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In re C. F. Bean LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division

October 3, 2017

IN THE MATTER OF C.F. BEAN, LLC, AS OWNER PRO HAC VICE AND OPERATOR, AND BEAN MERIDIAN, LLC, AS THE RECORD OWNER, OF THE BARGE BEAN 20, OFFICIAL NO. 627225, PRAYING FOR EXONERATION FROM OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY RHW JERRIE P. BARHANOVICH, EXECUTRIX AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF MARK BARHANOVICH, DECEASED PLAINTIFF
v.
C.F. BEAN, LLC, BEAN MERIDIAN, LLC, AND ARCHER WESTERN CONTRACTORS, LLC DEFENDANTS/ THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFFS
v.
SUZIKI MOTOR CORPORATION, SUZIKI MOTOR OF AMERICA, INC, AND RSM INTERNATIONAL, INC, D/B/A BOB'S MACHINE SHOP THIRD PARTY DEFENDANTS

         ORDER OVERRULING DEFENDANT/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS C.F. BEAN, LLC, BEAN MERIDIAN, LLC, AND ARCHER WESTERN CONTRACTORS, LLC'S MOTION [481] FOR RECONSIDERATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S ORDER [479] AND DENYING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE THIRD SUPPLEMENTAL AND AMENDED THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT

          HALIL SULEYMAN OZERDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         BEFORE THE COURT is Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs C.F. Bean, LLC, Bean Meridian, LLC, and Archer Western Contractors, LLC's Motion [481] for Reconsideration of United States Magistrate Judge Robert W. Walker's March 6, 2017, Order [479] denying their Motion [474] for Leave to File Third Supplemental and Amended Third-Party Complaint. This matter is fully briefed. For the reasons that follow, the Court finds that Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs' Motion [481] for Reconsideration should be overruled, and their Motion [474] for Leave to File Third Supplemental and Amended Third-Party Complaint should be denied.

         I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         On February 7, 2017, Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs C.F. Bean, LLC, Bean Meridian, LLC, and Archer Western Contractors, LLC (collectively “Bean”), filed a Motion [474] for Leave to File Third Supplemental and Amended Third-Party Complaint “to assert diversity jurisdiction and seek a trial by jury.” Mot. to Am. [474] at 3. Third-Party Defendant Suzuki Motor Corporation (“Suzuki”), the only remaining Third-Party Defendant, filed a Response in Opposition [476] on February 15, 2017. Bean's Reply [478] was filed February 20, 2017.

         On March 6, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued an Order [479] denying Bean's Motion [474] for Leave to Amend. Order [474] at 8. In denying the Motion, the Magistrate Judge found that the Motion was untimely, exceeded “the Fifth Circuit's mandate, ” and was contrary to the November 19, 2015, Pre-Trial Order. Order [479] at 1-8. The Magistrate Judge further found that “Bean has failed to demonstrate any cause, let alone good cause, for the inordinate delay in seeking to amend.” Id. at 7.

         On April 3, 2017, Bean filed a Motion [481] for Reconsideration asking the Court to reconsider and allow Bean to amend its Third-Party Complaint “based upon an error of law or to prevent manifest injustice, and arguably, that there was an intervening change in the law, ” citing to Operaciones Tecnicas Marinas S.A.S. v. Diversified Marine Serves, LLC, No. 12-1979, 2016 WL 7229288 (E.D. La. Dec. 14, 2016). Mot. [481] at 1-2; Mem. in Supp. [483] at 4-7. Bean seeks reconsideration under either Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e), which provides that a party may seek to “alter or amend” a judgment within 28 days of its entry, or under Rule 60(b), which allows a party to seek “relief from judgment” no more than one year after its entry.

         Suzuki's Response [490] in Opposition contends that Bean's Motion is “improper and untimely” and should be denied. Resp. in Opp'n [490] at 1-2. Alternatively, Suzuki argues that Bean's Motion fails to demonstrate any intervening change in the law or that the Magistrate Judge's Order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law. Id.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         Rule 72(a) provides that objections to a Magistrate Judge's order on nondispositive matters must be filed within 14 days. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). In reviewing a magistrate judge's pretrial order, a district court may set aside a “non-dispositive order” if it is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law. Moore v. Ford Motor Co., 755 F.3d 802, 806 (5th Cir. 2014) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); 28 USC § 636(b)(1)(A)). The Magistrate Judge's Order was entered on March 6, 2017, while Bean's Motion was not filed until 28 days later on April 3, 2017, which would render it untimely under Rule 72(a).

         However, even if a party fails to file objections to an interlocutory order issued by either a magistrate judge or a district court judge, the district court judge has the authority under 28 U.S.C. § 636 to review the order because

[t]he district judge has jurisdiction over the case at all times. He retains full authority to decide whether to refer a case to the magistrate, to review the ...

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