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Arenas v. Inslee

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

July 26, 2019

SILVERIO ARENAS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
JAY INSLEE, et al., Defendant.

          ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT AND PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL

          ROBERT J. BRYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS 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 fully advised.

         For the 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 denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On 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.

         Plaintiff's 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.

         Pending 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 been served.

         II. DISCUSSION

         1. MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

         Plaintiff 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 2.

         Below, the Court first discusses Plaintiff's request for leave to amend; second, Plaintiff's bench trial request; and, finally, Plaintiff's deadline extension request.

         a. Leave to Amend

         Under 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)).

         Plaintiff's 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. ...


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