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Christian v. Airlines

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

April 13, 2017




         Before the Court are Delta Airlines' (“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss and Karen Christian's (“Plaintiff”) Motion to Amend Complaint and for Stay of Ruling on Motion to Dismiss. (ECF Nos. 10 & 19). Defendant filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion to Amend on January 24, 2017. (ECF No. 21). These motions were referred to Magistrate Judge Charmiane G. Claxton for determination and/or report and recommendation as appropriate on February 15, 2017. (ECF No. 22). Magistrate Judge Claxton issued her Report and Recommendation on June 9, 2017. (ECF No. 24). To date, no objections have been filed.

         After a de novo review, the Court hereby ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation.


         Standard for District Court's Review of a Report and Recommendation

         The district court has the authority to refer certain pre-trial matters to a magistrate judge for resolution. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Callier v. Gray, 167 F.3d 977, 980 (6th Cir. 1999). These referrals may include non-dispositive pretrial matters, such as a motion to compel or a motion for a protective order concerning discovery. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The district court has appellate jurisdiction over any decisions the magistrate judge issues pursuant to such a referral. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72. The referrals may also include dispositive matters such as a motion for summary judgment or a motion for injunctive relief. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). When a dispositive matter is referred, the magistrate judge's duty is to issue proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition, which the district court may adopt or not. “The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

         The standard of review that is applied by the district court depends on the nature of the matter considered by the magistrate judge. If the magistrate judge issues a non-dispositive pretrial order, the district court should defer to that order unless it is “found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). However, if the magistrate judge's order was issued in response to a dispositive motion, the district court should engage in de novo review of all portions of the order to which specific written objections have been made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed. App'x. 308, 310, 2003 WL 21321184, *2 (6th Cir. 2003) (“A district court normally applies a ‘clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for non[-]dispositive preliminary measures. A district court must review dispositive motions under the de novo standard.”).


         Motion to Amend

         On January 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Complaint. (ECF No. 19). Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2), “[T]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” However, the right to amend is not absolute, and a court can deny leave based on a finding of “undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, or futility.” Crestwood Farm Bloodstock v. Everest Stables, Inc., 751 F.3d 434, 444 (6th Cir. 2014); Tucker v. Middleburg-Legacy Place, LLC, 539 F.3d 545, 551 (6th Cir. 2008).

         The Magistrate Judge recommends that Plaintiff's Motion to Amend be denied because Plaintiff failed to attach a proposed Amended Complaint to appraise the Court and Defendant of what amendments Plaintiff planned to make. The Magistrate Judge reasoned that “[t]here is no way for the Court to assess with this limited information whether ‘justice so requires' amendment of the Complaint.” (ECF No. 24 at 2). This Court agrees. For the reasons cited by the Magistrate Judge, and because the record clearly shows “undue delay”, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint is DENIED.

         Motion to Dismiss

         On September 14, 2016, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss on November 11, 2016. (ECF No. 17). The Magistrate Judge entered an Order granting Plaintiff's motion on May 23, 2017. (ECF No. 23). To date, Plaintiff has not filed a Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss be granted on the grounds of 1) insufficient service of process, 2) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, or 3) failure to state a claim for which relief may be granted.

         1. Insufficient ...

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