The opinion of the court was delivered by: Karen M. Humphreys United States Magistrate Judge
This matter is before the court on the following motions:
1. Motion for Leave to Amend to file an Interpleader Counterclaim and Add a Party (Doc. 47);
2. Motion to Intervene (Doc. 55);
3. Motion to Compel (Doc. 59);
4. Motion for a Protective Order (Doc. 65); and
5. Motion for Extension of Discovery Deadlines (Doc. 67). The rulings are set forth below.
Partex, an El Salvadoran corporation, manufactures sports apparel and GFSI purchases and resells the apparel in the United States. Partex alleges that GFSI has failed to pay invoices totaling in excess of one million dollars. GFSI does not dispute that it owes "someone" for the sports apparel but asserts that a receivership may have been appointed for Partex by an El Salvadoran judge. GFSI contends that it has been unable to secure clarification concerning the proper party for payment and refuses to pay unless it receives assurances that it will not be subjected to claims by multiple parties.
Motion for Leave to Amend and Add a Party (Doc. 47) and Motion to Intervene (Doc. 55)
GFSI moves for leave to amend to file a counterclaim for interpleader and to add Banc Centroamericano de Integracion Economica ("BCIE") as a cross-claim defendant. GFSI alleges that BCIE is a creditor of Partex and that an El Salvadoran court has "entered an Order of attachment in favor of BCIE against Partex's assets." Doc. 47, p. 2. Because GFSI believes it is exposed to competing claimants to the invoice payments, GFSI seeks leave to amend its pleadings and assert a counterclaim for interpleader and to add BCIE as a party. In a related motion, BCIE moves to intervene to assert its claim to the disputed funds.
Partex opposes GFSI's motion for leave to amend to interplead the funds and add BCIE, arguing that the motion is untimely. Specifically, Partex argues that this case was filed on July 2010 in the Southern District of Florida and that GFSI opposed Partex's earlier motion to have the funds paid into the court.*fn1 Partex also argues that "since at least July 2010, GFSI has known that BCIE unlawfully froze Partex's bank account in El Salvador and attempted to wrongfully seize Partex's assets." Doc. 53, p.3. Finally, Partex argues that its summary judgment motion is ripe and that this case is set for trial on July 11, 2011.
Partex's argument that the amendment should be denied as untimely is not persuasive. Contrary to plaintiff's argument, this case has not been set for trial.*fn2 Moreover, the mere fact that Partex filed a summary judgment motion is not a sufficient reason by itself for concluding that the motion to amend is untimely. The summary judgment motion was filed early in the case and Partex has been aware since filing this case that GFSI had concerns that it not be exposed to liability from competing claimants.*fn3
Partex's allegations concerning the July 2010 freezing of its bank account in El Salvador is a two-edged sword. Although GFSI's delay in moving to formally interplead the funds caused some delay in the resolution of this case, Partex was also aware in July 2010 that BCIE had taken steps to attach Partex's bank account in El Salvador. Although Partex contends that the BCIE attachment in El ...