Franchise Holding II LLC v. Huntington Restaurants Group Incorporated et al
ORDER granting 33 Motion to Amend/Correct. Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint on or before 2/20/2013. Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 2/13/2013.(NVO)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Franchise Holding II, LLC,
Huntington Restaurants Group, Inc, et al.,
Plaintiff Franchise Holding II, LLC moves to amend its complaint pursuant to
Rule 15(a). Doc. 33. Defendants filed a response opposing the proposed amendment
(Doc. 34) and Plaintiff filed a reply (Doc. 35). For the reasons that follow the Court will
grant the motion.
Rule 15(a) provides that leave to amend “shall be freely given when justice so
requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). The Ninth Circuit has explained that it is an abuse of
discretion to deny a motion to amend when “there is a lack of prejudice to the opposing
party and the amended complaint is obviously not frivolous, or made as a dilatory
maneuver of bad faith[.]” Howey v. United States, 481 F.2d 1187, 1190-91 (9th Cir.
1973). Plaintiff filed its motion to amend within the deadline set in the October 31, 2012
Case Management Order. Doc. 27. It seeks to add facts alleging additional breaches of
the contract that is already at issue in this case. Doc. 33 at 3. These claims are not
Defendants make two arguments. First, they repeat an argument from their motion
to dismiss that Plaintiff claims excessive damages. This argument is irrelevant to the
question of whether leave to amend should be granted (in fact, the damages portion of the
complaint remains unchanged). Second, Defendants argue that because a fee award is
sometimes available in breach of contract claims under Arizona law, they have been
prejudiced by the additional fees generated investigating these “tangential” claims and
drafting a motion and a new complaint. Doc. 34 at 3-4; see A.R.S. § 12-341.01. Any
increase in a potential fee award that is the result of investigating a non-frivolous claim is
not unduly prejudicial, and Defendants will be required to pay Plaintiff’s fees only if
Plaintiff prevails. Additionally, the costs of drafting a motion to amend could have been
avoided had Defendants stipulated to the proposed amendments.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend (Doc. 33) is granted.
Plaintiff shall file an amended complaint on or before February 20, 2013.
Dated this 13th day of February, 2013.
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