United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND TO AMEND SCHEDULING ORDER TO
PERMIT ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Debra Quinn's
(“Quinn”) motion for leave to file first amended
complaint and to amend scheduling order to permit additional
discovery. Dkt. 141. The Court has considered the pleadings
filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the
remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion for the
reasons stated herein.
April 18, 1993, the City hired Quinn as an Assistant City
Attorney. Dkt. 1, ¶ 9. Quinn worked on labor and
employment matters. Dkt. 92, ¶ 3.
factual background of this case is dense and extensive. It is
set out in the Court's order on Defendants' motions
for summary judgment issued concurrently with the instant
November 21, 2017, Quinn filed a complaint against the City
of Vancouver (“City”), City Manager Eric Holmes
(“Holmes”), City Attorney Bronson Potter
(“Potter”), and Chief Assistant City Attorney
Jonathan Young (“Young”) (collectively,
“Defendants”) asserting causes of action for sex
discrimination in violation of federal and state laws,
retaliation in violation of federal and state laws, violation
of her First Amendment right to free speech, outrage,
negligent supervision, breach of implied contract, and
violation of her Fourteenth Amendment right to equal
protection. Dkt. 1. On April 25, 2019, the City filed a
motion to dismiss. Dkt. 74. On June 12, 2019, the City filed
a motion to disqualify Quinn's counsel. Dkt. 109. Also on
June 12, 2019, Holmes filed a motion for summary judgment,
Dkt. 100, Potter and Young filed a joint motion for summary
judgment, Dkt. 102, and the City filed a motion for summary
judgment, Dkt. 107.
26, 2019, the City terminated Quinn's employment. Dkt.
118. On July 2, 2019, Quinn filed an emergency motion to stay
summary judgment proceedings and reopen discovery.
Id. On July 10, 2019, the Court denied the motion,
finding that unless Quinn requested and was granted leave to
add new claims to her complaint, good cause to continue the
remaining deadlines and pending trial date was only
hypothetical. Dkt. 130 at 2-3.
August 1, 2019, Quinn filed the instant motion for leave to
file first amended complaint and to amend scheduling order to
permit additional discovery. Dkt. 141. On August 8, 2019, the
Court denied the City's motion to dismiss and denied the
City's motion to disqualify Quinn's counsel. Dkt.
142. On August 12, 2019, Defendants filed responses to
Quinn's motion to amend. Dkts. 148, 150, 152. On August
15, 2019, Quinn replied to her motion to amend. Dkt. 153. On
August 19, 2019, in an order issuing concurrently with the
instant Order, the Court denied in part and granted in part
Defendants' motions for summary judgment.
seeks to amend her complaint to add two claims related to her
termination: (1) wrongful discharge in violation of public
policy, and (2) violation of her right to due process and
liberty interests under the Fourteenth Amendment. Dkt. 141-2.
She seeks to bring the wrongful discharge claim against all
Defendants and seeks to bring the due process claim against
the City. Id.
a party seeks to amend a pleading after the pretrial
scheduling order's deadline for amending the pleadings
has expired, the moving party must satisfy the ‘good
cause' standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
16(b)(4), which provides that ‘[a] schedule may be
modified only for good cause and with the judge's
consent,' rather than the liberal standard of Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a).” In re W. States
Wholesale Nat. Gas Antitrust Litig., 715 F.3d 716, 737
(9th Cir. 2013). This good cause standard “primarily
considers the diligence of the party seeking the
amendment.” Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations,
Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). “If the
moving party ‘was not diligent, the inquiry should
end.'” Neidermeyer v. Caldwell, 718 Fed.
App'x 485, 489 (9th Cir. 2017), cert. denied,
No. 17-1490, 2018 WL 2046246 (U.S. Oct. 1, 2018) (quoting
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609). A party which “has
been aware of the facts and theories supporting amendment
since the inception of the action” and has failed to
amend despite opportunity to do so has not been diligent.
Id. at 488-89 (quoting In re W. States, 715
F.3d at 737 (internal quotation mark omitted)).
deadline for amended pleadings in this case was June 28,
2018. Dkt. 26. Quinn's employment was terminated on June
26, 2019. Dkt. 118. The Court denied Quinn's emergency
motion to stay summary judgment and re-open discovery on July
10, 2019. Dkt. 130. Quinn filed the instant motion to amend
on August 1, 2019. Dkt. 141. While the City and Holmes argue
that Quinn was not diligent in bringing the instant motion to
amend, the Court disagrees. See Dkt. 148 at 4-5;
Dkt. 150 at 1-2. Far from being aware of the facts and
theories relevant to the new claims since the inception of
the action, see Neidermeyer, 718 Fed. App'x at
488-89, Quinn became aware of the facts underlying these
claims approximately six weeks prior to filing the instant
motion. Thus, the Court finds that Quinn has shown good cause
to supplement her pleadings and was diligent in bringing the
instant motion. Having met her initial burden, the Court
turns to the propriety of the proposed amendments.