United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
L. Horan, United States Magistrate Judge.
Jareer Jaser brings this pro se action against his
former employer and others. His action has been referred to
the undersigned United States magistrate judge for pretrial
management under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and an order of
reference from United States District Judge Jane J. Boyle.
See Dkt. No. 13. Jaser has filed a motion for leave
to file a fourth-amended complaint. See Dkt. Nos. 23
& 25. The undersigned enters these findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and recommendation that, for the reasons
and to the extent explained below, the Court deny the
motion(s) without prejudice.
initially moved for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
See Dkt. No. 5. But, by paying the $400 filing fee -
in response to the January 10, 2019 Notice of Deficiency and
Order [Dkt. No. 9] - Jaser took away the Court's
screening authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and
assumed the responsibility to “properly serv[e] each
defendant with a summons and a complaint in accordance with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4.” Dkt. No. 12 (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c), 4(e), 4(d), 4(h), & 4(j); further
advising Jaser that, “if proper service is not made -
and shown to the Court through a filed proof of service -
before the 90th day after the filing of this action (which
occurred on December 31, 2018) that is not a Saturday,
Sunday, or legal holiday - which, here, will be April
1, 2019 - this case is subject to dismissal without
prejudice unless Plaintiff shows both (1) good cause for his
failure to timely and properly effect service and (2) good
cause for the Court to extend the time for service for an
appropriate period” (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b); emphasis in original)).
time he assumed the service obligation, Jaser had already
filed an amended complaint [Dkt. No. 7] and a second amended
complaint [Dkt. No. 8], and the Court had warned him that
“further amendment of the complaint will not be allowed
unless and until [he] requests and receives leave of the
Court under [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 15(a), ”
Dkt. No. 9 at 5 (noting, as applicable then, that “the
Court cannot screen a complaint that is a moving
Court granted Jaseer leave to file a third-amended complaint
on March 21, 2019, see Dkt. No. 20; see
also Dkt. Nos. 14, 15, 16, & 19.
week after the third-amended complaint was docketed, Jaseer
moved for leave to file a fourth-amended complaint, attaching
to that motion a 241-page proposed filing. See Dkt.
No. 23. Two business days later, he filed a construed second
motion for leave to file a fourth-amended complaint,
see Dkt. No. 25, and he has attached to that motion
a separate (213-page) version of the proposed fourth-amended
complaint, see Dkt. No. 25-1.
April 1, 2019 - the deadline to do so - Jaser filed a proof
of service providing that AT&T was served on March 25,
2019. See Dkt. No. 24. The next day, he filed a
proof of service concerning several individual defendants.
See Dkt. No. 27. But it is unclear, based on the
returns, which version of the complaint was served on the
Standards, and Analysis
party is not subject to an expired deadline for seeking leave
to amend, Rule 15(a) requires that leave to amend be granted
freely “when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). That is, Rule 15(a) provides a “strong
presumption in favor of granting leave to amend,
”Fin. Acquisition Partners, LP v. Blackwell,
440 F.3d 278, 291 (5th Cir. 2006), and the Court must do so
“unless there is a substantial reason to deny leave to
amend, ” Dussouy v. Gulf Coast Inv. Corp., 660
F.2d 594, 598 (5th Cir. 1981). While leave to amend is not
automatic, see Jones v. Robinson Prop. Grp., L.P.,
427 F.3d 987, 994 (5th Cir. 2005), the federal rules'
policy “is to permit liberal amendment to facilitate
determination of claims on the merits and to prevent
litigation from becoming a technical exercise in the fine
points of pleading, ” Dussouy, 660 F.2d at
598. “Thus, unless there is a substantial reason to
deny leave to amend, the discretion of the district court is
not broad enough to permit denial.” Id.
The types of reasons that might justify denial of permission
to amend a pleading include undue delay, bad faith or
dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure
to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, and
undue prejudice to the opposing party. A court may weigh in
the movant's favor any prejudice that will arise from
denial of leave to amend. That consideration arises only if
there are substantial reasons to deny the amendment.
Otherwise, rule 15(a) requires the trial judge to grant leave
to amend whether or not the movant shows prejudice. Finally,
it is appropriate for the court to consider judicial economy
and the most expeditious way to dispose of the merits of the
Id. (citations omitted); see also Chitimacha
Tribe of La. v. Harry L. Laws Co., 690 F.2d 1157, 1163
(5th Cir. 1982) (“In keeping with the purposes of the
rule, the court should consider judicial economy and whether
the amendments would lead to expeditious disposition of the
merits of the litigation.” (citations omitted));
see, e.g., In re Vioxx Prods. Liab. Litig.,
MDL No. 1657, 2012 WL 6045910, at *4 (E.D. La. Dec. 4, 2012)
(considering these standards to find “that denying
leave to amend is appropriate because the proposed joinder of
[new defendants] is not the most expeditious way to dispose
of the merits of these matters”).
record of clogging this litigation with ever-changing
operative complaints hinders the expeditious disposition of
his claims. And continuing to allow him leave to file amended
complaints at this point is not the most expeditious way to
address those claims.
Jaser should not be permanently prevented from amending his
claims, the Court retains discretion under Rule 15(a) to
curtail further amendments at this time - prior to a
defendant appearing to address the allegations. Cf.
Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936) (There
is “power inherent in every court to control the
disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time
and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants. How
this can best be done calls for the exercise of judgment,
which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even
balance.”); Fed.R.Civ.P. 1 advisory committee's
note, 2015 Amendment (noting the amendment of the rule
“to emphasize that just as the court should ...