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Lopez v. Yale

August 3, 2008

ANDREW LOPEZ, PLAINTIFF,
v.
YALE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT

(Doc. 265)

ORDER DENYING REQUEST FOR TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS

(Doc. 267)

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO WITHDRAW CONSENT TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE JURISDICTION AND MOTION FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL

(Doc. 268)

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding on Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim against defendant Yale ("defendant").

Jury trial was completed in this matter on June 23, 2008 with the jury unable to reach a verdict. On July 7, 2008, plaintiff filed a motion to amend his complaint, a request for a copy of the trial transcript at government expense, a motion to withdraw his consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, and a motion for appointment of counsel. (Docs. 265, 267, 268). On July 25, 2008, a Scheduling Conference was held in this action, and plaintiff's motions were heard. The court now issues the instant order.

Motion to Amend Complaint

On July 7, 2008, plaintiff moved to amend his complaint, to include additional facts to support his Eighth Amendment claim against defendant.

Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served. Otherwise, a party may amend only by leave of the court or by written consent of the adverse party, and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). In this case, a responsive pleading has been served. Therefore, plaintiff may not file a third amended complaint without leave of court.

"Rule 15(a) is very liberal and leave to amend 'shall be freely given when justice so requires.'" AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysis West, Inc., 445 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)). However, courts "need not grant leave to amend where the amendment: (1) prejudices the opposing party; (2) is sought in bad faith; (3) produces an undue delay in the litigation; or (4) is futile." Id. The factor of "'[u]ndue delay by itself . . . is insufficient to justify denying a motion to amend.'" Owens v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 712,13 (9th Cir. 2001) (quoting Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 757-58 (9th Cir. 1999)).

In the instant case, the court finds that justice does not require granting plaintiff's motion to amend, particularly at this late stage of the proceedings. Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure calls only for a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Rule 8(a) expresses the principle of notice-pleading, whereby the pleader need only give the opposing party fair notice of a claim. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957). Rule 8(a) does not require an elaborate recitation of every fact a plaintiff may ultimately rely upon at trial, but only a statement sufficient to "give the defendant fair notice of what the plaintiff's claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Id. at 47. Plaintiff acknowledges that his claims and ...


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