United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL
J. BRYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Amend Complaint (Dkt. 6) and Plaintiff's Motion to
Appoint Counsel (Dkt. 7). The Court has considered the
pleadings filed regarding the motions, the record, and it is
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
Complaint should be granted, in part, and denied, in part,
and Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel should be
April 21, 2019, Plaintiff Silverio Arenas, Jr., PhD,
proceeding pro se, filed a proposed complaint and motion to
proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”).
Plaintiff's IFP motion was referred to Magistrate Judge
David W. Christel, who ordered Plaintiff to show cause why
his IFP motion should not be denied or pay the $400.00 filing
fee. Dkt. 2. Plaintiff paid the filing fee and filed his
complaint. Dkt. 3. On July 1, 2019, Plaintiff filed the
instant Motion to Amend Complaint and provided the Court with
a proposed amended complaint. Dkt. 6.
proposed amended complaint alleges numerous state and federal
claims against Defendants, who consist of 19 Washington state
employees and officials. See Dkt. 6. The proposed amended
complaint provides that Plaintiff “is a Hispanic,
bilingual/bicultural (Spanish-English/Chicano) individual and
licensed psychologist” who worked for the Washington
Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”)
“as a small business independent contracted [sic]
provider for more than 30 years.” Dkt. 6-1, at 4.
Plaintiff's claims appear to stem from an allegedly
unlawful audit against him by L&I on September 5, 2014.
Dkt. 6-1, at 8. L&I allegedly demanded repayment of $201,
791.86 with interest for services between July 1, 2012,
through June 13, 2014, because of 1, 812 incompliant billing
entries and for Plaintiff's failure to comply with
charting documentation guidelines and procedures. Dkt. 6-1,
at 8. The proposed amended complaint provides, in part, that
the audit and other actions of the defendants were racially
and culturally discriminatory. See, e.g., Dkt. 6-1, at 10.
Plaintiff asks for injunctive relief and claims at least $2,
180, 000.00 in damages. Dkt. 6-1, at 27-28.
before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Amend
Complaint (Dkt. 7) and Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint
Counsel (Dkt. 7). The motions are unopposed, although it is
unclear whether, and it does not appear that, Defendants have
MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
wrote in support of the instant Motion to Amend Complaint,
“[the proposed amended complaint] includes some
typographical and grammatical corrections, as well as some
substantive additions and omissions, while preserving the
same principal elements in the original. The amended document
requests a bench trial instead of a jury trial, asserts a
prima facie presentation, and includes additional defendants
and facts.” Dkt. 6, at 1. Plaintiff also asks
“for the court to extend the already set time deadlines
in my case by thirty to sixty days to allow me to read and
become better informed and knowledgeable[.]” Dkt. 6, at
the Court first discusses Plaintiff's request for leave
to amend; second, Plaintiff's bench trial request; and,
finally, Plaintiff's deadline extension request.
Leave to Amend
Rule 15(a)(2), courts should freely give leave to amend a
complaint when justice so requires, a policy that should
applied with extreme liberality. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2);
Owens v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d
708, 712 (9th Cir. 2001). Courts may decline to grant leave
to amend only if there is strong evidence of “undue
delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments
previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowance of the amendment, [or] futility of
amendment, etc.” Sonoma Cnty. Ass'n of Retired
Employees v. Sonoma Cnty., 708 F.3d 1109, 1117 (9th Cir.
2013) (quoting Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
(1962). “'[T]he consideration of prejudice to the
opposing party carries the greatest weight.'”
Id. (quoting Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir.2003)).
Motion to Amend Complaint is unopposed, and it does not
appear that it would prejudice opposing parties. Plaintiff
states that the proposed amendments provide, in part,
corrections and facts and additional defendants. Dkt. 6.