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Vaughn v. Radio One

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

December 18, 2014

KELLY VAUGHN, Plaintiff,
v.
RADIO ONE, Defendant.

ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND

MARK J. DINSMORE, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint. [Dkt. 31.] For the following reasons, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's motion.

I. Background

On June 6, 2014, Kelly Vaughn ("Plaintiff") sued "Radio One" ("Defendant"), alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and negligence under Indiana common law. [ See Dkt. 1.] On July 1, 2014, Defendant filed its corporate disclosure statement. [Dkt. 6.] Defendant stated that it had been "improperly named as Radio One, '" and was in fact properly named as "Radio One of Indiana, L.P." [ Id. ] It also stated that Radio One of Indiana, L.P. is "a limited partnership, whose general partner is Radio One, Inc., a publicly held corporation." [ Id. ]

The Court entered a Case Management Order ("CMO") on August 26, 2014, in which the Court required all "motions for leave to amend the pleadings and/or to join additional parties" to be filed on or before November 3, 2014. [Dkt. 18 at 1.] On November 7, 2014, Plaintiff filed its current Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint, [Dkt. 31], in which Plaintiff seeks to add Radio One, Inc. as a named Defendant.[1] The Court conducted a hearing on this proposed amendment on December 17, 2014.

II. Discussion

To prevail on her motion to amend, Plaintiff must satisfy two separate standards. First, because the CMO's deadline for amending pleadings has passed, Plaintiff must satisfy Federal Rule of Procedure 16(b)(4), governing amendments to the Court's scheduling orders. Second, Plaintiff must satisfy Rule 15(a), governing amendments to pleadings. See Alioto v. Town of Lisbon, 651 F.3d 715, 719 (7th Cir. 2011).

A. Rule 16

Rule 16 provides that a "schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). This standard "primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking amendment." Trustmark Ins. Co. v. Gen. & Cologne Life Re of Am., 424 F.3d 542, 553 (7th Cir. 2005). The movant must show that the deadline to amend could not have been met despite its diligence. Tschantz v. McCann, 160 F.R.D. 568, 571 (N.D. Ind. 1995); see also Wine & Canvas Dev. LLC v. Weisser, No. 1:11-CV-01598-TWP, 2013 WL 5960903, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Oct. 8, 2013).

Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint in this case asserts that she was an employee of both Radio One of Indiana, L.P. and Radio One, Inc. [ See, e.g., Dkt. 31-1 ΒΆ 10.] In its response to Plaintiff's motion to amend, Defendant submitted Plaintiff's W-2 statement, indicting she was an employee only of Radio One of Indiana, L.P., [Dkt. 33-1 at 2], and asserted Plaintiff was not an employee of Radio One, Inc. [Dkt. 33 at 4.] At the hearing, Plaintiff conceded that the only evidence she had suggesting any relationship between Plaintiff and Radio One, Inc. was Radio One, Inc.'s position as general partner of Radio One of Indiana, L.P. [Motion to Amend Hearing, December 17, 2014, at 12:13-12:14.]

Radio One, Inc.'s position as general partner, however, was known to Defendant as early as July 1, 2014, when Defendant filed its corporate disclosure statement indicating Radio One, Inc. was the general partner of Radio One of Indiana, L.P. [Dkt. 6.] During the hearing, Plaintiff admitted that Defendant's corporate disclosure statement was the only information of which Plaintiff was aware regarding the relationship between Radio One of Indiana, L.P. and Radio One, Inc. [Hr'g at 12:12, 12:14.] Thus, Plaintiff was aware of the only evidence suggesting that Plaintiff was an employee of Radio One, Inc. over four months before the Court's November 3, 2014 deadline to amend her complaint. Waiting four months and allowing the deadline to amend to pass before seeking to add Radio One, Inc. as a defendant does not at all suggest diligence on Plaintiff's part, and does not establish "good cause" for amending the complaint.

Moreover, Plaintiff at the hearing asserted that the reason for missing the November 3 deadline for amendments was a calendaring error that resulted in the incorrect deadline being entered on Plaintiff's attorney's calendar.[2] [Hr'g at 12:16.] This error does not change the fact that Plaintiff had all the evidence on which it relied to file its current motion as early as July 1, 2014. Thus, if Plaintiff had been diligent and had filed its motion at any time within the four months after learning of Radio One, Inc.'s status as general partner, the alleged calendar error would have been inconsequential. Again, then, the Court finds that Plaintiff has not shown good cause for modifying the deadlines in the case management plan. Plaintiff's motion to amend is accordingly DENIED.

B. Rule 15

Because Plaintiff has not satisfied Rule 16(b), the Court may deny her motion for that reason alone. See Alioto, 651 F.3d at 719. Nonetheless, the Court also addresses whether Plaintiff's ...


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