United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Harrison Division
CHAD AND TONYA RICHARDSON, Individually, and as Parents and Next Friends of L. PLAINTIFFS
OMAHA SCHOOL DISTRICT DEFENDANT
OPINION AND ORDER
TIMOTHY L. BROOKS, UNITED STATED DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are the following: (1) a Motion for Leave to
Amend Complaint (Doc. 44) filed by Plaintiffs Chad and Tonya
Richardson, Individually, and as Parents and Next Friends of
L; (2) a Response in Opposition to the Motion (Doc. 48) filed
by Defendant Omaha School District; and (3) a Reply to
Defendant's Response (Doc. 52) filed by Plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs also requested a hearing on the Motion. However,
the Court finds that the issues are abundantly clear from the
parties' briefing, particularly given the fact that
Plaintiff was granted leave of Court to file a written Reply
to Defendant's Response. The Court believes that oral
argument on these issues is unnecessary and would not be
beneficial. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' request for a
hearing is DENIED, and their Motion for
Leave is also DENIED, as explained below.
December 4, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint (Doc. 1)
against multiple defendants, including Omaha School District.
The defendants jointly filed a motion for partial dismissal
of certain Counts of the Complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). On February 12, 2018, the Court
held a hearing on the motion, and the Court took the matter
under advisement after the parties presented oral argument.
On February 20, 2018, the Court issued a Case Management
Order (Doc. 21), setting a trial date and other deadlines in
the case, including a deadline of June 12, 2018, for either
party to seek leave to amend pleadings and/or add or
March 22, 2018, the Court issued a written Order (Doc. 23)
granting the motion and dismissing Count I of the Complaint
with prejudice, due to the running of the statute of
limitations, and Counts IV, V, VI, VIM, and IX without
prejudice, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). The effect of the Order
was that all defendants except Omaha School District were
dismissed from the case, and all Counts of the Complaint were
dismissed except Counts II and III.
13, 2018, about a month after the Court's deadline to
seek leave to amend pleadings or substitute parties,
Plaintiffs notified the Court that they had changed
attorneys. Plaintiffs' motion to substitute counsel (Doc.
25) explained that attorney Theresa L. Caldwell had been
terminated and attorney John R. Elrod had been hired in her
place and had entered his appearance. The Court granted
Plaintiffs' motion to substitute the same day it was
filed. See Doc. 26.
docket reflects no further activity in the case until
September 20-21, 2018, when attorneys George M. Rozzell, IV,
and Mason L. Boling joined Mr. Elrod in entering their
appearances on behalf of the Plaintiffs. Then, on September
27, 2018, Mssrs. Elrod and Rozzell filed an unopposed motion
to amend the Case Management Order (Doc. 29). On
Plaintiffs' behalf, they requested extensions of the
following: (1) the deadline to provide expert witness
disclosures and written reports, (2) the deadline to provide
expert rebuttal reports, and (3) the deadline to file motions
for summary judgment and Daubert motions. Plaintiffs
specifically asked "[t]hat all other deadlines
remain the same as set forth in the present Case
Management Order." Id. at 1 (emphasis added). The
Court granted the motion on September 29, 2018.
docket reveals no further activity-other than a discovery
dispute that was mooted by agreement, see Doc.
40-until February 25, 2019, when Defendant filed a motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 36). Plaintiffs filed their response
to summary judgment on March 11, 2019. And two days after
that, on March 13, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion
for Leave to Amend Complaint (Doc. 44).
To recap the timeline, the Motion for Leave was filed:
• more than fifteen months after Plaintiffs filed the
original Complaint (12/4/17);
• more than one year after the Case Management Order set
the deadline to amend pleadings (2/20/18);
• nine months after the deadline to amend pleadings
• eight months after Mr. Elrod, Plaintiffs' new (and
current) attorney, first entered his appearance in the case
• five months after Mr. Elrod and his co-counsel sought
leave of Court to amend certain deadlines-but not
the deadline ...