United States District Court, D. Minnesota
DIOCESE OF ST. CLOUD; CHURCH OF SAINT JOSEPH, ST. JOSEPH; CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF VICTORY, FERGUS FALLS; CHURCH OF SAINT JAMES, RANDALL; CHURCH OF SAINT LOUIS BERTRAND, FORESTON; CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION, EDEN VALLEY; CHURCH OF SAINT OLAF, ELBOW LAKE; CHURCH OF THE HOLY ANGELS OF ST. CLOUD, ST. CLOUD, f/k/a Holy Angels Congregation of St. Cloud, St. Cloud; CHURCH OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, NEW MUNICH; CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART, STAPLES; CHURCH OF SAINT ANDREW, ELK RIVER; CHURCH OF SAINT PAUL, ST. CLOUD; and CHURCH OF ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL OF ST. CLOUD, ST. CLOUD, f/k/a Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. Cloud, Plaintiffs,
ARROWOOD INDEMNITY COMPANY, individually and as successor to Royal Indemnity Company, Connecticut Indemnity Company, The Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, Security Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut Specialty Insurance Company, New Amsterdam Casualty Company, and Orion Capital Companies; ST. PAUL FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY; and HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendants.
Trifel and John H. Faricy, Jr., FARICY LAW FIRM, P.A., and
Thomas A. Janson, JANSON LAW OFFICE, for plaintiffs.
M. Cooper and Robert D. Brownson, BROWNSON NORBY, PLLC, and
Dennis N. Ventura and Kathleen M. Hart, TRESLLER LLP, for
Defendant Arrowood Indemnity Corporation.
O. Thornsjo and Lance D. Meyer, O'MEARA LEER WAGNER &
KOHL, P.A., for defendant St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance
D. Weinberg, SHIPMAN & GOODWIN LLP, and Robert L.
McCollum, MCCOLLUM CROWLEY, for defendant Hartford Accident
and Indemnity Company.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING MAGISTRATE
R. TUNHEIM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Diocese of St. Cloud (the “Diocese”) and thirty
individual Catholic parishes in Minnesota (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) brought this insurance coverage
action to determine which parties will pay compensation to
victims of clerical abuse who have filed claims in state
court. Seventeen of the parishes have since been dismissed,
leaving only thirteen parishes and the Diocese. (Magistrate
Judge Order at 4, Sept. 24, 2018, Docket No. 192.)
brought a claim for declaratory relief against a fellow
Catholic religious organization, The Order of St. Benedict,
and its insurers, Continental Insurance Company and Travelers
Indemnity Company. In January 2018, the Court dismissed that
claim on ripeness and standing grounds. Diocese of St.
Cloud v. Arrowood Indem. Co., No. 17-2002, 2018 WL
296077, at *5 (D. Minn. Jan. 4, 2018).
also brought claims for declaratory relief against their
insurers, Arrowood Indemnity Company
(“Arrowood”), Church Mutual Insurance Company
(“Church Mutual”), St. Paul Fire and Marine
Insurance Company, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity
Company (collectively “Plaintiffs'
Insurers”). They brought additional claims against
Arrowood alone for breach of contract, promissory estoppel,
bad faith/breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent
misrepresentation, and tortious interference with contractual
relations. The Court found that Plaintiffs failed to allege
facts sufficient to state a claim upon which relief could be
granted with respect to their claims against Arrowood for
promissory estoppel, bad faith/breach of fiduciary duty,
fraudulent misrepresentation, and tortious interference with
contractual relations. Diocese of St. Cloud v. Arrowood
Indem. Co. (“March Order”), No. 17-2002,
2018 WL 1175421, at *8-9 (D. Minn. Mar. 6, 2018). The Court
thus dismissed those claims, leaving only claims for
declaratory relief against all of Plaintiffs'
Insurers and a breach of contract claim against
Arrowood. See id.
11, 2018, the Court issued the Pretrial Scheduling Order.
(Pretrial Scheduling Order, May 11, 2018, Docket No. 167.)
All motions seeking to amend the pleadings or add parties
were to be filed and heard prior to August
1, 2018. (Id. at 3.)
on August 1, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Amend the
Complaint and Modify the Pretrial Scheduling Order.
(Pls.' Mot. to Amend Compl., Aug. 1, 2018, Docket No.
170.) Plaintiffs sought to bring a new claim against Church
Mutual and sought to join five new defendants. (Id.
at 1.) Three proposed defendants are new insurance companies:
Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America
(“Nationwide”), as successor to Western Casualty
& Surety Company; Employers Insurance Company of Wausau
(“Employers”); and Western National Mutual
Insurance Company (“Western National”), as
successor to Mutual Creamery Insurance Company.
(Id.) Two proposed defendants are Arrowood Entities:
Arrowpoint Capital Corporation and Arrowpoint Group, Inc.
(Id.) Plaintiffs also sought to add more detailed
allegations against Arrowood, (id.), to cure the
deficiencies that resulted in the Court's earlier partial
dismissal. Apparently recognizing that its Motion was
untimely, Plaintiffs also sought to extend the August 1
deadline to August 20. (Id.)
States Magistrate Judge Leo Brisbois held a hearing on
Plaintiffs' Motion on August 20, 2018. (Minute Entry,
Aug. 20, 2018, Docket No. 183.) He ultimately denied
Plaintiffs' Motion, finding that the Motion was untimely
and that Plaintiffs could not show good cause to modify the
schedule because Plaintiffs were not diligent in seeking the
extension. (Magistrate Judge Order at 5-7.)
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Partial Objection to the
Magistrate Judge's decision to deny their Motion.
(Pls.' Objs. to Magistrate Judge Decision
(“Objs.”), Oct. 9, 2018, Docket No.
193.) Plaintiffs argue that they were diligent
in their efforts to search their records, that permissive
joinder of additional defendants is warranted, and that their
proposed amended complaint cures the deficiencies that
resulted in the Court's earlier partial dismissal.
(Id. at 1, 5-6.) Because the Magistrate Judge did
not clearly err in finding that Plaintiffs could not show
good cause to modify the scheduling order, the Court will
overrule Plaintiffs' objection and affirm the Magistrate
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court may only set aside a magistrate judge's decision on
a nondispositive issue if it “is clearly erroneous or
is contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); D. Minn. LR 72.2(a).
As such, the Court's review of such a decision is
“extremely deferential.” Reko v. Creative
Promotions, Inc., 70 F.Supp.2d 1005, 1007 (D. Minn.
MOTION TO MODIFY THE ...