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Rococo Associates, Inc. v. Award Packaging Corp.

July 9, 2007

ROCOCO ASSOCIATES, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
AWARD PACKAGING CORP. AND R&E PACKAGING, LLC, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

The Court is in receipt of Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay's Report and Recommendation, dated June 6, 2007, with respect to Plaintiff Rococo Associates, Inc.'s ("Plaintiff") request to amend the Complaint to join additional defendants and to assert new factual allegations relating to those defendants ("Report and Recommendation"). Magistrate Judge Lindsay recommended that this Court deny Plaintiff's motion without prejudice because Plaintiff failed to address Rule 16's good cause standard. Presently pending before the Court are Plaintiff's objections to the Report and Recommendation. For the reasons explained below, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED in its entirety and Plaintiff's motion to amend the Complaint is DENIED with leave to renew.

BACKGROUND

The Report and Recommendation sets forth the pertinent facts, and therefore, the Court will not recite them. To the extent the parties require a primer, the Court refers them to the Report and Recommendation.

DISCUSSION

I. Standard Of Review

"When evaluating the report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court may adopt those portions of the report to which no objections have been made and which are not facially erroneous." Walker v. Vaughan, 216 F. Supp. 2d 290, 291 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (citation omitted). A party may serve and file specific, written objections to a magistrate's report and recommendation within ten days of receiving the recommended disposition. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). Upon receiving any timely objections to the magistrate's recommendation, the district "court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). A party that objects to a report and recommendation must point out the specific portions of the report and recommendation to which they object.

See Barratt v. Joie, No. 96-CV-324, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3453, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. March 4, 2002) (citations omitted).

When a party raises an objection to a magistrate judge's report, the Court must conduct a de novo review of any contested sections of the report. See Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). However, "[w]hen a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error." Barratt, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3453, at *2 (citations omitted).

Plaintiff objects to Magistrate Judge Lindsay's recommendation that the motion to amend be denied with leave to renew pursuant to Rule 16(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that, although it did not move pursuant to Rule 16(b), it nonetheless demonstrated "good cause" under Rule 16(b).*fn1 The Court, therefore, will engage in a de novo review of the motion for leave to amend. Under the de novo standard, the Court will make an independent determination of the issues, giving no deference to any previous resolution. See Nomura Sec. Int'l, Inc. v. E*Trade Sec., Inc., 280 F. Supp. 2d 184, 198 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). The Court is not limited to consideration of evidence presented to the magistrate judge, but may review the entire record. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).

II. Leave To Amend

A. Rule 15

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) generally governs the amendment of pleadings. Rule 15(a) provides that [a] party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served . . . . Otherwise a party may amend the party's pleadings only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party; and leave shall be freely given as justice so requires.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a); see also Lucente v. Int'l Bus. Machs. Corp., 310 F.3d 243, 259 (2d Cir. 2002); Branum v. Clark, 927 F.2d 698, 705 (2d Cir. 1991). Leave to amend should be denied only because of undue delay, bad faith, futility, or prejudice to the non-moving party, and the decision to grant or deny a motion to amend rests within the sound discretion of the district court. Aetna Cas. and Sur. Co. v. Aniero Concrete ...


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