Tamara v. El Camino Hospital et al

Filing 22

Order by Hon. Ronald M. Whyte granting 19 Motion for Leave to File. (rmwlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/23/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Case No. C-12-01032-RMW ABIGAYIL TAMARA, Plaintiff, ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT v. EL CAMINO HOSPITAL; DAVID DIGANT; and DOES 1-20, Inclusive, [Re Docket No. 19] Defendant. 18 19 20 On December 21, 2012, plaintiff Abigayil Tamara filed a motion to amend her complaint 21 to add factual allegations and drop a request for injunctive relief under Civil Code section 55, 22 replacing it with a new cause of action under California Unfair Competition Law. Pl.'s Br. 2, Dkt. 23 19. Defendants, who have filed an answer to plaintiff's original complaint, have neither stipulated 24 to the amendment nor filed an opposition to plaintiff's request. Def.'s Resp., Dkt. 11; Pl.'s Br. 2. 25 The court will decide the issue without oral argument. N.D. Cal. Civ. R. 7-1(b). Having 26 considered all written materials submitted, plaintiff's motion is GRANTED. 27 28 ORDER CASE NO. C-12-01032-RMW SG -1- 1 I. 2 3 A. DISCUSSION Legal Standard Under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, once an answer has been filed, a 4 5 party may amend a pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party. See 6 Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). A court “should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” Id. 7 10 The United States Supreme Court has stated: In the absence of any apparent or declared reason-such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowing the amendment, futility of the amendment, etc.-the leave sought should, as the rules require, be “freely given.” 11 Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9 L.Ed.2d 222 (1962). 8 9 This policy is “to be applied with extreme liberality.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, 12 13 Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted). Absent prejudice or a strong 14 showing under one of the other Foman factors, “there exists a presumption under rule 15(a) in 15 favor of granting leave to amend.” Id. 16 17 B. Analysis Plaintiff, a person with disability, had alleged in her original complaint that defendants 18 unlawfully prohibited her service dog from entry into the psychiatric ward of the hospital. 19 Compl., Dkt. 1. The proposed First Amended Complaint (FAC) makes new allegations of 20 physical barriers to access, limited to guest rooms only. Pl.'s Br. 3. In addition, the proposed 21 FAC drops claims under Civil Code section 55 and replaces it with claims under California 22 Business and Professions Code section 172000 et seq., the Unfair Competition Law. Pl.'s Br. 4. 23 Although defendants refused to stipulate, records indicate that they were informed of the 24 proposed amendments as early as November 7, 2012. Decl. of Celia McGuiness, Dkt. 20. 25 Furthermore, plaintiff contends that defendants will not be prejudiced by the amendment and that 26 it will not cause undue delay. Pl.'s Br. 6. 27 28 Because defendants have not filed an opposition to plaintiff's motion, the court's decision is based on its review of the pleadings and docket in this matter. Having considered the ORDER CASE NO. C-12-01032-RMW SG -2- 1 applicable factors, the court concludes that permitting the amendment will not cause undue delay 2 or prejudice, nor is plaintiff's request futile or made in bad faith. II. 3 4 ORDER For the foregoing reasons, the court GRANTS plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a First 5 Amended Complaint. Plaintiff must file her amended complaint by February 1, 2013. The 6 January 25, 2013 hearing on the motion is VACATED. The case management conference 7 scheduled for January 25, 2013, will be held as scheduled. 8 9 10 Dated: January 2013 Ronald M. Whyte United States District Court Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER CASE NO. C-12-01032-RMW SG -3-

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