Huckabee v. Medical Staff at CSATF et al

Filing 235

ORDER DENYING 231 Plaintiff's Motion to Amend signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 11/6/2017. (Jessen, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ANTHONY CRAIG HUCKABEE, 12 13 14 15 Plaintiff, Case No. 1:09-cv-00749-DAD-BAM (PC) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO AMEND v. (ECF No. 231) MEDICAL STAFF AT CSATF, et al., Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff Anthony Craig Huckabee (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in 18 forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on 19 Plaintiff’s fifth amended complaint against Defendants Wu, McGuinness, Enenmoh, Jeffreys, and 20 Jimenez in their individual capacities for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in 21 violation of the Eighth Amendment. (ECF Nos. 195, 199.) 22 On September 11, 2017, Plaintiff lodged a sixth amended complaint without filing a 23 motion seeking leave to amend. (ECF No. 228); Fed. R. Civ. P. 7(b), 16(b)(4). On September 24 15, 2017, the Court issued an order requiring Plaintiff to file a motion seeking leave to amend 25 within thirty days. (ECF No. 229.) Plaintiff filed a motion to amend on September 25, 2017. 26 (ECF No. 231.) Defendants Enenmoh, Jeffreys, Jimenez, and Wu filed an opposition on October 27 17, 2017, (ECF No. 232), and Plaintiff filed a “traverse” in reply on October 26, 2017, (ECF No. 28 234). Defendant McGuinness did not file a response, and the deadline to file a response has 1 1 expired. The motion is deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(l). 2 Plaintiff asserts in his motion that good cause exists for the filing of his sixth amended 3 complaint because the Court’s Discovery and Scheduling Order of June 16, 2017, (ECF No. 216), 4 states that the deadline for amending the pleadings is December 16, 2017. Plaintiff states that he 5 timely lodged his sixth amended complaint, but inadvertently did not include the motion seeking 6 leave to amend. Plaintiff therefore requests review pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7 60(b)1 and an order directing Defendants to file an answer. (ECF No. 231.) 8 Defendants Enenmoh, Jimenez, Wu, and Jeffreys oppose the motion, arguing that Plaintiff 9 has failed to articulate any good cause to justify the proposed amendment and Plaintiff’s proposed 10 sixth amended complaint is an attempt to resurrect claims and defendants already dismissed from 11 this case. (ECF No. 232.) Defendants argue that the proposed sixth amended complaint 12 disregards the Court’s previous findings and screening orders, and suffers from many of the same 13 defects as Plaintiff’s prior complaints. Defendants argue that permitting the amendment will 14 result in delay and prejudice to Defendants, and given Plaintiff’s refusal to comply with guidance 15 from the Court regarding the applicable legal standards, the proposed amendment is futile. (Id.) 16 I. Legal Standard 17 Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may amend the party’s 18 pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served. 19 Otherwise, a party may amend only by leave of the court or by written consent of the adverse 20 party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). “Rule 15(a) is very liberal and leave to amend shall be freely given 21 when justice so requires.” AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysist West, Inc., 465 F.3d 946, 951 22 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation and quotation omitted). However, courts “need not grant leave to amend where the amendment: (1) prejudices the 23 24 opposing party; (2) is sought in bad faith; (3) produces an undue delay in litigation; or (4) is 25 futile.” Id. These factors do not carry equal weight. Prejudice is the most important factor to 26 consider. Jackson v. Bank of Hawaii, 902 F.2d 1385, 1387 (9th Cir. 1990). 27 1 28 To the extent Plaintiff requests reconsideration pursuant to Rule 60(b) related to his inadvertent omission of his motion for leave to amend, the request is denied as moot pursuant to the filing of the instant motion. 2 1 II. 2 Plaintiff initiated this action in 2009. Since that time, Plaintiff has filed five amended Discussion 3 complaints, and the Court has issued four screening orders setting forth the applicable legal 4 standards for stating a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF Nos. 12, 19, 174, 195.) More 5 than twenty-one days have passed since Defendants filed responsive pleadings or motions to 6 dismiss the fifth amended complaint. 7 In this case, given Plaintiff’s pro se status and his reliance on the Court’s Discovery and 8 Scheduling Order, the Court declines to find bad faith. However, the Court finds significant 9 prejudice, undue delay, and futility here that warrant the denial of Plaintiff’s motion for leave to 10 amend. Plaintiff seeks to revive claims and defendants previously dismissed by the Court, and as 11 such, further amendment would be futile. See Hartmann v. CDCR, 707 F.3d 1113, 1130 (9th Cir. 12 2013) (“A district court may deny leave to amend when amendment would be futile.”) The Court 13 will not expend additional resources screening and requiring Defendants to answer an amended 14 complaint that does little to cure the deficiencies identified by numerous prior screening orders. 15 III. 16 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend his complaint, (ECF No. 231), is 17 Conclusion and Order DENIED. 18 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Barbara November 6, 2017 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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