United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. FITZWATER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Charlotte Carmack (“Carmack”) moves under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a) for leave to file a second amended
complaint. The court grants the motion.
brings this collective action against defendants Park Cities
Healthcare, LLC (“PCHC”) and Sharon D. Quick
(“Quick”), alleging violations of the Flair Labor
Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq.
(“FLSA”). In her first amended complaint, filed
on February 14, 2017, Carmack alleges that defendants did not
pay her and others similarly situated the required one and
one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked
over 40 hours in a week. Javon Aniagu (“Aniagu”)
and Teresa Miller (“Miller”) have joined the
lawsuit as opt-in plaintiffs.
their answer to the first amended complaint, defendants
asserted a counterclaim against Carmack and Aniagu,
contending that both plaintiffs violated their signed
agreements of employment with PCHC. The court later dismissed
this counterclaim “because it is not a compulsory
counterclaim and because the court should decline to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the counterclaim.” June
12, 2017 Order at 1. Following this dismissal, PCHC sued
Carmack and Aniagu on the same claim in Texas state court.
now moves for leave to file a second amended complaint to
remove her collective action allegations, to convert Aniagu
and Miller into named plaintiffs, and to update Quick's
surname to Westen in the case caption. Carmack also
seeks to add an FLSA retaliation claim against defendants
based on PCHC's state court lawsuit, which she alleges is
retaliatory for the present suit. Carmack filed this motion
on October 26, 2017, before the scheduling order deadline of
October 31, 2017 for filing a motion to amend the pleadings.
PCHC and Quick oppose the motion only with respect to the
FLSA retaliation claim, which they maintain would be
prejudicial if allowed.
is settled that the grant of leave to amend the pleadings
pursuant to Rule 15(a) is within the discretion of the trial
court.” Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research,
Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330 (1971). “The court should
freely give leave when justice so requires.” Rule
15(a)(2). Granting leave to amend, however, “is by no
means automatic.'” Wimm v. Jack Eckerd
Corp., 3 F.3d 137, 139 (5th Cir. 1993) (quoting
Addington v. Farmer's Elevator Mut. Ins. Co.,
650 F.2d 663, 666 (5th Cir. Unit A July 1981). The district
court may consider factors such as 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, and futility of amendment.
Id. (collecting cases).
and Quick contend that allowing Carmack to add an FLSA
retaliation claim would prejudice them because the claim is
“based not on the facts currently before the Court in
the live pleadings.” Ds. Br. 4. Without more, however,
this bare objection is insufficient to deny plaintiffs'
motion. Defendants cite, and the court has found, no
authority suggesting that Rule 15(a) limits freely granted
amendments to those pertaining to previously pleaded facts.
Courts routinely view Rule 15(a)(2) as imposing a
“liberal standard” allowing amendment, despite
the fact that “it is not unusual for amended pleadings
to impact strategies already adopted and discovery already
taken by the opposing party.” Mktg. Investors Corp.
v. New Millennium Bank, 2012 WL 1563937, at *2 (N.D.
Tex. May 3, 2012) (Fitzwater, C.J.); see also Lowrey v.
Tex. A & M Univ. Sys., 117 F.3d 242, 245 (5th Cir.
1997) (“Rule 15(a) expresses a strong presumption in
favor of liberal pleading.”); Nance v. Gulf Oil
Corp., 817 F.2d 1176, 1180 (5th Cir. 1987)
(“Federal Rule 15(a) counsels a liberal amendment
policy.”); Youmans v. Simon, 791 F.2d 341, 348
(5th Cir. 1986) (“The policy underlying Rule 15(a) is
one in favor of liberal amendment.”). Moreover, neither
PCHC nor Quick has demonstrated that it or she is unable to
obtain adequate discovery on this retaliation claim before
the discovery period ends on January 31, 2018, or under an
enlarged discovery period. Therefore, defendants have made an
insufficient showing of prejudice.
the other factors favors denying Carmack's motion for
leave to file a second amended complaint. When, as here,
parties file a motion for leave to amend by the court ordered
deadline, there is a “presumption of timeliness.”
Poly-Am., Inc. v. Serrot Int'l, Inc., 2002 WL
206454, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 7, 2002) (Fitzwater, J.).
Separately, defendants have made no showing of futility, and
there has been no failure on the part of plaintiffs to cure
* * *
reasons explained, the court grants Carmack's motion for
leave to file her second amended complaint, and the clerk of
court is ...