Sarkizi v. Graham Packaging

Filing 26

ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's Motion to Amend. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint that comports to the proposed First Amended Complaint attached as an exhibit to their motion (Doc. 22-2) within three (3) days from the date of this order; and Defendants shall file an amended answer as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Order signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 6/3/2014. (Timken, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 SARGIS SARKIZI, 12 13 Case No. 1:13-cv-1435-AWI-SKO ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO AMEND Plaintiff, v. (Docs. 22, 23) 14 15 16 GRAHAM PACKAGING COMPANY and Does 1-25, 17 Defendants. _____________________________________/ 18 19 20 21 I. INTRODUCTION On May 1, 2014, Plaintiff Sargis Sarkizi (“Plaintiff”) filed a motion for leave to file a first 22 amended complaint (“FAC”). (Doc. 22.) On May 14, 2014, Defendants Graham Packaging 23 Company and Does 1-25 (“Defendants”) filed an opposition to Plaintiff’s motion. (Doc. 23.) 24 Plaintiff filed a reply to the opposition on May 28, 2014. (Doc. 24.) 25 The Court has reviewed the motion and supporting documents and determined that this 26 matter is suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g). For the 27 reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion to file a FAC is GRANTED. 28 1 II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY 2 On July 31, 2013, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendants in the Superior Court of 3 California in Stanislaus County, alleging four causes of action related to his termination of 4 employment by Defendants in August of 2011. (Doc. 1.) Plaintiff brought claims for wrongful 5 termination in violation of public policy, violation of the implied covenant of good faith and fair 6 dealing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. 7 On September 6, 2013, Defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of 8 California. (Doc. 1.) 9 III. DISCUSSION 10 The parties participated in a scheduling conference with the Court on January 30, 2014. 11 The Court issued a scheduling order on February 10, 2014, which provides that “[a]ny motions or 12 stipulations requesting leave to amend the pleadings must be filed by no later than April 30, 13 2014.” (Doc. 19, 3.) The parties were advised that "[a]ll proposed amendments must (A) be 14 supported by good cause pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b) if the amendment requires any 15 modification to the existing schedule . . . and (B) establish, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), that such 16 an amendment is not (1) prejudicial to the opposing party, (2) the product of undue delay, (3) 17 proposed in bad faith, or (4) futile." (Doc. 19, 3:11-16 (citations omitted).) 18 19 20 21 A. Plaintiff Exhibited Diligence and Good Cause as Required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) 1. Legal Standard Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) provides that the district court must issue a scheduling 22 order that limits the time to join other parties, amend the pleadings, complete discovery, and file 23 motions. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(1)-(3). Once in place, "[a] schedule may be modified only for 24 good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). The "good cause" 25 requirement of Rule 16 primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment. 26 Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). "The district court 27 may modify the pretrial schedule if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party 28 seeking the extension." Id. (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). 2 1 Good cause may be found to exist where the moving party shows, for example, that it: 2 (1) diligently assisted the court in recommending and creating a workable scheduling order, see In 3 re San Juan Dupont Plaza Hotel Fire Litig., 111 F.3d 220, 228 (1st Cir. 1997), (2) is unable to 4 comply with the deadlines contained in the scheduling order due to issues not reasonably foreseeable 5 at the time of the scheduling order, see Johnson, 975 F.3d at 609, and (3) was diligent in seeking an 6 amendment once the party reasonably knew that it could not comply with the scheduling order, see 7 Eckert Cold Storage, Inc. v. Behl, 943 F. Supp. 1230, 1233 (E.D. Cal. 1996); see also Jackson v. 8 Laureate, Inc., 186 F.R.D. 605, 608 (E.D. Cal. 1999). "If [the] party was not diligent, the inquiry 9 should end." Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. If the Court finds that there is good cause to modify the 10 schedule, the court then turns to Rule 15(a) to determine whether the amendment sought should be 11 granted. Jackson, 186 F.R.D. at 607 ("As the Ninth Circuit explained in [Johnson], once the 12 district court has filed a pretrial scheduling order pursuant to Rule 16 which establishes a 13 timetable for amending pleadings, a motion seeking to amend pleadings is governed first by Rule 14 16(b), and only secondarily by Rule 15(a)."). 15 2. 16 Because a scheduling order was issued in this action (Doc. 19), the "schedule may be 17 modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). Whether 18 good cause exists to modify a scheduling order rests on whether the party seeking the modification 19 has been diligent. See Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. Here, Plaintiff did not file this motion within 20 the time constraints set forth by the Court in the scheduling order (Doc. 19, 2:9-11), which set 21 a deadline of April 30, 2014; Plaintiff instead filed the motion on May 1, 2014. Despite 22 Plaintiff’s failure to request a modification to the scheduling order or address why his motion was 23 not timely filed, the Court finds good cause to modify the scheduling order. Analysis 24 Plaintiff seeks to amend the complaint based on information contained in Plaintiff’s 25 employee file, received April 28, 2014, which provides new statutory bases for Plaintiff’s claims. 26 (Doc. 22-1, 7; Doc. 24, 2-3.) 27 discussions prior to the parties’ scheduling conference that Plaintiff reserved the right to amend 28 pleadings if information uncovered during discovery suggested amendment would be necessary. Plaintiff’s counsel made clear during the meet and confer 3 1 (Doc. 22-1, Ex. 2, 3.) On March 10, 2013, Plaintiff served Defendants with written discovery 2 requests. (Doc. 22-1, 5.) On April 1, 2014, Defendants requested an extension to respond to 3 discovery, which Plaintiff granted. Id. In the same email granting Defendants’ request for a 4 discovery extension, Plaintiff requested that Defendants supply a courtesy copy of Plaintiff’s 5 employee file. (Doc. 22-1, Ex. 3, 1.) However, Defendants did not provide the file until April 6 28, 2014. (Doc. 22-1, 5.) Plaintiff was thereafter unable to obtain a stipulation from Defendants’ 7 counsel allowing amendment to the complaint. (Doc. 22-1, 2.) As such, Plaintiff filed the instant 8 motion on May 1, 2014, seeking leave to file a FAC one day after the deadline for the parties to seek 9 amendment to the pleadings as set forth in the Court's scheduling order. 10 In opposition, Defendants note that Plaintiff filed the motion on May 1, 2014, but dated 11 the motion April 30, 2014, in the body of the pleading and in the proof of service. (Doc. 23. 9) 12 Defendants correctly note Plaintiff’s motion was untimely filed, but do not infer lack of diligence 13 or delay by Plaintiff. 14 Although Plaintiff did not timely file its motion to amend, given that Plaintiff (1) sought 15 the employee file through discovery beginning March 10, 2014; (2) granted an extension to 16 Defendants to respond to Plaintiff’s request for production on April 1, 2014; (3) requested a 17 courtesy copy of Plaintiff’s employee file on April 1, 2014; (4) received the employee file only 18 two days prior to the deadline for amending the pleadings; and (5) was unable to obtain a 19 stipulation from Defendants to file an amended complaint; the Court finds Plaintiff did not delay 20 in seeking amendment. Plaintiff filed the motion three days after Plaintiff’s counsel received 21 Plaintiff’s employee file, shortly after receiving the additional information necessary to file the 22 amendment. (Doc. 22-1, 5.) Further, Plaintiff does not seek to modify the schedule, nor did 23 Defendants indicate that a modification to the schedule was necessary regarding the December 1, 24 2014, deadline for non-expert discovery and the February 2, 2015, deadline for expert discovery. 25 (See Doc. 19.) 26 In sum, the scope of amendment does not appear to require modifications to the discovery 27 deadlines, and Plaintiff filed this motion only three days after receiving discovery sought since 28 March 10, 2014, Plaintiff has been diligent in seeking amendment of the complaint. As such, the 4 1 Court turns to Rule 15(a) to determine whether the amendment sought should be granted. 2 Jackson, 186 F.R.D. at 607. 3 B. Plaintiff's Amendment is Warranted Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) 4 1. 5 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 provides that a party may amend its pleading only by Legal Standard 6 leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party, and that leave shall be freely given when 7 justice so requires. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1)-(2). The Ninth Circuit has instructed that the policy 8 favoring amendments "is to be applied with extreme liberality." Morongo Band of Mission Indians 9 v. Rose, 893 F.2d 1074, 1079 (9th Cir. 1990). 10 The factors commonly considered to determine the propriety of a motion for leave to amend 11 are: (1) bad faith, (2) undue delay, (3) prejudice to the opposing party, and (4) futility of amendment. 12 Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). The Ninth Circuit has held that it is the consideration 13 of prejudice to the opposing party that carries the greatest weight. Eminence Capital, LLC v. 14 Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003). Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of 15 any of the remaining Foman factors, a presumption in favor of granting leave to amend exists under 16 Rule 15(a). Id. Further, undue delay alone is insufficient to justify denial of a motion to 17 amend. Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 758 (9th Cir. 1999). Finally, "liberality in granting 18 leave to amend is not dependent on whether the amendment will add causes of action or parties." 19 DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987). Contra Union Pac. R.R. 20 Co. v. Nev. Power Co., 950 F.2d 1429, 1432 (9th Cir. 1991) ("Amendments seeking to add claims 21 are to be granted more freely than amendments adding parties."). 22 2. Analysis 23 Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint by (1) amending the first cause of action for 24 wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and (2) adding a fifth cause of action under the 25 California Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq. (Doc. 22-1, 6.) Defendants contend 26 that Plaintiff’s motion should be denied because it is futile and would cause unnecessary delay. 27 (Doc. 23, 3.) 28 5 1 2 a. Prejudice to the Opposing Party As consideration of prejudice to the opposing party carries the greatest weight, the Court 3 considers this factor first. Eminence Capital, LLC, 316 F.3d at 1052. Prejudice has been found 4 where "[t]he parties have engaged in voluminous and protracted discovery" and where "[e]xpense, 5 delay, and wear and tear on individuals and companies" is shown. See Texaco, Inc. v. Ponsoldt, 6 7 939 F.2d 794, 799 (9th Cir. 1991). Here, Defendants do not contend that the proposed amendment would result in prejudice, 8 and fail to establish that it would cause a delay in the proceedings or additional expense so as to 9 prejudice Defendants. Genentech, Inc. v. Abbott Labs., 127 F.R.D. 529, 530-31 (N.D. Cal. 1989) 10 (nonmoving party bears burden of demonstrating why leave to amend should not be granted). 11 Further, prejudice is unlikely because non-expert discovery extends until December 2014, and 12 expert discovery extends until February 2015. DCD Programs, Ltd., 833 F.2d at 187-88 (finding 13 amendment not prejudicial where discovery commenced but was not yet closed, and no trial date 14 was pending). Thus, this factor does not weigh against permitting amendment. 15 16 b. Bad Faith in Seeking Amendment Defendants do not argue that Plaintiff’s motion to amend is made in bad faith. (Doc. 23.) 17 At this juncture, the Court finds no evidence that Plaintiff is seeking to amend his complaint in bad 18 faith. Thus, this factor does not weigh against amendment. See DCD Programs, Ltd., 833 F.2d at 19 187 ("Since there is no evidence in the record which would indicate a wrongful motive, there is no 20 cause to uphold the denial of leave to amend on the basis of bad faith."). 21 22 c. Undue Delay Plaintiff seeks leave to file a FAC based on newly discovered evidence. (Doc. 22-1, 6.) 23 Defendants assert that Plaintiff should not be permitted to amend the complaint because there are 24 no newly discovered facts; instead, the entire factual predicate for the new claims proposed has 25 been known to Plaintiff since the inception of the litigation – and the proposed claims arising out 26 of those facts were belatedly adopted by Plaintiff's counsel. (Doc. 23. 3-4.) See Kaplan v. Rose, 27 49 F.3d 1363, 1370 (9th Cir. 1994) (giving greater weight to undue delay factor where facts and 28 theories sought to be added were known to moving party early in the litigation). Defendants 6 1 further assert that granting Plaintiff’s motion would cause “unnecessary delay” (Doc. 23, p. 3), and 2 claim Plaintiff’s fifth cause of action under the California Business and Professions Code is “so 3 separate and distinct from the issues raised by Plaintiff’s other causes of action as to inevitably 4 lead to jury confusion and unnecessarily exten[d] the time required for trial . . .” (Doc. 23, 13). 