Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McCaslin v. Allstate Indemnity Co.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

June 27, 2019

MARIA MCCASLIN, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND REMANDING ACTION TO STATE COURT

          GREGORY B. WORMUTH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         THIS 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.

         I. Background

         This 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. Doc. 15.

         Plaintiff 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.

         Defendant 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.[1] 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.

         II. Legal Standard

         Both 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 Rule 15.

         Pursuant 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. 1982)).

         A 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).

         III. Rule 15 Amendment Analysis

         Defendant 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.

         A. The Motion was not unduly delayed.

         Defendant 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, Defendant-citing ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.