LA’MONT KNAZZE III, PRO SE Plaintiff,v. NORTH END SELF STORAGE MN LLC; NORTH END SELF STORAGE L.L.C; 1370 GOPHER STATE STORAGE; STATE STORAGE SAINT PAUL LLC AND/OR STATE STORAGE MIDWEST LLC, WHICH IS DOING BUSINESS AS 1370 GOPHER STATE STORAGE; NOKEY’S 24 HOUR TOWING AND WRECKING SERVICE; LOWRELL ROYAL ANDERSON IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND AS TRUCKER, AGENT, OWNER, OPERATOR OF NOKEY’S 24 HOUR TOWING AND WRECKING SERVICE; KARL JOSEPH PIGG IN HIS INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY AND AS AGENT OF NORTH END SELF STORAGE MN LLC.; AND ROYAL CREDIT UNION. Defendants.
Court File No.: 62-CV-21-494 Judge: Laura Nelson PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT AND MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT
NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION
To: The Above-named Defendants
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on _________2021, at 9:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the parties are heard, Plaintiff will move the Court (Judge Laura Nelson) for leave to file an amended complaint.
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT
Plaintiff La’Mont Knazze, III (hereinafter “Knazze” or “Plaintiff”) respectfully moves the Court, pursuant to Rule 15.01 Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure, for leave to file an AMENDED COMPLAINT, a copy of which is attached hereto. The current version of the complaint contains an excessive number of Defendants. Plaintiff conducted an investigation and identified necessary parties which were involved in events mentioned in the complaint. Many Defendants have been removed from the complaint. The new complaint maintains the counts and allegations against the same Defendants from the original complaint, but accounts for the significant factual and procedural developments that have occurred since the original complaint was filed.
On May 7, 2021, Plaintiff conferred with Defendants, after which Defendants were provided an advance copy of the proposed Amended Complaint. As of the time of filing, on May 7, 2021, Defendants had not consented to the filing. Also, Plaintiff has dismissed his claims against Defendant SPRINT SPECTRUM, LP DBA STC FIVE LLC. This was done vide a spoilation letter to the said Defendant dated April 30 2021, and said Defendant’s confirming correspondence on May 10, 2021. Accordingly, Plaintiff seeks the Court’s leave to amend, which should be granted for the reasons set forth below.
Defendants have leased a double storage unit to Plaintiff for a period of about seven (7) years. Defendants have also leased space to Plaintiff to park his fifty-three-foot (33’) commercial sized trailer at the Defendant’s storage facility for approximately five (5) years. Furthermore, to entice Plaintiff to lease space, Defendants recommended and promoted their site as a secure facility, featuring controlled access via an electric powered gate with barbed wire, among other security features.
In the fall of 2019, Defendants required Plaintiff to relocate his fifty-three-foot (53’) commercial trailer from the location where they directed him to park it years earlier. In addition, Plaintiff was to move it at his own expense or have the trailer towed to an impound lot off of Plaintiff’s facility. Nevertheless, Plaintiff complied with the sudden request and hired a Driver to re-position the trailer on the southeastern portion of Defendants’ Storage lot, in front of Defendants’ rear gate, which Defendants secured by a locking system. Defendants directed Plaintiff’s hired semi-truck Driver to park the vehicle at that location. However, Defendants failed to provide access to Plaintiff as promised, after the Plaintiff’s trailer was relocated on their property. Specifically, Defendants instead surrounded the Plaintiff’s trailer by other vehicles, including other large commercial ones, making access to Plaintiff’s trailer nearly impossible. Therefore, Plaintiff’s trailer was immobilized due to the way it was surrounded by the above-referenced other vehicles.
Plaintiff repeatedly requested that Defendants remove the vehicles to afford Plaintiff reasonable and necessary access to his fifty-three-foot (53’) commercial trailer. However, Defendants failed to grant Plaintiff’s request. Plaintiff has promptly paid all duly owed monthly rent to Defendants.
Plaintiff’s storage locker had the locks cut off by Defendants. The perpetrators burglarized the unit, took many items, including but not limited to, a 10-12 foot bay window (See Exhibit A), numerous other windows, a brand-new garbage disposal, lamps, chandeliers, doors, stone, tile, wine coolers, wood and many other items. Plaintiff reported the theft to the Defendants.
Plaintiff repeatedly asked the Defendants to move the vehicles surrounding his commercial trailer so he could take it and all of his remaining belongings out of storage; however, Defendants failed to do so. In fact, Defendants continued to “box in” the Plaintiff’s fifty-three-foot (53’) commercial trailer so Plaintiff couldn’t get to his trailer. (See Exhibit B).
On or about May 16, 2020, Plaintiff visited the premises of the Defendants where he had parked his trailer. However, he could not enter the premises since the Defendants had changed the entire entry security pad to a new yellow box and did not inform the Plaintiff or give him the security code. (See Exhibit C). Inasmuch, Plaintiff went to the Defendants’ 1379 Rice Street office, where the mother of the Manager (Jake) resides and requested the code to enter the premises. They refused to give Plaintiff the code. At one point, Plaintiff followed the mother into the facility. Upon entry, Plaintiff noticed that Defendants still had their red lock on Plaintiff’s storage unit, and the fifty-three-foot (53’) commercial trailer had ball peen hammer marks all over the aluminum sheathing. Apparently, Defendants had beaten Plaintiff’s locks off of the trailer. Inasmuch, Plaintiff could verify that the trailer was open, and a lot of his belongings and items were missing, apparently stolen.
