United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
STE. GENEVIEVE MEDIA, LLC, Plaintiff,
PULITZER MISSOURI NEWSPAPERS, INC. d/b/a DAILY JOURNAL, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI MAGISTRATE JUDGE
action is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for
Leave to File Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 25.) Also
pending is Plaintiff's Motion for Oral Argument on
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint. (Doc.
cause was originally filed in the Circuit Court of Ste.
Genevieve County, Missouri, and was removed to this Court
pursuant to both the Court's diversity jurisdiction, and
federal question jurisdiction. Plaintiff Ste. Genevieve
Media, LLC, is the owner-operator of the Ste. Genevieve
Herald, a weekly print and electronic newspaper with its
principal place of business located in Ste. Genevieve,
Missouri. Defendant Pulitzer Missouri Newspapers, Inc., is a
Delaware Corporation registered in the State of Missouri,
doing business as the Daily Journal, a print and electronic
newspaper with business offices located in Park Hills,
Missouri. In the original Complaint, Plaintiff asserted a
claim under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act
(“MMPA”), alleging the Daily Journal
misappropriated and plagiarized its news articles without
consent or attribution. (Doc. 6.)
moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing Plaintiff lacked standing
under the MMPA, and that Plaintiff's claim was preempted
by the Copyright Act. (Doc. 9.) In response, Plaintiff filed
an Amended Complaint, in which Plaintiff abandoned the MMPA
claim and alleged two new claims-a “hot news”
misappropriation claim, and an unjust enrichment claim. (Doc.
filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's
unjust enrichment claim is preempted by the Copyright Act,
and Plaintiff's “hot news” misappropriation
claim fails as a matter of law. (Doc. 14.)
then filed the instant Motion for Leave to File Second
Amended Complaint (Doc. 25), to which Defendant has filed a
Response (Doc. 26).
Motion to Amend
requests leave to file a Second Amended Complaint to add an
additional count of copyright infringement against Defendant.
As support for this request, Plaintiff states that Plaintiff
recently received its copyright registration from the United
States Copyright Office, which is relevant to Plaintiff's
does not object to Plaintiff's proposed addition of a
copyright count, but requests that its previously-filed
Motion to Dismiss and related filings be deemed to apply to
the Second Amended Complaint. Defendant argues that, under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(d), Plaintiff's
proposed addition of the copyright claim based on a recent
copyright registration is a supplementation of, rather than
an amendment to, the First Amended Complaint.
to Rule 15(d), “the court may, on just terms, permit a
party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any
transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the
date of the pleading to be supplemented.” See also
Baker Group, L.C. v. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Ry.
Co., 228 F.3d 883, 886 (8th Cir. 2000) (“The rule
is permissive for the parties and discretionary for the
court.”). The Eighth Circuit has not set forth the
standard to be applied to a court's exercise of
discretion concerning a motion for leave under Rule 15(d).
However, courts in this district have applied the same
liberal standard as in Rule 15(a), which states that
“the court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” See Raineri Const., LLC v. Taylor,
No. 4:12-CV-2297 CEJ, 2013 WL 6050772, at *1 (E.D. Mo. Nov.
15, 2013); Riggs v. City of Owensville, No.
4:10-CV-793 CAS, 2011 WL 1576723, at *2 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 26,
Court has reviewed the proposed amended complaint, and agrees
with Defendant's contention that Rule 15(d) applies.
Plaintiff seeks to add a new copyright claim (Count III)
based on a copyright registration received from the United
States Copyright Office on June 2, 2016 (Doc. 25-4), which
occurred after the filing of the First Amended Complaint.
Apart from adding a new claim, the Second Amended Complaint
does not change any of the original allegations or parties.
Thus, the Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion for Leave
to File Second Amended Complaint.
Court will also grant Defendant's request to deem
Defendant's previously-filed fully briefed Motion to
Dismiss applicable to the Second Amended Complaint. Defendant
has invested time and resources filing and briefing its
Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint,
and that pleading, except for the addition of Count III, is
identical to Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint.