United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE AMENDED ANSWER AND COUNTERCLAIMS
J. BRYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Leave to File Amended Answer and Counterclaims. Dkt. 11. The
Court has considered the motion and any materials filed in
support and opposition thereto, and it is fully advised.
reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion for Leave to
File Amended Answer and Counterclaims should be granted.
claims arise out of a traffic stop that took place on
September 1, 2017. Dkt. 1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Police Chief Darwin Armitage used excessive force and racial
profiling in the course of the stop. Plaintiff filed her
complaint in Pierce County Superior Court on January 14,
2019, and Defendants removed the case to this Court on
February 8, 2019. Defendants filed their answer to
Plaintiff's complaint on March 4, 2019.
the Parties exchanged limited discovery, Defendants decided
to pursue counterclaims of intentional infliction of
emotional distress, defamation, false light, and malicious
prosecution. Dkt. 11, at 2-3. These claims are based upon
alleged statements and social media posts made by Plaintiff
after the traffic stop incident. Dkt. 12-1, at 40. Defendants
requested that Plaintiff stipulate to Defendants'
proposed amended answer, including the counterclaims, but
Plaintiff's counsel declined. Dkt. 12-1, at 39.
filed the instant motion for leave to amend on August 5,
2019. Dkt. 11.
filed a response in opposition to the instant motion. Dkt.
14. Plaintiff argues that the counterclaims are frivolous,
unduly delayed, and futile. Dkt. 14. Plaintiff argues that
the counterclaims stem from incidents that occurred on
September 2, 2017, and September 5, 2017, and are subject to
a two-year statute of limitations, except for malicious
prosecution, which has a three-year statute of limitations.
Dkt. 14 at 1-3. Plaintiff argues, “Unless the Court
grants the Defendants' Motion before September 2, 2019,
the statute of limitations will run as to anything contained
in Ms. Weber's September 2, 2017 Facebook posting. The
same holds true for the September 5, 2017 Facebook
posting.” Dkt. 14, at 3.
filed a reply in support of the instant motion for leave to
amend. Dkt. 15. Defendants argue, in part, that the claims
are not time-barred and, even if the Court were to rule on
the instant motion after September 2, 2019, or September 5,
2019, the amendments would relate back to Defendants March 4,
2019 Answer to Plaintiffs Complaint for Damages. Dkt. 15.
ON MOTION TO AMEND
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1), “[a] party may amend its
pleading once as a matter of course within (A) 21 days after
serving it or (B) if the pleading is one to which a
responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a
responsive pleading . . ” Rule 15(a)(2) provides that
“a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave. The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” A motion to amend under Rule 15(a)(2)
“generally shall be denied only upon showing of bad
faith, undue delay, futility, or undue prejudice to the
opposing party.” Chudacoff v. University Medical
Center of Southern Nevada, 649 F.3d 1143, 1152 (9th Cir.
instant motion for leave to amend should be granted.
Plaintiff has not shown bad faith, undue delay, futility, or
that Plaintiff will suffer undue prejudice if Defendants are
given leave to file the proposed amendments. Therefore,
Defendants' instant motion for leave to amend should be
granted, and Defendants should be given until September 10,
2019, to file a clean copy of their amended answer and
the Court will rule on this motion before September 2, 2019,
it need not discuss whether the proposed amendments relate