United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff HM Peachtree Corners
I, LLC's (“Plaintiff”) 15(a) Motion for Leave
to File Amended Complaint  (“Motion to
leased approximately 106, 531 square feet of office and
warehouse space in Norcross, Georgia (the
“Lease”) to Defendant Panolam Industries
International, Inc. (“Defendant”). (Compl. ¶
10). The Lease expired on February 28, 2017. (Compl. ¶
18). Plaintiff alleges the Lease imposed numerous obligations
on the Defendant, including “maintain[ing] and
repair[ing] the building, heating and air conditioning
equipment, and the grounds of the Premises.” (Compl.
¶ 11). The Lease also required the Defendant to
“return the Premises . . . in as good condition and
repair as first received, natural wear and tear
excepted” and refrain from “mak[ing] any
alterations, additions, or improvements to the Premises
without written consent by Plaintiff.” (Compl.
August 26, 2016, Plaintiff inspected the property and
discovered various repairs that were needed. (Compl. ¶
19). Plaintiff wrote to Defendant about Defendant's
obligations under the Lease to make repairs. (Compl.
¶¶ 23-27, 31). Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
“refused to make certain repairs as required by the
terms of the lease” such as “remov[ing] the
Supervisor's Office from the Premises, ”
“return[ing] the floor surface back to smooth level by
coring bolt holes and filling in pits on the floor, ”
and “repair[ing] and restor[ing] the concrete in both
truck courts.” (Compl. ¶¶ 28-30). Plaintiff
claims Defendant's “failure to make said repairs
and return the Premises to Plaintiff at the end of the Lease
term” in the condition required by the Lease
“constitutes a breach of the Lease.” (Compl.
¶ 38). Plaintiff alleges it has suffered damages of
nearly “half a million dollars.” ( at 1-2).
January 27, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Complaint [1.1] in the
State Court of Gwinnett County, Georgia. Plaintiff asserts a
claim for breach of the Lease and also seeks attorney's
fees and costs under O.C.G.A. § 13-6-11 and O.C.G.A.
§ 13-1-11. On March 20, 2017, Defendant filed its Notice
of Removal , removing the action to the Court. On May 16,
2017, Plaintiff filed its Motion to Amend. In it, Plaintiff
alleges additional damages it discovered when it inspected
the leased premises after Defendant vacated them. ( at
24-34). The Defendant also adds a claim for declaratory
judgment under O.C.G.A. § 9-4-1, et seq.
requesting the Court to declare the repairs Defendant was
required to make under the Lease and to order Defendant to
pay for the repairs or, alternatively, find that Plaintiff is
entitled to seek reimbursement damages from Defendant. (
26, 2017, Defendant filed its Response to Plaintiff's
Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint 
(“Response”). Defendant does not oppose
Plaintiff's amended breach of contract claim, or its
claim for attorney's fees and costs. ( at 8-9).
Defendant does oppose Plaintiff's new declaratory
judgment claim as “wholly duplicative” and
“futile.” ( at 6, 8-9).
15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a
plaintiff to file one amended complaint, as a matter of
course, if the amended complaint is filed within 21 days of
service of the original complaint or within 21 days of the
defendant's filing of a responsive pleading or Rule 12
motion to dismiss. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1).
Amended complaints may be filed outside of these time limits
only “with the opposing party's written consent or
the court's leave.” See Fed.R.Civ.P.
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that
“[t]he court should freely give leave [to amend] when
justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
“There must be a substantial reason to deny a motion to
amend.” Laurie v. Alabama Court of Criminal
Appeals, 256 F.3d 1266, 1274 (11th Cir. 2001).
“Substantial reasons justifying a denial include
‘undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive on the part of
the movant, . . . undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowance of the amendment, [and] futility of
amendment.'” Id. (citing Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).
district court may deny leave to amend a complaint if it
concludes that the proposed amendment would be futile,
meaning that the amended complaint would not survive a motion
to dismiss.” Christman v. Walsh, 416
Fed.App'x 841, 844 (11th Cir. 2011); Burger King
Corp. v. Weaver, 169 F.3d 1310, 1320 (11th Cir. 1999)
(“[D]enial of leave to amend is justified by futility
when the ‘complaint as amended is still subject to
dismissal.'” (quoting Halliburton & Assoc.,
Inc. v. Henderson, Few & Co., 774 F.2d 441, 444
(11th Cir. 1985))); Bazemore v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No.
1:14-cv-3310, 2016 WL 889676, at *5 (N.D.Ga. Mar. 8, 2016)
(“Futility means that the amended complaint would fail
to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Thus,
the same standard of legal sufficiency as applied under a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) is used to determine futility.” (internal
citation omitted)); Bill Salter Adver., Inc. v. City of
Brewton, AL, ...