United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Southern Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Brad Jennings moves for leave to file an amended complaint to
assert claims against a new defendant, Missouri State Highway
Patrol (“MSHP”) Lieutenant George Knowles. Doc.
For the following reasons, Jennings' motion is granted.
to the Court's Scheduling Order, the deadline to amend
the pleadings and to join additional parties was on November
13, 2018. Doc. 27, pp. 1-2. Jennings filed his motion for
leave to amend the Complaint to assert claims against
Knowles, defendant Daniel Nash's direct supervisor, on
April 3, 2019, after the deadline prescribed by the
Scheduling Order. In the proposed amended complaint, Jennings
seeks to assert claims against Knowles for his alleged
failure to supervise Nash and engagement in a conspiracy to
cover up that misconduct. Defendant Nash opposes amendment.
Doc. 88 (Defendant Nash's Response). Defendants Dallas
County and Michael Rackley have no objection. Doc. 87
(Defendants Dallas County and Michael Rackley's
motion for leave to amend filed outside of the Court's
scheduling order requires a showing of “good
cause” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
16(b)(4). Kmak v. Am. Century Cos., Inc., 873 F.3d
1030, 1034 (8th Cir. 2017). The “primary measure of
good cause is the movant's diligence.” Id.
at 1034 (quoting Harris v. FedEx Nat'l LTL,
Inc., 760 F.3d 780, 786 (8th Cir. 2014)). It is most
frequently established where amendment is predicated on a
“change in the law, ” “newly discovered
facts, ” or some “other changed
circumstance.” See Sherman v. Winco Fireworks,
Inc., 532 F.3d 709, 718 (8th Cir. 2008); see also
Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Next-Gen, Inc., No.
4:18-CV-00128-DGK, 2018 WL 5310416, at *4, 6 (W.D. Mo. Sept.
24, 2018) (granting leave to amend to assert claims against
additional parties based on newly discovered facts).
argues that there is good cause to amend because his proposed
amendments are based upon newly discovered facts regarding
“the role of Lt. Knowles” in his case. Doc. 82,
p. 5. Jennings asserts that the facts presented in Nash's
personnel file and professional standards division file
received by counsel on December 21, 2018 and internal
investigation file received by counsel on March 15, 2019
support granting leave to amend. Specifically, Jennings
points to evidence that Knowles: made statements concerning
the procedure for distributing laboratory test results
consistent with Nash, but inconsistent with other witnesses
and met with county law enforcement officials during which
concerns about Nash's behavior were discussed but took no
action. Jennings also identifies reports from Nash's
personnel file, including a negative performance evaluation,
of which he asserts “Knowles was or should have been
aware.” Doc. 82, p. 4.
Nash argues that the alleged newly discovered facts cited by
Jennings “are inadequate to support claims of improper
supervision by Knowles or of conspiracy between Knowles and
Nash.” Doc. 88, p. 2. However, Nash provides no
authority in support of his position or that would permit him
to argue the merits of Jennings' allegations on behalf of
also asserts that Jennings learned of the existence of a MSHP
investigation of Nash's conduct in the Jennings case at a
much earlier date than alleged in Jennings' motion. Nash
asserts that Jennings' counsel was made aware of the MSHP
investigation on May 25, 2018, when Colonel Sandra Karsten,
of MSHP informed Jennings' counsel that an inquiry into
Nash's conduct was already underway. See Doc.
88-2 (May 25, 2018 Letter from Colonel Karsten to Mr.
Ramsey). Jennings asserts that his counsel did not learn
“of the existence of a formal internal
investigation” until being served with Nash's
amended interrogatory answers on January 28, 2019 and that he
immediately requested all files and evidence related to the
investigation the following day. Doc. 89, p. 2 (emphasis
added). However, regardless of when Jennings' counsel was
or should have been aware of MSHP's internal
investigation of Nash's conduct, it is undisputed that
the investigation files and facts contained therein were not
produced to Jennings' counsel until March 15, 2019, after
the amendment deadline. Jennings sought leave to amend his
Complaint to assert additional claims against Knowles
supported by this new information less than three weeks
later. Nash does not otherwise suggest that Jennings has not
been diligent in pursuing discovery. Thus, the Court
concludes that Jennings has been diligent in pursuing
discovery and seeking leave to amend.
has not argued that granting leave to amend would prejudice
him or the other defendants. Nor has Nash asserted any other
argument that would advise against granting leave to amend
under Rule 15. Thus, the Court grants Jennings' motion
for leave to amend.
these reasons, Jennings' motion for leave to file an
amended complaint, Doc. 82, is granted. The First Amended
Complaint must be filed within seven days of the date of this