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Parris v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.

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

July 17, 2019

COLLEEN PARRIS, Plaintiff,
v.
JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a second amended complaint (Dkt. No. 12). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby DENIES in part and GRANTS in part the motion for the reasons explained herein.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 10, 2019, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court against Defendant, alleging discrimination and retaliation claims under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”), Revised Code of Washington §§ 49.60.180 and 49.60.210. (Dkt. No. 1-2.) On January 28, 2019, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Dkt. No. 8-6.) The following day, Defendant removed the case to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 1-2.) Plaintiff retained counsel in this matter on May 21, 2019, and eight days later filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint to join her former supervisor Jonathan Addison as a defendant. (Dkt. Nos. 11, 12.) The proposed second amended complaint also seeks to make technical changes to the previous complaint, such as changing Defendant's business name and reorganizing the facts section. (Dkt. No. 12.)

         In her proposed second amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Addison is employed by Defendant and that he was her supervisor in 2016. (Dkt. No. 12-2 at 12.) Plaintiff further alleges that Mr. Addison discriminated and retaliated against her in violation of WLAD. (Id. at 14.) She alleges the same causes of action against Mr. Addison as she does against Defendant. (Id. at 18-19.) The parties agree that Mr. Addison is a citizen of Washington. (Dkt. Nos. 12-2 at 5, 15 at 5.) Defendant requests that the Court deny leave to amend because Mr. Addison is a non-diverse party who would destroy diversity jurisdiction. (Dkt. No. 15.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         Where a plaintiff has already amended his or her complaint as a matter of right, additional amendments must be made by stipulation or court order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Typically, a court will freely grant leave to amend a complaint in the absence of undue delay, bad faith, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party, or futility of the amendment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). An exception applies when a plaintiff seeks to join a defendant after removal whose joinder would destroy subject matter jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1447(e). In that situation, a court may either deny joinder or allow joinder and remand the case to state court. Id.

         Courts in the Ninth Circuit generally weigh six factors to determine if leave should be granted to join a non-diverse defendant whose joinder will destroy subject matter jurisdiction:

(1) whether the party sought to be joined is needed for just adjudication and would be joined under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19(a);
(2) whether the statute of limitations would preclude an original action against the new defendants in state court;
(3) whether there has been unexplained delay in requesting joinder;
(4) whether joinder is intended solely to defeat federal ...

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