Dolores Martinez v. Navy League of the United States

Filing 57

ORDER by Judge Otis D. Wright, II: granting 49 Navys Leagues Motion for Leave to Amend Answer. Navy League shall file an amended answer no later than Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The Court also notes that this case has been languishing in the pleading stages for six months due to a considerable amount of motion practice. The Court is familiar with the facts and issues of this case and believes that the parties time would be better spent attempting settlement. Therefore, notwithstanding the settlem ent conference deadline in the Scheduling and Case Management Order, the Court ORDERS the parties to contact the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action within 7 days of this Order to schedule a mandatory settlement conference for the first available date on the Magistrate Judges calendar. (lc). Modified on 4/28/2014. (lc).

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O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 United States District Court Central District of California 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DOLORES MARTINEZ, Plaintiff, v. NAVY LEAGUE OF THE UNITED STATES, Defendant. Case No. 2:13-cv-5533-ODW(FFMx) ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND ANSWER [49] AND SETTING DEADLINE FOR MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE 17 Before the Court is Defendant Navy League of the United States’ Motion for 18 Leave to Amend Answer filed on April 8, 2014. (ECF No. 49.) In the Motion, Navy 19 League seeks leave to amend its original Answer, filed on February 19, 2014, to add 20 an affirmative defense under California Civil Code section 846. Plaintiff Dolores 21 Martinez, who is representing herself in this action, filed a timely Opposition to the 22 Motion. (ECF No. 53.) Having carefully considered the papers filed in support of 23 and in opposition to the Motion, the Court deems the matter appropriate for decision 24 without oral argument. Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; L.R. 7–15. 25 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) instructs courts to “freely give leave to 26 amend when justice so requires.” The decision whether to permit leave to amend rests 27 in the sound discretion of the trial court. California v. Neville Chem. Co., 358 F.3d 28 661, 673 (9th Cir. 2004). In determining whether leave to amend should be granted, 1 at least four factors are considered: (1) undue delay; (2) bad faith or dilatory motive; 2 (3) prejudice to the opposing party; and (4) futility of amendment. Foman v. Davis, 3 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Ditto v. McCurdy, 510 F.3d 1070, 1079 (9th Cir. 2007). 4 Here, the Court finds no undue delay in Navy League seeking leave to amend 5 its answer. This Motion was filed less than two months after the answer was filed and 6 the deadline to amend pleadings is still months away. The Court also finds no 7 evidence of bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of Navy League in seeking leave 8 to amend. The fact that this case remains in its early stages also suggests that 9 amending the Answer would cause no prejudice to Martinez. Finally, amendment 10 would not be futile since Navy League is seeking to add what appears to be a viable 11 affirmative defense. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Navy’s League’s Motion for 12 Leave to Amend Answer. (ECF No. 49.) Navy League shall file an amended answer 13 no later than Tuesday, May 13, 2014. 14 The Court also notes that this case has been languishing in the pleading stages 15 for six months due to a considerable amount of motion practice. The Court is familiar 16 with the facts and issues of this case and believes that the parties’ time would be better 17 spent attempting settlement. Therefore, notwithstanding the settlement conference 18 deadline in the Scheduling and Case Management Order, the Court ORDERS the 19 parties to contact the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action within 7 days of this 20 Order to schedule a mandatory settlement conference for the first available date on the 21 Magistrate Judge’s calendar. 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 24 April 28, 2014 25 26 27 ____________________________________ OTIS D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 28 2

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