportunity for each claim to be
decided on its merits.” Id. (internal
quotation marks omitted) (quoting Hardin v.
Manitowoc-Forsythe Corp., 691 F.2d 449, 456 (10th Cir.
court's valid reasons for denying leave to amend may
include “undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on
the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment,
futility of amendment, etc.” Foman v. Davis,
371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).
Rule 15 Amendment Analysis
does not argue that the newly added claims would be futile.
See generally doc. 33. Therefore, the Court need not
consider the merits of the claims; the only question is
whether they have been properly presented. For the reasons
that follow, the Court finds no valid reason for denying
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend.
The Motion was not unduly delayed.
first argues that the Court should deny Plaintiff's
Motion to Amend “because she was aware of the facts and
parties she intends to add when she filed her original
Complaint, ” doc. 33 at 3, rendering the
requested amendment unduly delayed. Specifically,