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Preston v. Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co. Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division

September 12, 2014

Kathy Preston, Plaintiff,
The Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co. Inc., Defendant.


JACQUELYN D. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on a motion to dismiss filed by Defendant. [Doc. 7.] Plaintiff brought this action in the Pickens County Court of Common Pleas, alleging interference with Plaintiff's rights under the Family Medical Leave Act (the "FMLA"). [Doc. 1-1.] Defendant removed the action to this Court. [Doc. 1.] Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g), D.S.C., this magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in employment discrimination cases and to submit findings and recommendations to the District Court.

Defendant filed its motion to dismiss on August 22, 2014. [Doc. 7.] On August 25, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint and a response in opposition to the motion to dismiss. [Docs. 10, 11.] Defendant filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint on September 10, 2014. [Doc. 13.]

A timely filed amended pleading supersedes the original pleading. Young v. City of Mount Ranier, 238 F.3d 567, 573 (4th Cir. 2001) (As a general rule, "an amended pleading ordinarily supersedes the original and renders it of no legal effect." (quoting Crysen/Montenay Energy Co. v. Shell Oil Co. (In re Crysen/Montenay Energy Co.), 226 F.3d 160, 162 (2d Cir. 2000))); see also 6 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 1476 (3d ed. 2011) ("A pleading that has been amended... supersedes the pleading it modifies.... Once an amended pleading is interposed, the original pleading no longer performs any function in the case...."). As a result, motions directed at the superseded pleading generally are to be denied as moot. See, e.g., Hall v. Int'l Union, United Auto., Aerospace & Agric. Implement Workers of Am., UAW, 2011 WL 4014315, at *1 (W.D. N.C. June 21, 2011) (citing Colin v. Marconi Commerce Sys. Emps.' Ret. Plan, 335 F.Supp.2d 590, 614 (M.D. N.C. 2004); Turner v. Kight, 192 F.Supp.2d 391, 397 (D. Md. 2002)) (denying as moot the defendants' motions to dismiss because the second amended complaint rendered moot the defendants' pending motions to dismiss, which were related to the superseded complaint); McCoy v. City of Columbia, 2010 WL 3447476, at *1-2 (D.S.C. Aug. 31, 2010) (adopting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation to the extent it recommended that the motion to dismiss be found as moot because the amended complaint superseded the original complaint and rendered any attack upon it moot); Rowley v. City of N. Myrtle Beach, 2009 WL 750406, at *2-3 (D.S.C. Mar. 16, 2009) (finding as moot the defendants' motion to file answer out of time and the plaintiff's motion for default judgment based on the defendants' failure to timely answer the original complaint because "[t]he original complaint was, in a sense, amended out of existence." (quoting Thomas v. Se. Pa. Transp. Auth., 1989 WL 11222, at *1 (E.D. Pa. 1989))). However, "if some of the defects raised in the original motion remain in the new pleading, the court simply may consider the motion as being addressed to the amended pleading[ because to] hold otherwise would be to exalt form over substance." Wright et al., supra, § 1476 (emphasis added).

Here, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint attempting to remedy the defects alleged by Defendant to be in the original Complaint. [Doc. 10.] If Defendant believed defects remained in the Amended Complaint, it could have filed a motion to dismiss addressing the Amended Complaint within the time frame allotted by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; instead, Defendant filed an Answer to the Amended Complaint. [Doc. 13.] Accordingly, the Court recommends finding as moot the motion to dismiss, which is directed at the original Complaint, because the original Complaint was superseded by Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.[*]

Wherefore, based upon the foregoing, the Court recommends that the motion to dismiss be FOUND AS MOOT.


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