United States District Court, D. Minnesota
S. Doty, Judge United States District Court
matter is before the court upon the appeal by plaintiff
Johanna Beth McDonough of Magistrate Judge Franklin L.
Noel's January 27, 2017, order granting in part and
denying in part the motion for leave to amend the complaint
(Order). After a thorough review of the Order, and
based on the file, record, and proceedings herein, the court
denies the appeal.
privacy dispute arises out of defendants' access of the
motor vehicle record of plaintiff Johanna Beth McDonough.
Neither party objects to the magistrate judge's
recitation of the facts or procedural posture of the case.
The court will therefore proceed directly to the issues
Order denied as futile McDonough's motion to amend the
complaint to name individual defendants previously referred
to as John or Jane Does, concluding that (1) any claims
against such individuals are time-barred, (2) the proposed
amended complaint does not relate back to the original
complaint, (3) equitable tolling does not apply, and (4) the
appeal in this matter did not toll the limitations period.
McDonough objects only to the Order's determinations
regarding the doctrines of relation back and equitable
Standard of Review
standard of review applicable to an appeal of a magistrate
judge's order on nondispositive matters is
“extremely deferential.” Reko v. Creative
Promotions, Inc., 70 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1007 (D. Minn.
1999). The court will reverse such an order only if it is
clearly erroneous or contrary to law. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A); D. Minn. LR 72.2(a)(3).
Motion to Amend
“court should freely give leave to a party to amend its
pleadings when justice so requires; however, it may properly
deny a party's motion to amend its complaint when such
amendment ... would be futile.” Popoalii v. Corr.
Med. Servs., 512 F.3d 488, 497 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal
citation omitted). An amendment is futile when it would not
survive a motion to dismiss. In re Senior Cottages of
Am., LLC, 482 F.3d 997, 1001 (8th Cir. 2007).
acknowledges that the proposed amendments to the complaint
relate to conduct that occurred more than four years before
the date of the proposed amended complaint. In other words,
absent application of the doctrines of relation back or
equitable tolling, the claims are untimely and amendment
would be futile.
here, an amended pleading will relate back to the date of an
original pleading when:
[T]he amendment changes the party or the naming of the party
against whom a claim is asserted ... if, within the period
provided by Rule 4(m) for serving the summons and complaint,
the party to be brought in by amendment: (i) received such
notice of the action that it will not be prejudiced in
defending on the merits; and (ii) knew or should have known
that the action ...