Prior to that, neither Plaintiff nor any of his representatives had removed a single item from the trailer. In addition, there is no agreement which permits Defendants to empty the stored items. Defendants apparently removed items without any notice and breached any trust and due process. Accordingly, the burglary at the Defendants’ facility resulted in the theft of all of the Plaintiff’s trailer contents.
Finally, Defendants also damaged the right side of the trailer door, obviously trying to pry it open with something.
Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants with the Minnesota Attorney General on May 19th, 2020. Wherefore, the Attorney General directed the Defendants to resolve the issues with Plaintiff swiftly and amicably. Shortly after speaking with the Attorney General, Defendants shared a security code with Plaintiff, which never worked or permitted Plaintiff to enter the facility, which Plaintiff has been unable to do since this writing. Defendants also promised to change the code again, and to share the information with the Plaintiff, but failed to have ever notified the Plaintiff of any changes in the code as Defendants had promised. Defendant has failed to compensate Plaintiff for his damages.
Additionally, Plaintiff attempted to contact Jennifer at the Defendants’ Las Vegas office giving her Assistant the details of this matter. She advised that Jennifer would be contacting Plaintiff. The Las Vegas office has failed to contact Plaintiff and will not pick up Plaintiff’s phone calls. Defendants’ facilities continue in possession of Plaintiff’s vehicle, which he has requested to be moved out of their facility. Defendants refuse to comply. This constitutes a denial of property belonging to the Plaintiff.
Although Plaintiff’s rent has been fully paid, Defendants have refused to remove their distinctive red locks from Plaintiff’s rented storage garage. Defendants continue to unlawfully deprive the Plaintiff access to the storage facility. Defendants cannot have it both ways. Receive monthly payments and deny Plaintiff access.
Despite Plaintiff’s demands, Defendants refuse to give the security code information which would allow Plaintiff to inspect, or remove his remaining personal property. Defendants have failed to remove the vehicles surrounding Plaintiff’s trailer and have failed to return his personal property, contrary to the lease Agreement. Defendants have failed to cooperate with the police investigating the burglary of the Plaintiff’s goods while the trailer has been on Defendants’ premises.
On or about February 1, 2021, Defendants, submitted a notice of business transfer and demanded that all future storage payments be submitted to 1370 Gopher State Storage, 9450 SW Gemini DR Suite 85473, Beaverton, OR 97008-7105 (Please see Exhibit “1” as attached).
On or about March 18th 2021 Defendants submitted a lien and lock out notice to Plaintiff despite the fact that he had fully paid all rents, in excess, through the current date and had been locked out of the facility for approximately one year by the Defendants already.
PLAINTIFF HAS MET THE STANDARD FOR OBTAINING LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT UNDER RULE 15.01 OF MINNESOTA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
Rule 15.01 of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party, after a responsive pleading has been served, may amend his pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party. It further provides that leave shall be freely granted when justice so requires. “A party may amend a pleading by leave of court, ‘and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires.’ ” Olson v. Moorhead Country Club, 568 N.W.2d 871, 872 (Minn.App.1997) (quoting Minn. R. Civ. P. 15.01), review denied (Minn. Oct. 31, 1997). The district court should liberally grant motions to amend when justice requires and doing so will not prejudice the adverse party. Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn.1993).
In light of the significant factual and procedural developments since Plaintiff filed suit in, good cause for amending the Complaint is immediately apparent. Defendants will in no way be prejudiced if the changes are allowed at this point in the proceedings. Furthermore, there is no apparent reason for denying the motion to amend, as none of the factors that may militate against it is present in this case. Consistent with the liberal standard that applies to motions to amend under Rule 15.01, the Court should therefore grant Plaintiff’s motion.
None of the factors that may militate against granting a motion to amend is present in this case. Plaintiff moved swiftly to file these papers once he identified the proper defendants. Thus, there is no undue delay in Plaintiff’s request to amend. Plaintiff also revealed new facts which were unknown to him.
The interests of justice and judicial economy will undoubtedly be served by having all allegations properly before the Court as set forth in Plaintiff’s proposed amended complaint. The amendments are narrowly tailored to reflect the present circumstances and Plaintiff’s present understanding of the case. In so doing, the action can more effectively proceed on the merits.
Defendants will not suffer any undue prejudice by virtue of the Court’s allowance of the proposed amendment. The determination of whether prejudice would occur often includes assessing whether allowing an amendment would result in additional discovery, cost, and preparation to defend against new facts or new theories. Defendants cannot be prejudiced, or caught off guard, by the new facts alleged by the Plaintiff in the proposed amendment, since the Defendants have first-hand knowledge of the roles that they played in the transaction at issue. The proposed amended complaint involves the removal of some Defendants from the claim. It does not set forth any new claims or raise any new legal theories. No prejudice would result to Defendants in allowing the amendment under these circumstances.
Finally, Plaintiff’s request to file an amended complaint is not futile as Plaintiff has alleged sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is facially plausible. Where the proposed amendment is not clearly futile, denying leave to amend on this ground is highly improper. Accordingly, in the interest of justice, this Court should grant Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file the proposed amended complaint. The grant of this motion is particularly appropriate here, given the clear absence of any substantial reason to deny leave to amend.
For the reasons identified above, La’Mont Knazze III requests that the Court grant Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file the proposed amended complaint.
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