United States District Court, D. New Jersey
OPINION & ORDER
McNulty, United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on the Motion (ECF No. 119) of
the Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs, Crocus Investments,
LLC, Crocus FZE, Alexander Safanoy, and Middle East Asia Alfa
FZE (collectively, the "Third-Party Plaintiffs"),
to appeal Magistrate Judge Hammer's January 8, 2018 order
(the "Order," ECF No. Ill), denying Third-Party
Plaintiffs' letter request ("Letter Two," ECF
No. 102), to nullify the effect of Judge Hammer's
December 18, 2017 order. (ECF No. 98). I endorse Judge
Hammer's sound and practical approach to case
management-there is a scheduling order in place, and requests
to amend have to stop somewhere-so I affirm the Order.
I write for the parties, I summarize only the procedural
history relevant to this appeal.
Party Plaintiffs filed a Third-Party Complaint, (ECF No. 17),
against Marine Transport Logistic Inc. ("Marine
Transport"), Royal Finance Group, Inc. ("Royal
Finance"), Car Express & Import Inc. ("Car
Express"), Aleksandr Solovyev ("Solovyev"),
Vadam Alper a/k/a Dimitry Alper ("Alper"), Alia
Solovyeva ("Solovyeva"), Raya Bakhirev
("Bakhirev"), and Roman Chernin
("Chernin") (collectively, the "Third-Party
Defendants"), alleging fraud, civil conspiracy, breach
of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit and account
17, 2017, Judge Hammer granted the Third-Party
Plaintiffs' timely request for leave to amend the
Third-Party Complaint. (ECF No. 50).
21, 2017, the deadline for amendments to the pleadings, (see
ECF No. 43), Third-Party Plaintiffs filed another motion to
amend their Third-Party Complaint. (ECF No. 51). This motion
sought to supplement the existing complaint with (a)
additional factual allegations in support of the existing
fraud claim, (ECF No. 51-1), and (b) an additional claim
under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("NJCFA").
N.J.S.A. §56:8-1 et seq. [Id.].
Hammer granted (a) the motion to add factual allegations, but
denied (b) the motion to add a cause of action under the
NJCFA. (ECF No. 75). Third-Party Plaintiffs, Judge Hammer
ruled, were not (or rather were not factually alleged to be)
consumers under the NJCFA, and therefore amendment to add the
proposed NJCFA cause of action would be futile. (ECF No. 74
Plaintiffs then filed a motion for reconsideration (ECF No.
81), which Judge Hammer denied. (ECF No. 98).
Third Party-Plaintiffs filed a letter ("Letter
One") requesting leave to file a second motion to amend
the Third-Party Party Complaint. (ECF No. 99). Judge Hammer
filed a text order denying the Letter One request without
prejudice, because Letter One "fail[ed] to articulate
any good cause [to modify the court's scheduling order]
to again move to amend, particularly considering that
Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs already made such an
application, and the deadline to move to amend expired on
July 21, 2017." That denial, however, was "without
prejudice to counsel explaining how good cause exists under
Rule 16" to relax the deadline of the scheduling order.
(ECF No. 100).
up the suggestion, Third-Party Plaintiffs filed a second
letter ("Letter Two", ECF No. 102), in which they
attempted to demonstrate good cause for relief from the
Order, (ECF No. Ill), that is now appealed, filed January 8,
2018, Judge Hammer denied the Letter Two request. In that
Order, Judge Hammer stated that it appeared Third-Party
Plaintiffs were impermissibly seeking "reconsideration
of the Court's Order denying reconsideration."
(Id. at 1). In the alternative, Judge Hammer ruled
that "even if there were a procedural vehicle by which
such a request could be made, Defendants/Third-Party
Plaintiffs raise issues that amount to mere disagreement and
have not shown good cause." (Id. at 2).
Plaintiffs then filed this ...