United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Central Division, Lexington
SHARON F. TODD, Plaintiff,
HYSTER-YALE GROUP, INC., et. al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. HOOD SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Sharon Todd, through counsel, has moved to amend certain
dates in the scheduling order in this action. [DE 16, 17,
18]. Todd has also moved for a hearing on the pending
motions. [DE 19]. The Defendants oppose Plaintiff's
motion to amend the scheduling order. [DE 22].
here, Plaintiff has failed to demonstrate good cause to
justify amending the current deadlines in the Court's
scheduling order. As a result, the Plaintiff's motions
[DE 16; DE 18; and DE 19] are DENIED.
29, 2018, Plaintiff Sharon Todd filed this employment
discrimination action in Madison Circuit Court against her
former employer Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., and three
individuals who either were or are employed at Hyster-Yale.
[DE 1-1]. The Defendants removed the action to federal court
based on arising under jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1331,
on July 25, 2018. [DE 1].
January 2, 2019, the parties submitted a joint report of
their Rule 26(f) planning meeting. [DE 12]. The report states
that the parties conferred on December 17, 2018. [DE 12 at 1,
Pg ID 72]. The report of the parties' planning meeting
was filed by counsel for the Defendants with permission from
counsel for the Plaintiff. [Id. at 7, Pg ID 78]. In
response, the Court entered a scheduling order on January 2,
2019. [DE 13].
on April 3, 2019, the Plaintiff submitted a motion to amend
or correct the scheduling order. [DE 16]. Then, on April 12,
2019, the Plaintiff filed a supplement to the motion to amend
[DE 17], a motion for extension of time for expert witness
disclosure [DE 18], and a motion for a hearing on the pending
motions [DE 19].
Court ordered an expedited briefing schedule on these
motions. [DE 20]. The Defendants responded in opposition to
Plaintiff's motion to amend. [DE 21]. The Plaintiff has
replied. [DE 23]. As a result, the pending motions are ripe
Standard of Review and Applicable Law
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that “the
district judge . . . must issue a scheduling order: (A) after
receiving the parties' report under Rule 26(f).”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(1)(A). The Rule is designed, in part, to
ensure that “at some point both the parties and the
pleadings will be fixed.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16, 1983
advisory committee's notes.
Federal Rules also provide that a scheduling order “may
be modified only for good cause and with the judge's
consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). This Court's
local rules generally allow parties to extend deadlines by
agreed order but require a motion for an extension of
deadlines absent an agreed order. LR 7.1(b).
Sixth Circuit has instructed that “[t]he primary
measure of Rule 16's ‘good cause' standard is
the moving party's diligence in attempting to meet the
case management order's requirements.” Inge v.
Rock Financial Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 625 (6th Cir. 2002).
“A modification of the scheduling order by leave of
court is appropriate only when a relevant deadline
‘cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the
party seeking the extension.'” E.E.O.C. v.
U-Haul Intern., Inc., 286 F.R.D. 322, 325 (W.D. Tenn.
2012) (quoting Leary v. Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 909
(6th Cir. 2003)).
Court must also consider “possible prejudice to the
party opposing the motion.” Id. Even so,
“the main focus should remain on the moving party's
exercise of diligence.” Cooke v. AT&T
Corp., No. 2:05-cv-374, 2007 WL 188568, at *2 (S.D. Ohio
Jan. 22, 2007) (citing Andretti v. Borla Performance
Indus., Inc., 426 F.3d 824, 830 (6th Cir. 2005)).
this Court has recognized both the importance of scheduling
orders and the requirement for a showing of good cause to
amend a scheduling order absent agreement of the parties. The
Court has reiterated that “[a] scheduling order
maintains orderly proceedings and is ‘not a frivolous
piece of paper, idly entered, which can be cavalierly
disregarded . . . without peril.'” Century
Indem. Co. v. Begley Co., 323 F.R.D. 237, 240 (E.D. Ky.
2018) (quoting Birge v. Dollar Gen. Corp., No.
04-2531 B, 2006 WL 133480, at *1 (W.D. Tenn. Jan. 12, 2006)).
“Scheduling Order deadlines are important, and
‘parties are obliged to follow them.'”
Adams v. Natures Expressions Landscaping, Inc., No.
5:16-cv-00098-JMH, 2018 WL 2452179, at *3 (E.D. Ky. May 31,
2018) (quoting Century Indem. Co., 323 F.R.D. at
support of the motions to amend, the Plaintiff advances three
primary justifications for allowing amendments of the
scheduling order. First, the Plaintiff argues that the
scheduling order is “not workable” and that the
deadlines for joining additional parties and disclosure of
expert witnesses should occur near the end of discovery.
Second, counsel for the Plaintiff argues that he has been
engaged in several other time consuming professional and
personal matters, that he is a solo practitioner, and has a
“new, untrained staff.” Third, Plaintiff contends
that the Defendants have not adequately complied with their
obligations to provide initial disclosures under Rule
26(a)(1). Each of these assertions of good cause for amending
the scheduling order are considered below.
Scheduling Order Impracticalities
Plaintiff argues that the deadlines in the Court's
scheduling order are not workable and that the scheduling
order is “prejudicially flawed in the Defendants'
favor.” [DE 16; DE 23 at 8, Pg ID 147].
current scheduling order [DE 13], entered on January 2, 2019,