United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER
Lynn Winmill U.S. District Court Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff Donald Kresse's motion to amend
his complaint to add a defendant. Dkt. 31. For the reasons
explained below, the Court will deny the motion.
morning of December 23, 2015, Kresse drove to Cabela's in
Post Falls, Idaho to do some holiday shopping. It had been
snowing, and the parking lot was covered with snow. On his
way into the store, Kresse slipped and fell in the parking
lot, injuring his left leg and ankle.
December 2017, Kresse sued Cabela's for negligence and
negligent infliction of emotional distress. Cabela's
answered in January 2018, and shortly after that, the Court
entered a Case Management Order. See Dkts. 4, 9.
Based on the parties' March 2018 stipulation, the Case
Management Order set a deadline of May 15, 2018 for motions
to amend pleadings and join parties. See Apr. 27, 2018
Case Management Order, Dkt. 12, ¶ 2.
April 2018 - just a few weeks before the deadline to amend
pleadings expired - Cabela's moved for leave to file a
third-party complaint against FacilitySource, LLC.
See Dkt. 11. Cabela's proposed amended complaint
alleged that FacilitySource was obligated to plow the
Cabela's parking lot on December 23, 2018 - the date
Kresse was injured - but that it had failed to do so. See
Proposed Am. Compl., Dkt. 11, ¶ 11.
Court granted Cabela's motion, and FacilitySource has
thus been involved in this litigation as a third-party
defendant since June 2018, when it answered Cabela's
third-party complaint. In February 2019 - roughly eight
months after FacilitySource first got involved in this case -
Kresse requested leave to amend his complaint to add
FacilitySource as a direct defendant.
to amend a pleading filed after the scheduling order deadline
has expired are governed not by the liberal provisions of
Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure but by the
more restrictive provisions of Rule 16(b) requiring a showing
of “good cause.” Johnson v. Mammoth
Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604 (9th Cir.
1992). The focus of Rule 16(b)'s good cause
standard is the diligence of the moving party. Id.
at 608. A court should find good cause only if the moving
party shows it “could not reasonably meet the
established timeline in a scheduling order despite [its]
diligence.” DIRECTV, Inc. v. Busdon, No.
CV-04-265-S-LMB, 2005 WL 1364571, *1 (D. Idaho June 8, 2005).
“Moreover, carelessness is not compatible with a
finding of diligence and offers no reason for a grant of
relief.” Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609 (citing
Engleson v. Burlington N. R.R., 972 F.2d 1038, 1043
(9th Cir. 1992)).
determining whether to grant a motion to amend outside the
deadline imposed in the scheduling order, a court may also
consider “the existence or degree of prejudice to the
party opposing the modification.” Id. But,
while a court is allowed to consider any prejudice that may
occur, the court should focus its inquiry “upon the
moving party's reasons for seeking modification.”
Id. If the party moving to amend “was not
diligent, the inquiry should end.” Id.
argues that although FacilitySource has been a party to this
litigation since June 2018, he did not become aware of a
“special relationship” between himself and
FacilitySource until October 23, 2018, when Jesse Sonneland
was deposed. Motion Mem., Dkt. 31-2, at 7. Kresse
says that because of that alleged special relationship,
FaciltySource owed him a direct duty. Kresse does not explain
this relationship in any detail, but he does say that if he
is permitted to sue FacilitySource directly, this might
“enhance the possibility of settlement and avoid
burdening judicial resources.” Id. at 7.
Court is not persuaded. Even accepting Kresse's assertion
that he was unaware of any facts that might support his
alleged claim against FacilitySource until late October 2018,
he still has explained why he waited over three months -
until February 4, 2019 - to seek leave to amend his
complaint. Given this unexplained delay, Kresse has failed to
establish diligence, and the inquiry therefore ends.
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. The ...