United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Robert C. Cabral, Sr., Plaintiff,
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge
Cabral ("Mr. Cabral" or "plaintiff")
brought several federal and state law claims against the
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority ("the
MBTA"), Boston Carmen's Union Local 589 ("the
Union"), Union delegate Patrick Hogan and Union
president James O'Brien (collectively,
action arises out of an incident wherein Mr. Cabral, who was
at the time a full-time MBTA bus operator, abruptly applied
the brakes to avoid a collision while driving an MBTA bus on
his assigned route. A passenger was injured as a result.
Following the incident, Mr. Cabral was required to submit to
drug and alcohol testing and tested positive for marijuana
thereafter, the MBTA convened a disciplinary hearing,
suspended Mr. Cabral without pay for 7 0 days and recommended
his discharge. Mr. Cabral submitted a grievance challenging
his termination which was denied. He also contacted the Union
to file a request for arbitration but the Union Board decided
not to pursue arbitration on behalf of Mr. Cabral.
Cabral's complaint asserts claims of breach of contract,
breach of the duty of fair representation and violations of
the Labor Management Relations Act, Department of
Transportation Regulations and the Fourth Amendment.
filed their respective motions to dismiss in December, 2018,
(Docket Entry No. 9) and February, 2019, (Docket Entry No.
30). Magistrate Judge Bowler issued a Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") on June 18, 2019,
(Docket Entry No. 50), recommending that this Court allow
both motions to dismiss. On August 9, 2019, after
consideration of plaintiff's objections to Magistrate
Judge Bowler's R&R, this Court accepted and adopted
the R&R (Docket Entry No. 55) and entered judgment
dismissing Mr. Cabral's complaint (Docket Entry No. 56).
before the Court is Mr. Cabral's post-judgment motion for
leave to file an amended complaint (Docket Entry No. 57) .
Cabral, proceeding pro se, requests leave to file an
amended complaint. He alleges that justice requires granting
him leave to amend because Magistrate Judge Bowler failed to
apply the permissive pleading standard to his pro se
complaint whereby he should have been allowed to allege
additional constitutional and state law claims. Mr. Cabral
seeks to amend his complaint to "clarify" and
"explicitly assert" such claims.
Cabral is correct that, in general, leave to amend a
complaint should be freely given "when justice so
requires." Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). That standard applies,
however, only to pre-judgment motions to amend. See,
e.g., U.S. ex rel. Ge v. Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., 737 F.3d 116, 127-29 (1st Cir.
2013) . With respect to a post-judgment motion to amend,
a district court cannot allow an amended pleading where a
final judgment has been rendered unless that judgment is
first set aside or vacated pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59 or 60.
Maldonado v. Dominguez, 137 F.3d 1, 11 (1st Cir.
motion to vacate or set aside a judgment is an
"extraordinary remedy which should be used
sparingly." Palmer v. Champion Mortg., 465 F.3d
24, 30 (1st Cir. 2006) (internal citations omitted). It
requires the moving party either to establish "a
manifest error of law or . . . present newly discovered