United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND
W. CHRISTEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action
filed by Plaintiff Jesus Chavez Flores to United States
Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Presently before the
Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
(“Motion”), in which he seeks to amend his
Amended Complaint.Dkt. 45.
Court concludes the interests of justice require giving leave
to amend. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion (Dkt. 45) is
represented by counsel, filed his Motion on May 21, 2018.
Dkt. 45. ICE Defendants do no oppose the filing of the Second
Amended Complaint. Dkt. 46, p. 5. However, GEO Defendants
filed a Response, arguing the filing of a Second Amended
Complaint would unduly prejudice GEO Defendants and that the
filing of the Second Amended Complaint is being done in bad
faith. Dkt. 50. Plaintiff file a Reply, arguing there was
nothing to bar this Court from liberally granting leave to
amend. Dkt. 52.
to Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave. The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” “Rule 15(a) is very liberal and leave
to amend ‘shall be freely given when justice so
requires.'” AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysis
West, Inc., 464 F.3d 946, 951 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 757 (9th Cir. 1999)).
“In determining whether leave to amend is appropriate,
the district court considers ‘the presence of any of
four factors: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the
opposing party, and/or futility.'” Owens v.
Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 712 (9th
Cir. 2001) (quoting Griggs v. Pace Am. Group, Inc.,
170 F.3d 877, 880 (9th Cir. 1999)). Because leave to amend
should be freely given, “the nonmovant bears the burden
of showing why amendment should not be Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss (Dkt. 38) are also pending in this action. The
Court will address those Motions in a separate Report and
Recommendation. granted.” Senza-Gel Corp. v.
Seiffhart, 803 F.2d 661, 666 (9th Cir. 1986). Thus, all
inferences must be drawn in favor of the moving party.
Griggs, 170 F.3d at 880.
ICE Defendants do not oppose the Motion, GEO Defendants do.
Dkt. 50. GEO Defendants first argue the Second Amended
Complaint contains patently false factual allegations.
Id. However, the Court must draw all inferences in
favor of the moving party. Griggs, 170 F.3d at 880.
Thus a factual dispute at this stage is immaterial to
determining whether to grant leave to amend.
Defendants argue further Plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint will prejudice GEO Defendants because, by adding
Defendant McMahon as a named Defendant, his professional
reputation would be tarnished by frivolous allegations, he
would be subjected to additional time and money to defend
against the allegations, and the Second Amended Complaint has
no basis in good faith. Id. However, adding
Defendant McMahon as a party is not sufficient to show
prejudice against him. See DCD Programs, Ltd. v.
Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987)
(“[Liberally] granting leave to amend is not dependent
on whether the amendment will add causes of action or
parties.”). “‘Prejudice' in the context
of a motion to amend, means ‘undue difficulty in
prosecuting a lawsuit as a result of a change of tactics or
theories on the part of the other party, '” and GEO
Defendants have not shown how speculative harm to Defendant
McMahon's reputation has inhibited him from defending
himself here. Wizards of the Coast LLC v. Cryptozoic
Entertainment LLC, 309 F.R.D. 645, 652 (W.D. Wash. 2015)
(quoting Deakyne v. Cmmsrs. Of Lewes, 416 F.2d 290,
300 (3d Cir. 1969)). Similarly, the prospect of additional
expense in defending against the allegations does not of
itself establish prejudice. See Nissou-Rabban v. Capital
One Bank, 285 F.Supp.3d 1136, 1145 (S.D. Cal. 2018)
(“[T]he expenditure of additional monies or time do not
constitute undue prejudice.”). GEO Defendants have not
shown they will be prejudiced by granting leave to amend.
Defendants have also not shown Plaintiff unduly delayed the
proceedings by filing his Motion because the action is still
at an early stage -- discovery has not even begun. It appears
Plaintiff filed the Motion in good faith because he has now
named Defendant McMahon, a Defendant who he could not name
previously. See Dkt. 52, pp. 3-4. It also appears
Plaintiff filed the motion in good faith because some of his
Second Amended Complaint responds to ICE Defendants'
arguments that the Court lacks jurisdiction contained in
their Motion to Dismiss. Id., p. 4. Further, the
amendment is not futile because, as amended, GEO Defendants
have not demonstrated there is “no set of facts”
that would constitute a claim for which relief could be
granted. Miller v. Rykoff Sextion, Inc., 845 F.2d
209, 214 (9th Cir. 1988).
reasons stated above, the Court grants Plaintiff's
Motion. Dkt. 45. Plaintiff may file his Second Amended
Complaint on or before June 26, 2018. Dated this 19th day of