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Lindberg v. Mabus

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

February 21, 2018

RAY MABUS, Defendant.


          Ronald B. Leighton, United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the following:

         (1) Plaintiff Lindberg's “Motion to Withdraw Document # 40” (so titled in CM/ECF) [Dkt. #41]. The title of the document itself is “Motion for Amend Case.” Document #40 is a (proposed) amended complaint, filed without leave of court. The purpose of the filing is not clear, but the court will treat Dkt. #41 as a Motion for Leave to Amend, and to file the amended complaint she already filed at Dkt. # 40.

         Leave to amend a complaint under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a) “shall be freely given when justice so requires.” Carvalho v. Equifax Info. Services, LLC, 629 F.3d 876, 892 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing Forman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)). This policy is “to be applied with extreme liberality.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051 (9th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted). In determining whether to grant leave under Rule 15, courts consider five factors: “bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the opposing party, futility of amendment, and whether the plaintiff has previously amended the complaint.” United States v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011) (emphasis added). Among these factors, prejudice to the opposing party carries the greatest weight. Eminence Capital, 316 F.3d at 1052.

         A proposed amendment is futile “if no set of facts can be proved under the amendment to the pleadings that would constitute a valid and sufficient claim or defense.” Gaskill v. Travelers Ins. Co., No. 11-cv-05847-RJB, 2012 WL 1605221, at *2 (W.D. Wash. May 8, 2012) (citing Sweaney v. Ada County, Idaho, 119 F.3d 1385, 1393 (9th Cir. 1997)).

         Neither Lindberg's proposed amended complaint nor the motion meet even the liberal Rule 15 standard. First, despite their length, none of Lindberg's complaints articulates any fact or allegation to the Defendant-the Secretary of the Navy-she sued. Her recent filing does not state a plausible claim against anyone, certainly not Spencer. Instead, it is a long, vague list of complaints by other people and about other people, including Alison McKay:

         I, Anne Lindberg can prove without a doubt Alison L. McKay made money practicing law in Washington State and introduced her herself as an Attorney. The Defendant's Agency introduced Alison L. McKay as an Attorney for the Defendant.

         Information of facts was submitted to my previous WSBA # Attorney Jonah Harrison unbeknown to me are the results of any motion for the attorneys have refused to disclose to me the Pro Se Plaintiff As grounds therefore, plaintiff provide as follows for Amendment of Complaint:

         Request for production sent do the U.S, attorney Sarah Morehead on December/2017 and January/2018 related to the investigation of Case 3:16-cv-05671RBL by EEO office at the PSNS & IMF Refueling Facility in Bremerton-WA (DON), by the DCPAS/Department of Defense (DoD), by EEOC Office in Seattle-WA, and San Francisco-CA. Judges involved on Case 3:16-cv-05671 were Steven Gaffin Seattle Office, and Daniel Leach, Supervisory Judge Terrie Brodie California Office. Agency designated Counsel or attorney was Alison L McKay and Complainant's designated representative (Under MD-110) was Ceu Alves.

         [Dkt. # 41 at 4] This has nothing to do with Richard Spencer, or the Navy, or Lindberg's employment there. It does have something to do, apparently, with a series of cases filed by Joe Ann West, and Lindberg implausibly claims that she learned about West (and McKay) through “Google.” But this Court already pointed out the similar “McKay” allegations-and the similar use of “assistant” Ceu Alves-in a prior Order in this case. [See Dkt. # 38] In any event, McKay has not appeared in this case. Any claim based on the argument that she practiced law without a license and thus that Lindberg (or West) was wrongly discharged, (or that the Navy is liable to Lindberg for McKay's conduct) is nonsensical. The proposed pleading does not state a plausible claim against the defendant, it articulates no basis for relief or demand for relief, it has no coherent statement of facts about the Plaintiff or her employment or termination, and permitting its filing would be futile. Furthermore, it has been more than a year and a half since this case was filed, and much more than that since the events outlined in Lindberg's filings. There is no reason for the undue delay in asserting these “claims” even if they were plausible or related to Lindberg.

         The Motion to Amend to file the proposed amended complaint is DENIED. The operative complaint remains Dkt. #1, the sex discrimination employment complaint.

         (2) Lindberg's Motion to Compel Discovery [Dkt. # 43] and related “Emergency Motion to Compel” [Dkt. # 44]. Lindberg seeks broad discovery into cases and events that appear to have no connection to her. For example, she seeks information about her assistant Ceu Alves, and she seeks salary information about DOJ attorneys who may or may not have played some role in the case:

Produce the U.S. DOJ Assistant Attorney Jamal White N. Whitehead pay for the date for 08/07/2015 and 08/14/2015. Produce Agency Counsel Alison L. McKay pay for 08/07/15 and 08/14/15. Produce Alison L. McKay pay grade as a Licensed attorney practicing law and/or litigating in Washington State from 1999 to 2016. Request to redact all files, records, and/or documents for PII and PHI.

         [Dkt. # 44 at 5]. The Secretary opposes the requests as well beyond the scope of legitimate discovery in this sex discrimination case. He also points out that Lindberg's Motion fails to follow the Civil Rules. He is correct. It is not clear what Lindberg is trying to accomplish with these ...

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