United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Baker Constructors,
Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint, (doc.
15), and Plaintiff's subsequently-filed First Amended
Complaint, (doc. 94). For the reasons set forth below, the
court DENIES as moot Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss. (Doc. 15.)
April 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed its initial complaint seeking
an injunction and alleging claims of misappropriated trade
secrets and related computer violations arising under various
state and federal laws. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff also brought
state-law claims for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of
contract, tortious interference with contractual relations
and employment relations, conversion, and civil conspiracy.
(Id.) Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's
Complaint for failure to state a claim, arguing that it is a
“shotgun” pleading and that the claims alleged
therein are not well-pleaded. (Doc. 15; see also
doc. 16.) Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition, (doc.
25), to which Defendant replied, (doc. 28).
litigation over the arbitrability of the claims in
Plaintiff's Complaint and the scope of discovery,
(see, e.g., docs. 40, 41, 43, 72, 98), Plaintiff
filed a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint, (doc. 84), which
Defendants did not oppose, (docs. 88, 89), and the Court
granted, (doc. 90). Plaintiff then sought to file its First
Amended Complaint under seal, (doc. 91), because it contains
information deemed confidential per the Protective Order in
place in this case, (see doc. 33). On February 27,
2019, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to file under seal,
(doc. 93), and Plaintiff duly filed its First Amended
Complaint under seal, (doc. 94). Plaintiff avers that its
First Amended Complaint will moot Defendant Baker
Constructors, Inc. Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. 84, p. 2
(“Plaintiff now seeks to amend its Complaint . . . to
allege those additional facts [learned through discovery] and
to moot the alleged deficiencies interposed by
[Defendant's] pending motion to dismiss.”).)
black letter federal law, “an amended complaint
supersedes the initial complaint and becomes the operative
pleading in the case.” Lowery v. Ala. Power.
Co., 483 F.3d 1184, 1219 (11th Cir. 2007) (citations
omitted). This means that “the original pleading is
abandoned by amendment and is no longer a part of the
pleader's averments against his adversary.”
Dresdner Bank AG v. M/V Olympia Voyager, 463 F.3d
1210, 1215 (11th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). An amended
complaint thus “renders [the original] of no legal
effect.” Arce v. Walker, 139 F.3d 329, 332 n.4
(2d Cir. 1998) (citation omitted); see also Hoefling v.
City of Miami, 811 F.3d 1271, 1277 (11th Cir. 2016)
(initial filing “bec[o]mes a legal nullity”) To
be sure, however, an original complaint would still have
legal effect if “the amendment specifically refers to
or adopts the earlier pleading.” Varnes v. Local
91, Glass Bottle Blowers Ass'n, 674 F.2d 1365, 1370
n.6 (11th Cir. 1982) (citation omitted). An amended complaint
that does not incorporate the prior pleading, therefore,
moots “the motion to dismiss the original complaint
because the motion seeks to dismiss a pleading that has been
superseded.” Wimberly v. Broome, No.
6:15-CV-23, 2016 WL 3264346, at *1 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 29, 2016)
Court has reviewed Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint and
found no reference to, or adoption of, any allegations set
forth in its prior pleading. (See Doc. 94.) As such,
Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint is the sole operative
pleading in this case and renders moot Defendant Baker
Constructors, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs
Complaint, (doc. 15). Moreover, mootness is particularly
applicable here where Defendant challenged the substance and
legal sufficiency of Plaintiff s allegations and where
Plaintiff directly responded to those challenges in its First
Amended Complaint. Accordingly, the Court DENIES as
moot Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
 In addition, Movants Robert B Baker
and R.B. Baker Holdings, LLC filed a Motion to Quash
Third-party Subpoenas, (doc. 41), which the Court dismissed
as moot, (docs. 72, 98).
 Whether this case will proceed here or
be sent to arbitration remains an outstanding issue and is
contingent, in part, on the facts and allegations raised by
Plaintiff in its First ...