5 While undue delay is a factor for denying leave to amend, "[u]ndue delay by itself is 6 insufficient to justify denying a motion to amend." Bowles, 198 F.3d at 757-58. In addition, 7 although leave to amend may be denied where the factual predicate underlying the amendment 8 was known or should have been known at the time the original complaint was filed, this factor is 9 generally coupled with other Foman factors that, in combination, overcome the strong 10 presumption in favor of allowing amendment. See McNally v. Eye Dog Foundation for the Blind, 11 Inc., No. 1:09-cv-01184-AWI-SKO, 2010 WL 4723073 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 15, 2010); see also Stein 12 v. United Artists Corp., 691 F.2d 885,889 (9th Cir. 1982) (district court's refusal to allow 13 amendment affirmed where motion to amend was late, not based on new facts, and futile). In 14 McNally, the requested amendment was not based on newly discovered facts, the request for 15 amendment came after a schedule had long been in place, the deadline for amendment had passed, 16 the litigation had progressed such that discovery was nearly closed, a summary judgment motion 17 had already been filed, and the trial date was approximately three months away. McNally, 2010 18 WL 4723073 at *10. In Stein, the proposed amended complaint was submitted with a motion for 19 reconsideration after the trial court had already granted motions to dismiss; it was based on new 20 theories, not new facts; and, even considering the amended pleading, the plaintiff lacked standing 21 and the amendment was futile. Stein, 691 F.2d at 898. 22 Here, Defendants note that Plaintiff’s counsel represented Plaintiff in bringing his worker’s 23 compensation claim against Defendants before the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in 24 2011. (Doc. 23, 4.) Therefore, Plaintiff’s counsel was aware of the issues surrounding Plaintiff’s 25 termination since 2011, well before receipt of Defendants’ discovery responses. (Doc. 23, 4.) 26 Plaintiff responds that upon reviewing the employee file received in discovery, new information 27 contained within the file identified additional underlying statutory violations supporting Plaintiff’s 28 first cause of action, and the newly revealed statutory violations also support a fifth cause of 7 1 action. (Doc. 22-1, 5-6; Doc. 24, 2-3.) The exhibits attached to Plaintiff’s motion include 2 emails between Defendants’ agents that are part of Plaintiff’s employee file, which plausibly 3 provide new facts and a basis to amend claims or state additional causes of action. (Doc. 24, 2-3; 4 see, e.g. Doc. 22-1, Exh. 5 at 7.) While Defendants contend that Plaintiff was aware of the facts 5 related to Plaintiff’s underlying injury since August 2011, they do not assert Plaintiff already had 6 the employee file recently produced. (Doc. 23, 4.) In his response, Plaintiff confirms that he only 7 learned of the correspondence which is the basis for his amendment three days prior to filling the 8 motion. (Doc. 24, 3.) In contrast to McNally and Stein, here, Plaintiff has offered a plausible explanation 9 10 why these claims were not included in the original complaint; the discovery received on April 28, 11 2014, contained emails from Plaintiff’s employee file providing new information. Additionally, 12 any delay in this case is not coupled with other Foman factors such that amendment should be 13 disallowed – particularly in light of the presumption in favor of amendment. Here, Plaintiff asserts 14 that Defendants’ production revealed new bases for its claims and, although Plaintiff’s motion was 15 one day late, as discussed above, he filed the motion three days after receipt of the discovery 16 materials. Moreover, discovery has recently begun, no other motions have been filed, and the trial 17 date is 15 months away. Thus, this factor does not weigh against granting the amendment. d. 18 Futility of Amendment Plaintiff’s motion and proposed FAC describe two changes to its original complaint. First, 19 20 Plaintiff seeks to amend his first cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public 1 21 policy (hereafter, “Tameny claim”). Plaintiff contends that due to facts learned in discovery, 22 Plaintiff’s Tameny claim may rest upon violations of California’s Fair Employment and Housing 2 23 Act (“FEHA”) rather than violation of California Labor Code § 132A as initially pled. Second, 24 25 26 27 28 1 In the case of Tameny v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 27 Cal. 3d 167 (1980), the California Supreme Court held that at-will employees may recover tort damages if they can demonstrate that they were discharged in violation of a fundamental public policy. These claims are commonly referred to as Tameny claims. Plaintiff’s first cause of action in both the original complaint and the proposed FAC is a Tameny claim, although the former is based on a violation of the California Labor Code while the latter is based on a violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, Gov. Code §§ 12940 (a), (h), (k), (m), and (n). 