United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
DAVID PROCTOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
case is before the court on pro se Plaintiff Ali Amiri's
Motion to Rule on the Existing Deficiencies in the SEVIS
System (Doc. # 62) filed on August 28, 2019. The court
construes Plaintiff's Motion as a motion to amend the
pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). In his Motion,
Plaintiff requests that the court order the University of
Alabama to obtain student signatures before processing
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
(“SEVIS”) termination paperwork. (Id. at
6). After careful consideration, and for the reasons
explained below, the court concludes that the motion is due
to be denied.
is an Iranian national who began a Ph.D. program in physics
at the University of Alabama in August 2011. (Doc. # 28 at
¶5). Following the spring 2017 academic semester,
Plaintiff was dismissed from the physics graduate program
based on his “demonstrated lack of progress in research
and disrespectful conduct towards faculty advisers,
colleagues and members of the academic community.”
(Doc. # 45-6 at 45). Plaintiff subsequently sued the Board of
Trustees of the University of Alabama, claiming that the
University failed to afford him procedural due process in
dismissing him from the Ph.D. program. (Doc. # 28). Plaintiff
and the University have been litigating this lawsuit since
March 2018. (Doc. #1).
amended his complaint twice. In the first instance, in April
2018, the court required Plaintiff to amend his complaint in
compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. (Docs. #
3, 4). In the second, in July 2018, Plaintiff was required to
re-plead his due process claim. (Doc. # 27, 28). The parties
completed initial discovery and a motion for summary judgment
is currently pending before the court. (Doc. # 43). The
summary judgment motion is fully briefed, and the parties
submitted evidence in support of their positions. (Docs. #
44, 45, 48, 50, 52, 53, 56).
the summary judgment briefings and evidentiary materials were
submitted, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Stop Detention and
Deportation by Homeland Security (Doc. # 58), which the court
construed as a motion for a preliminary injunction. (Doc. #
60 at 1). After careful consideration, the court denied
Plaintiff's motion. (Id. at 12). Subsequently,
Plaintiff was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(“ICE”) and is currently being held at LaSalle
Detention Center in Jena, Louisiana. (Id. at 1, n.
Rule of Civil Procedure 15 governs amendments to pleadings
and provides that, after any responsive pleading has been
filed, subsequent amendments are permitted only with the
leave of the district court. Specifically, Rule 15(a)
A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course . .
. . In all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only
with the opposing party's written consent or the
court's leave. The court should freely give leave when
justice so requires . . . .
Fed. R. Civ. P. 15. The decision of whether to grant leave to
amend is within the sound discretion of the trial court and
is not automatic. Best Canvas Prod. & Supplies, Inc.
v. Ploof Truck Lines, Inc., 713 F.2d 618, 622-23 (11th
Cir. 1983); see Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research,
Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330-33 (1971) (“It is [well]
settled that the grant of leave to amend the pleadings
pursuant to Rule 15(a) is within the discretion of the trial
“‘[d]iscretion' may be a misleading term, for
[R]ule 15(a) severely restricts the judge's freedom [to
deny a motion], directing that leave to amend ‘shall be
freely given when justice so requires.'” Best
Canvas, 713 F.2d at 622-23 (quoting Dussouy v. Gulf
Coast Inv. Corp., 660 F.2d 594, 597-98 (5th Cir.1981)).
Accordingly, “‘[u]nless there is a substantial
reason to deny leave to amend, the discretion of the district
court is not broad enough to permit denial.'”
Best Canvas, 713 F.2d at 622-23 (quoting
Dussouy, 660 F.2d at 598).
said that, when exercising its discretion, the trial court
may consider factors such as “‘undue delay, bad
faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated
failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of
allowance of the amendment, [and] futility of
amendment.'” Best Canvas, 713 F.2d at
622-23 (quoting Gregory v. Mitchell, 634 F.2d 199,
203 (5th Cir.1981)).
considering Plaintiff's Motion, the record does not
reflect “bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of
the movant . . . .” Best Canvas, 713 F.2d at
622-23 (quoting Gregory v. Mitchell,634 F.2d 199,
203 (5th Cir.1981)). However, there is clear evidence of
“undue delay, ” as Plaintiff did not request
relief regarding the SEVIS system in his initial complaint,
first amended complaint, or second amended complaint.
Id. This delay in pleading, indicates
Plaintiff's “repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed . . .” Id.;
see, e.g., Best ...