United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for
leave to file a second amended complaint (Dkt. No.
Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and
the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument
unnecessary and hereby GRANTS in part and DENIES in part the
motion for the reasons explained herein.
acting pro se, brought civil rights claims pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against Ryan Boyer and Jeffrey
Miller of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office in July
2016 (Dkt. No. 10) (Amended Civil Rights Complaint).
Plaintiff alleged that in July 2014 Boyer and Miller used
unlawful excessive force in apprehending him, most notably:
strikes to the back of Plaintiff's head, partially
severing Plaintiff's ear; kicks to Plaintiff's face,
resulting in a broken tooth, a broken nose, lacerations, a
loss of consciousness, and long-term disfigurement and
disability; and kicks to Plaintiff's torso. (Dkt. No. 10 at
5-13.) The Court dismissed all claims against Miller with
prejudice in March 2017. (Dkt. No. 50 at 5.)
the April 2017 appointment of pro bono counsel,
Plaintiff and Boyer stipulated to limited discovery and
briefing in August 2017 solely on the issue of Boyer's
qualified immunity. (Dkt. No. 60) Most recently, the Court
granted in part and denied in part Boyer's motion for
partial summary judgment on this issue. (Dkt. No. 110.) The
Court held that Plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to
avoid summary judgment as to Boyer's qualified immunity
defense with regards to the alleged kicks to Plaintiff's
face and torso while Plaintiff lay on the ground, but not to
the alleged earlier blows to the back of Plaintiff's
head. (Id. at 10.) The Court has yet to set a trial
date. Nor has it set a discovery schedule or other case
management deadlines relating to issues other than qualified
immunity on Plaintiff's section 1983 claim.
now seeks leave to add negligent hiring, supervising, and
retaining claims against Snohomish County and to include
additional facts relevant to the proposed claims. (Dkt. No.
92); (see Dkt. No. 91 at 6-13.) Plaintiff also seeks
leave to add state law battery and outrage claims against
Boyer. (Dkt. No. 92); (see Dkt. No. 91 at 13-14).
Boyer opposes the proposed amendments and requests attorney
fees. (Dkt. No. 100 at 3-13.)
Court is afforded discretion to grant leave to amend and
“should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The generosity in
granting leave to amend is “to be applied with extreme
liberality.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051-52 (9th Cir. 2003). Courts are
to consider five factors in granting leave to amend: (1) bad
faith, (2) undue delay, (3) prejudice to the opposing party,
(4) futility of amendment, and (5) whether the pleading has
previously been amended. United States v. Corinthian
Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011). An
amendment is futile if it adds a claim that could not
withstand a motion to dismiss. Jones v. Cmty.
Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, 733 F.2d 646,
650-51 (9th Cir. 1984). However, prejudice “carries the
greatest weight.” Eminence Capital, LLC, 316
F.3d at 1052. “Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of
any of the remaining . . . factors, there exists a
presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to
Claims Against the County
opposes the addition of claims against the County on the
basis that they are time-barred and futile. (Dkt. No. 100 at
3-7.) Before turning this argument, a brief summary of the
events leading to Boyer's employment with the County is
in order. Boyer was originally hired by the City of Snohomish
as a police officer in 2007. (Dkt. No. 91 at 36.) This
followed Boyer's (XXXXX) (Dkt.
No. 93 at 51, 74.) Following Boyer's hire by the City,
the City later contracted with the Snohomish County Sheriffs
Office (“SCSO”) for its law enforcement needs.
(See Dkt. No. 91 at 39-42.) A number of the
City's officers, including Boyer, were hired by SCSO.
(Id.) At the time, Boyer consented to the release to
SCSO of “any and all public and private information . .
. concerning me, my work record, my background and
reputation, my education and/or training, my military service
record, my criminal history, including any arrest records and
any information contained in investigatory files.”
(Id. at 44.) SCSO indicated it needed this
information “to thoroughly investigate [Boyer's]
employment background and personal history.”
application for a position with the City,
Statute of Limitations
threshold matter, Boyer asserts that the proposed claims
against the County are time-barred. (Dkt. No. 100 at 5.)
However, the discovery rule tolls the otherwise-applicable
three-year statute of limitations. Wash. Rev. Code §
4.16.080 (statute of limitations for negligence claims);
Affiliated FM Ins. Co. v. LTK Consulting Services,
Inc., 15 F.Supp.3d 1116, 1128 (W.D. Wash. 2014) (citing
Hipple v. McFadden, 255 P.3d 730, 735 (Wash. App.
2011)) (statute of limitations tolls ...