2 Specifically, violations of California Government Code §§ 12940 (a), (h), (k), (m), and (n). 8 1 based on the alleged FEHA statutory violations, Plaintiff seeks to add a fifth cause of action under 2 the California Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq. (Doc. 22, 6.) 3 Defendants assert that Plaintiff’s new FEHA-based Tameny claim is futile because: (1) it is 4 barred by the statute of limitations, and (2) it does not relate back to the California Labor Code5 based Tameny claim because the two claims are not connected by a common core of operative 6 facts. (Doc. 23, pp. 6, 10.) Further, Defendants contend Plaintiff’s proposed California Business 7 and Professions Code claim is futile because Plaintiff fails to articulate any facts previously 8 unknown that necessitate the filing of an amended complaint. (Doc. 23, 13.) 9 Although the validity of the proposed amendment is not typically considered by courts in 10 deciding whether to grant leave to amend, such leave may be denied if the proposed amendment is 11 futile or subject to dismissal. Saul v. United States, 928 F.2d 829, 843 (9th Cir. 1991). The test for 12 futility “is identical to the one used when considering the sufficiency of a pleading challenged 13 under Rule 12(b)(6).” Miller v. Rykoff–Sexton, Inc., 845 F.2d 209, 214 (9th Cir. 1988). “[T]o 14 survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to state a facially 15 plausible claim to relief.” Shroyer v. New Cingular Wireless Serv., Inc., 622 F.3d 1035, 1041 (9th 16 Cir. 2010), citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677 (2009). “[D]ismissal for failure to state a 17 claim is ‘proper only where there is no cognizable legal theory or an absence of sufficient facts 18 alleged to support a cognizable legal theory.’” Shroyer, 622 F.3d at 1041, quoting Navarro v. 19 Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). Further, a complaint may be dismissed under Rule 20 12(b)(6) if it was filed outside of the applicable statute of limitations and “the running of the 21 statute is apparent on the face of the complaint.” Huynh v. Chase Manhattan Bank, 465 F.3d 992, 22 997 (9th Cir. 2006). 23 24 i. Defendants do not establish Plaintiff’s Tameny claim is futile Defendants assert Plaintiff’s proposed FEHA-based Tameny claim is futile because the 25 statute of limitations on a FEHA claim is one year, while the statute of limitations on a Tameny 26 claim is two years, and therefore the clock has run on the proposed Tameny claim. Further, 27 Defendants assert the claim cannot be saved by relating back to the original filing because the new 28 claim is not based on a common core of operative facts as the original California Labor Code9 1 based Tameny claim. (Doc. 23.) Plaintiff replies that the statutory basis of a Tameny claim does 2 not affect its statute of limitations; all Tameny claims regardless of statutory basis are governed by 3 the two-year statute of limitations for wrongful termination in violations of public policy; and the 4 proposed amended claim relates back to the original filing date because it arises from the same 5 core of operative facts as the original Tameny claim. (Doc. 24, pp. 4, 9.)) 6 Granting leave to amend is futile where an added claim would be barred by the statute of 7 limitations. Navarro v. Eskanos & Adler, C 06-02231 WHA, 2006 WL 3533039 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 8 7, 2006) (citing Deutsch v. Turner Corp., 324 F.3d 692, n. 20 (9th Cir. 2003)). Later-added 9 claims, however, are timely filed if they relate back to the original pleadings under FRCP 15(c)(2). 10 The rule provides that “an amendment of a pleading relates back to the date of the original 11 pleading when (1) relation back is permitted by the law that provides the statute of limitations 12 applicable to the action, or (2) the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of 13 the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original 14 pleading . . . .” FRCP 15(c). 