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Basham v. Bae Systems Land

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

December 16, 2019

RONALD BASHAM Plaintiff
v.
BAE SYSTEMS LAND AND ARMAMENTS L.P. Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          REBECCA GRADY JENNINGS, DISTRICT JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Ronald Basham's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial (the “Motion”) [DE 16] and BAE's Motion for Leave to File a Sur-Reply on Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint [DE 19]. Briefing is complete, and the motions are ripe. [DE 17; DE 18; DE 19; DE 20; DE 22]. For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS Basham's Motion [DE 16] and GRANTS BAE's Motion for Leave to File a Sur-Reply [DE 19].

         I. BACKGROUND

         On December 7, 2018, Plaintiff sued in this Court against BAE Systems Land and Armaments L.P. (“Defendant”), alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. [DE 1]. Defendant answered, denying the allegations. [DE 8].

         On March 25, 2019, the parties entered a Joint Status Report. [DE 12]. On May 2, 2019, Magistrate Judge Lindsay entered a Scheduling Order, which set deadlines for amended pleadings (May 16, 2019), fact discovery (September 27, 2019), and dispositive motions (October 22, 2019). [DE 13]. On May 20, 2019, Plaintiff served written discovery, and Defendant responded on July 1, 2019. [DE 18 at 100].

         On July 18, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Motion [DE 16]. Defendant responded [DE 17], Plaintiff replied [DE 18], and Defendant moved for leave to file a sur-reply[1] [DE 19].

         II. STANDARD

         “Seeking leave to amend a complaint after the scheduling order's deadline implicates two Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 15 and Rule 16.” Carrizo (Utica) LLC v. City of Girard, Ohio, 661 Fed.Appx. 364, 367 (6th Cir. 2016). Rule 15 provides that a plaintiff may amend his pleading with the court's leave, which should be freely given “when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2); see also Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962) (“In the absence of any apparent or declared reason . . . the leave sought should, as the rules require, be ‘freely given.'”). But when the deadline established by the court's scheduling order has passed, “a plaintiff must first show good cause under Rule 16(b) for failure earlier to seek leave to amend” and the court “must evaluate prejudice to the nonmoving party ‘before a court will [even] consider whether amendment is proper under Rule 15(a).'” Commerce Benefits Grp., Inc. v. McKesson Corp., 326 Fed.Appx. 369, 376 (6th Cir.2009) (quoting Leary v. Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 909 (6th Cir.2003) (finding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying motion to amend filed after discovery and dispositive motion deadlines). As a result, the court may examine the standard factors governing amendment of complaints under Rule 15(a) only if it is satisfied that the date for the filing of a motion for leave to amend is properly extended under the good cause provisions of Rule 16 (b).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Rule 16's Good Cause Requirement

         In determining whether Plaintiff has shown good cause for failure to seek leave to amend before the deadline had passed, the Court considers whether: 1) Plaintiff has exhibited diligence in trying to meet the scheduling order's requirements; and 2) Defendant is prejudiced by amendment. Inge v. Rock Fin. Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 625 (6th Cir. 2002).

         1. Diligence

         Plaintiff contends that he showed good cause and diligence in his attempt to meet the scheduling deadline because he moved to “correct and clarify as soon as he confirmed there was an issue with the dates he set forth in his Complaint.” [DE 18 at 100]. In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleged:

Since filing his EEOC Charge on August 10, 2018, Basham has applied for at least six promotions. Despite being highly qualified for each of the positions for which he applied, he was neither interviewed nor selected for promotion. Defendant hired or promoted ...

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