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Armstrong v. Scott

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Middle Division

August 31, 2018

ROBIN ZAK ARMSTRONG, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
QUENTIN SCOTT, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 unlawful detention action. Defendants, City of Boaz Police Officers Quenton Scott and Brandon Hester, arrested pro se Plaintiffs Robin Zak Armstrong and Timothy-Brian Armstrong. The Plaintiffs allege that Officer Scott and Officer Hester violated their civil rights by not taking them directly to a magistrate judge for a probable cause determination after the arrests.

         Before the court are the Plaintiffs' motions for leave to amend their complaint. (Doc. 161; Doc. 166). The parties have fully briefed the motions. (Doc. 161; Doc. 162; Doc. 166; Doc. 167). For the reasons explained below, the court DENIES the motions for leave to amend.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The Plaintiffs filed their initial complaint on June 30, 2016. (Doc. 1). The Plaintiffs' original complaint asserted various claims against a number of defendants, including Officers Scott and Hester, the City of Boaz, Mayor Tim Walker, Boaz City Prosecutor Danny Smith, and Captain Michael Hempel. (Doc. 1). The Defendants moved to dismiss the Plaintiffs' complaint. (Doc. 13; Doc. 15). Pending a ruling on the motions to dismiss, the court (Hopkins, J.) stayed discovery. (Doc. 29).

         In response to the motions to dismiss, the Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 30; Doc. 30-1; Doc. 31). The court (Hopkins, J.) struck the Plaintiffs' amended complaint as an improper shotgun pleading and as non-compliant with Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because the Plaintiffs did not receive leave of court or consent of the opposing parties to file the amended complaint. (Doc. 37 at 3-6). The court (Hopkins, J.) gave the Plaintiffs an opportunity to file another amended complaint. (Doc. 37 at 10).

         On November 21, 2016, the Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. (Doc. 39). The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the second amended complaint on January 11, 2017. (Doc. 43). On February 14, 2017, without obtaining leave to amend or consent of the opposing parties, the Plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint. (Doc. 46). The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the third amended complaint. (Doc. 51).

         On July 24, 2017, the court (Hopkins, J.) granted in part and denied in part t h e Defendants' mo tion to dis miss the third ame nded complaint . (Do c . 81). In addition to dismissing other claims, the court (Hopkins, J.) dismissed Ms. Armstrong's § 1983 claims against the City of Boaz for failure to train and failure to enforce policy and terminated the City of Boaz as a defendant. (Doc. 81 at 17-21). Following the ruling, the only claims remaining in this action are Ms. Armstrong's Fourth Amendment unlawful detention claim against Officer Hester and Mr. Armstrong's Fourth Amendment unlawful detention claim against Officer Scott. (Doc. 81 at 59).

         The Plaintiffs and the remaining defendants, Officer Scott and Officer Hester, submitted a report of the parties' planning meeting, and the court (Hopkins, J.) entered a scheduling order. (Doc. 92; Doc. 94). The scheduling order imposed the following relevant deadlines:

• Plaintiffs' deadline to amend pleadings: October 2, 2017;
• Discovery deadline: April 4, 2018; and
• Dispositive motion deadline: May 4, 2018.

(Doc. 94).

         On May 2, 2018, the Defendants filed motions for summary judgment. (Doc. 148; Doc. 149). The Plaintiffs filed responses on May 30, 2018. (Doc. 156; Doc. 157; Doc. 158). The ...


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