United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
Carleton Metcalf, United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's “Joint
Motion for Leave to File Out of Time and to File Amended
Complaint” (“Motion to Amend”) (Doc. 29).
Relevant Procedural Background
19, 2019, Plaintiff William Orr (“Plaintiff”),
appearing pro se, filed a Complaint against the
United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United
States Department of Interior, the United States Forest
Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service
(collectively, “Federal Defendants”), and against
French Broad Electric Membership Corporation and Jeff Loven
(collectively, “Private Defendants”). (Doc. 1).
Private Defendants and the Federal Defendants filed Motions
to Dismiss on September 13, 2019 and September 30, 2019,
respectively. (Docs. 16, 20).
extensions of time, Plaintiff's deadline to respond to
the Motions to Dismiss was November 29, 2019. Plaintiff,
however, did not file his response to the Motions to Dismiss
(Doc. 28) (“Opposition”) until December 5,
filed the instant Motion to Amend (Doc. 29) the same day. In
that Motion, Plaintiff requests leave to file his Opposition
out of time and leave to file a proposed Amended Complaint
December 11, 2019, the Federal Defendants moved that their
deadline for filing a reply in support of their Motion to
Dismiss be held in abeyance and/or that, if the Court allowed
Plaintiff to amend his complaint, the Federal Defendants be
allowed three weeks to respond to Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint. (Doc. 30).
December 12, 2019, the Private Defendants made a similar
request. (Doc. 31).
December 18, 2019, the Court granted Defendants' requests
in part and temporarily stayed the deadlines for all
Defendants to file replies in support of their Motions to
Dismiss pending a determination of Plaintiff's Motion to
Amend. (Doc. 32).
filed their responses to the Motion to Amend on December 19,
2019. (Docs. 33, 34).
Motion to Amend
sought pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2) are allowed with the
opposing party's written consent or leave of court, which
leave should be given freely “when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2); United States v.
ex rel. Nathan v. Takeda Pharms. N. Am., Inc., 707 F.3d
451, 461 (4th Cir. 2013). “This liberal rule gives
effect to the federal policy in favor of resolving cases on
their merits instead of disposing of them on
technicalities.” Laber v. Harvey, 438 F.3d
404, 426 (4th Cir. 2006) (en banc). “[L]eave to amend a
pleading should be denied only when the amendment would be
prejudicial to the opposing party, there has been bad faith
on the part of the moving party, or the amendment would have
been futile.” Id. at 426 (quoting ...