United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
K. Bredar, Chief Judge.
Davis filed this suit claiming Toyota Motor Credit
Corporation ("TMCC"). Complete Auto Recovery
Services, Incorporated ("C.A.R.S."), Stewart Gray,
and Donald Gray (collectively, "Defendants")
committed various wrongs against her in relation to the
repossession of her automobile. (Compl.. ECF No. 1.) She
claimed one or all of the Defendants had committed torts, had
breached her contract with TMCC. and had violated various
Maryland statutes. Within the time permitted by Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15(a) for amending the complaint once as a
matter of course, Davis filed an amended complaint, which
made relatively minor changes in the pleading. (ECF No. 7.)
Following TMCC's motion to dismiss (ECF No. 14), the
Court dismissed seven out of eight counts in the complaint
and dismissed TMCC from the case entirely based on
Davis's failure to state a claim for relief. (ECF Nos. 19
and 20.) The Courts memorandum opinion is incorporated here
the Court entered a scheduling order (ECF No. 25). Davis
filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint
(ECF No. 28). which was opposed by TMCC (ECF No. 29). Then,
Davis's counsel moved to stay all deadlines (ECF No. 30)
pending a subsequently filed motion to withdraw as her
counsel (ECF No. 33). and the Court granted both motions,
while denying without prejudice the motion for leave to file
a second amended complaint (ECF Nos. 31. 34). Another
attorney filed a notice of appearance on behalf of Davis (ECF
No. 36) and a consent motion for an extension of time to file
a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint (ECF
No. 37). which was granted (ECF No. 38).
pending before the Court is Davis's motion for leave to
file a second amended complaint (ECF No. 40). which is
opposed by Defendants (ECF Nos. 43, 44). Davis has filed no
reply. No hearing is required. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md.
2016). The motion will be denied.
Standard for Motion to Amend
circumstances presented here, when a plaintiffs motion is
filed within the deadline that has been set in a scheduling
order for filing motions for amendment of pleadings, a motion
for permission to amend the complaint is governed by Rule
15(a), which directs the Court to "freely give leave
when justice so requires." The Fourth Circuit has stated
that leave to amend under Rule 15(a) should be denied only in
three situations: when the opposing party would be
prejudiced, when the amendment is sought in bad faith, or
when the proposed amendment would be futile. Laber v.
Harvey, 438 F.3d 404. 426 (4th Cir. 2006). A proposed
amendment is considered futile If it cannot withstand a
motion to dismiss. Perkins v. United States, 55 F.3d
910, 917 (4th Cir. 1995).
essence of Davis's proposed amendment is that she was not
in default of her car loan and. therefore. TMCC had no right
to repossess her car. From those new allegations flows her
attempt to resurrect her counts previously dismissed for
failure to state a claim for relief.
Court concludes her turnabout from the premise of her prior
amended complaint- that TMCC determined she was in default, a
fact she never disputed-is in bad faith. This is especially
so in light of the following unequivocal assertion in her
opposition to the earlier motions to dismiss:
Davis does not oppose TMCC's right to repossess her motor
vehicle due to the default in repaying her
loan obligation owed to TMCC. ECF #7 at ¶ 29. Therefore,
TMCC did have a right to repossess the motor vehicle
from Davis and also had the limited right to enter
onto Davis' real property to accomplish the repossession
without a breach of the peace, the use of force or a
violation of the criminal law.
(Pl.'s Opp'n to Mot. Dismiss 8. ECF No. 8 (emphasis
unambiguous concession was made in an effort to persuade the
Court that, even though she was in default and TMCC had a
right to repossess her automobile, that right did not extend
to the entity with whom TMCC contracted to effectuate the
repossession. Although her argument on that point proved
unsuccessful, it is clear to the Court that her concession on
a key factual point of the case is appropriately regarded as
a judicial admission.
A judicial admission is usually treated as absolutely
binding, but such admissions go to matters of fact which,
otherwise, would require evidentiary proof. They serve a
highly useful purpose in dispensing with proof of formal
matters and of facts about which there is no real dispute.
Once made, the subject matter ought not to be reopened in the
absence of a showing of exceptional circumstances, but a
court, unquestionably, has the right to relieve a party of
his judicial admission if it ...