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Sansom v. Tsi Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division

November 26, 2018

ALVA SANSOM, Plaintiff,
v.
TSI CORP., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOSEPH R. GOODWIN DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Pending before the court is the plaintiff's unopposed Motion to Amend Motion to Amend Deadline and Complaint [ECF No. 63]. Also before the court is the plaintiff's unopposed Amended Motion to Amend Deadline and Complaint [ECF No. 63-1]. For the reasons that follow, the Motions are GRANTED.

         II. Background

         The Scheduling Order [ECF No. 26] in this case specifies that (1) the amendment of pleadings and joinder of parties shall be completed by June 7, 2018 and (2) the amendment of pleadings and joinder of parties is subject to Rules 15 and 16, and the accompanying rules governing the joinder of parties. Scheduling Order 1-2. On November 15, 2018, the plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Deadline and Complaint [ECF No. 62]. On November 19, 2018, the plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Motion to Amend Deadline and Complaint [ECF No. 63], seeking an order permitting the plaintiff to amend the initial motion to amend. The court now GRANTS that Motion [ECF No. 63].

         The plaintiff also filed an Amended Motion to Amend Deadline and Complaint [ECF No. 63-1] on November 19, 2018, in which the plaintiff moves to amend his Complaint [ECF No. 1] to add the following parties as defendants: Alutiiq Technical Services, LLC and Alutiiq LLC (collectively “Alutiiq”); the West Virginia National Guard; and Major General James A. Hoyer, in his official capacity as Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. The plaintiff also seeks to delete the Family and Medical Leave Act cause of action and to make minor changes to address information. Lastly, the plaintiff seeks a new scheduling order. The plaintiff states that the current defendant, TSI Corp. (“TSI”), does not object to the amended motion to amend.[1]

         III. Legal Standard

         In order to amend after an established deadline, “a moving party first must satisfy the good cause standard of Rule 16(b). If the moving party satisfies Rule 16(b), the movant then must pass the tests for amendment under Rule 15(a).” Marcum v. Zimmer, 163 F.R.D 250, 254 (S.D. W.Va. 1995). Under the Rule 16(b) standard, a party seeking to amend the scheduling order must demonstrate “good cause, ” which is typically shown by establishing that the reason for the amendment was not otherwise discoverable through “due diligence.” Id.

         Rule 15(a)'s more liberal standard, on the other hand, requires the court to analyze the “bad faith of the party seeking to interpose an amendment and the prejudice to the opposing party.” Id. (quoting Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992)). Under Rule 15, “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Such “leave to amend a pleading should be denied only when the amendment would be prejudicial to the opposing party, there has been bad faith on the part of the moving party, or the amendment would be futile.Johnson v. Oroweat Foods Co., 785 F.2d 503, 509 (4th Cir. 1986).

         The plaintiff's amendment must also comply with applicable joinder rules: To amend a complaint to add additional parties after the filing of a responsive pleading, “a movant must seek leave of the court pursuant to Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and he must demonstrate compliance with either Rule 19 or Rule 20, the procedural rules pertaining to joinder of parties.” Adkins v. Labor Ready, Inc., 205 F.R.D. 460, 462 (S.D. W.Va. 2001) (emphasis added). Rule 19 governs the required joinder of parties. Rule 19 provides:

A person who is subject to service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the court of subject-matter jurisdiction must be joined as a party if: (A) in that person's absence, the court cannot accord complete relief among existing parties; or (B) that person claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that disposing of the action in the person's absence may: (i) as a practical matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect the interest; or (ii) leave an existing party subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations because of the interest.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(a).

         Rule 20 governs the permissive joinder of parties. Rule 20 states that parties may be joined in one action as defendants if: “(A) any right to relief is asserted against them . . . with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2).

         IV. ...


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