15 Here, Defendants correctly note that Plaintiff’s proposed FAC replaces the statutory basis 16 for Plaintiff’s Tameny claim. Although Plaintiff’s motion indicates the information learned in 17 discovery allows it to allege “additional statutory violations” supporting its Tameny claim (Doc. 18 22-1, 7) (emphasis added), an examination of the proposed FAC demonstrates Plaintiff removed 19 its initial statutory basis for the claim, California Labor Code § 132A, relying instead on alleged 20 FEHA violations (Doc. 22-2, 6-9). However, Plaintiff’s first cause of action in both the proposed 21 FAC and the original complaint remains a Tameny claim. (Docs. 22, 24.) 22 California law is clear that a FEHA violation may support a Tameny claim. Rangel v. Am. 23 Med. Response W., 1:09-CV-01467-AWI, 2013 WL 1785907 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 25, 2013) (citing 24 City of Moorpark v. Superior Court, 18 Cal. 4th 1143, 1160–61 (1998)). A Tameny claim is a 25 common law cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy which has a 26 two-year statute of limitations, regardless of its statutory basis. Cal. Code Civ. Pro. § 335.1. 27 Here, Plaintiff timely filed his complaint less than two years after his termination by Defendants. 28 (Doc. 22.) The basis for the Tameny claim, whether FEHA or the California Labor Code, does not 10 1 alter the claim’s statute of limitations. In addition, even if the statute of limitations had run, the 2 new claim would relate back to the original filing date, as both the original California Labor Code 3 and the proposed FEHA bases for the Tameny claim stem from a common core of operative facts: 4 those surrounding Plaintiff’s termination by Defendants. Defendants have not established that 5 Plaintiff’s FEHA claim would not relate back to the originally pled Tameny claim under the 6 California Labor Code. 7 8 Defendants have not established Plaintiff’s fifth cause of action is futile 9 In a one-paragraph argument, Defendants state Plaintiff’s proposed fifth cause of action ii. 10 under California’s Business and Professions Code would be futile. Defendants contend that 11 because Plaintiff fails to articulate any facts previously unknown that necessitate the filing of an 12 amended complaint, the claim would inevitably lead to jury confusion and unnecessarily extend 13 the trial time. (Doc. 23, 13.) Defendants’ arguments are vague and do not demonstrate any basis 14 for the Court to find that Plaintiff’s fifth cause of action would be futile. (Doc. 23, 13.) 15 16 e. Conclusion Plaintiff has pled facts in the proposed FAC which, if proven at trial, could result in 17 liability of Defendants. See DCD Programs, 833 F.2d at 190 (Reversing district court’s decision 18 to deny motion to amend because, “[a]ppellants have pleaded facts in their proposed fourth 19 amended complaint which, if proven at trial, would result in liability . . . ”). Defendants have not 20 established Plaintiff’s claims lack sufficient factual matter to state a facially plausible claim for 21 relief, nor have they conclusively established that Plaintiff’s claim is barred by the statute of 22 limitations or fails to relate back to the filing date of the complaint. Further, to the extent 23 Defendants contend Plaintiff’s claim is barred by the statute of limitations, such a matter is more 24 appropriate for the Court’s decision on a dispositive motion. For the above reasons, Plaintiff’s 25 proposed amendment is not futile. 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 11 1 2 III. CONCLUSION Plaintiff has shown good cause and has been diligent in seeking amendment of the 3 complaint. Further, Defendants have not established that they will be prejudiced if Plaintiff is 4 allowed to amend. There is no objective evidence in the record that Plaintiff’s amendment is 5 sought in bad faith, as a credible reason to amend the complaint is provided. Despite the fact that 6 the motion was filed a day late, Plaintiff filed the motion three days after receipt of discovery; 7 thus, the proposed amendment is neither the product of, nor likely to cause, undue delay. Finally, 8 Defendants have not established conclusively that the proposed amendment is futile. 9 As such, Plaintiff’s motion to file an amended complaint is GRANTED. 10 IV. ORDER 11 For the reasons set forth above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 12 1. Plaintiff’s motion to amend the complaint is GRANTED; 13 2. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint that comports to the proposed First 14 Amended Complaint attached as an exhibit to their motion (Doc. 22-2) within three 15 (3) days from the date of this order; and 16 3. 17 Defendants shall file an amended answer as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 18 19 20 IT IS SO ORDERED. 21 22 Dated: June 3, 2014 /s/ Sheila K. Oberto UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 23 24 25 26 27 28 12

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