Woods vs City of Reno, et al

Filing 66

ORDER - Plaintiff's motion to for leave to file second amended complaint (ECF No. #39 ) is granted. Defendants' motions to dismiss (ECF Nos. #28 , #31 , #32 ) and motion to file excess page (ECF No. #39 ) are denied as moot. The stipulation for extension of time (ECF No. #49 ) is granted nunc pro tunc. Signed by Judge Miranda M. Du on 4/4/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - DRM) Modified on 4/4/2017 to add hyperlink (DRM).

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 7 *** 8 9 10 11 12 CATHY WOODS (aka ANITA CARTER), by and through her Personal Representative Linda Wade, Case No. 3:16-cv-00494-MMD-VPC ORDER Plaintiff, v. CITY OF RENO, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 16 Plaintiff Cathy Woods aka Anita Carter was exonerated in September 2014 17 through DNA evidence, after having served over 35 years for a murder crime. Plaintiff 18 sues law enforcement officers who were involved in the investigation that led to her 19 charge and conviction, the county district attorney who oversaw the investigation and the 20 City of Reno and Washoe County. Defendants have moved for dismissal. (ECF Nos. 28, 21 31, 32.) In response, Plaintiff moves to amend her complaint (“Plaintiff’s Motion”). (ECF 22 No. 39.) Defendants oppose (ECF Nos. 44, 52) and Plaintiff has replied (ECF Nos. 47, 23 59). For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff’s Motion is granted and Defendants’ 24 motions are denied as moot. 25 Fed. R. Civ. P. 15 allows amendment only by leave of the court once responsive 26 pleadings have been filed and in the absence of the adverse party=s written consent. Fed. 27 R. Civ. P. 15(a); Thornton v. McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., 261 F.3d 789, 799 (9th Cir. 28 2001), superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, 1 763 F.3d 1106, 1112 (9th Cir. 2014). The court has discretion to grant leave and should 2 freely do so Awhen justice so requires.@ Allen v. City of Beverly Hills, 911 F.2d 367, 373 3 (9th Cir. 1990) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)). Nonetheless, courts may deny leave to 4 amend if it will cause: (1) undue delay; (2) undue prejudice to the opposing party; (3) the 5 request is made in bad faith; (4) the party has repeatedly failed to cure deficiencies; or (5) 6 the amendment would be futile. Leadsinger, Inc. v. BMG Music Publ=g, 512 F.3d 522, 532 7 (9th Cir. 2008). “In exercising its discretion, ‘a court must be guided by the underlying 8 purpose of Rule 15 C to facilitate a decision on the merits rather than on the pleadings or 9 technicalities.=@ DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987) 10 (quoting United States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1981)). 11 Plaintiff insists that she is seeking leave to amend to add allegations to address 12 the issues raised in Defendants’ motions to dismiss. (ECF No. 39.) Defendants respond 13 that Plaintiff adds more allegations, drops one defendant and the allegations in the 14 proposed complaint are not sufficient to show personal jurisdiction over the two out of 15 state defendants. (ECF Nos. 47, 59.) 16 The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the Court should grant leave to amend, given 17 Rule 15’s liberal standard. Defendants argue that amending the complaint to counter their 18 motion to dismiss demonstrates a lack of good faith. (ECF No. 44 at 3.) To the contrary, 19 judicial economy is served where, as here, a plaintiff seeks leave to amend the complaint 20 to address the issues asserted in a motion to dismiss to minimize court intervention. As 21 for the issue of whether the additional allegations asserted in the proposed amended 22 complaint are enough to give the Court personal jurisdiction over the two out of state 23 defendants, the Court finds that it would also serve the purpose of judicial economy to 24 resolve that issue in a subsequent motion to dismiss, where the Court has the benefit of 25 full briefing based on the allegations in the amended complaint instead of piece meal 26 arguments raised in Defendants’ opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion and Plaintiff’s reply. 27 It is therefore ordered that Plaintiff’s motion to for leave to file second amended 28 complaint (ECF No. 39) is granted. Defendants’ motions to dismiss (ECF Nos. 28, 31, 32) 2 1 and motion to file excess page (ECF No. 39) are denied as moot. The stipulation for 2 extension of time (ECF No. 49) is granted nunc pro tunc. 3 4 DATED THIS 4th day of April 2017. 5 MIRANDA M. DU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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