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Boparai v. Shinseki

May 2, 2010

ROSIE BOPARAI, M.D., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC K. SHINSEKI, SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, DEFENDANT.



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

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO INCLUDE DR. DEAN NORMAN AS A DEFENDANT (Document 18)

On April 19, 2010, Plaintiff Rosie Boparai, M.D., filed the instant motion to include Dr. Dean Norman as a Defendant. The matter was heard on April 30, 2010, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Plaintiff Rosie Boparai, M.D., telephonically appeared in pro per. Jeffrey Lodge, Assistant United States Attorney, appeared on behalf of Defendant Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, United States Department of Veterans Affairs ("Defendant").

BACKGROUND

On July 6, 2009, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed the instant complaint. Plaintiff seeks relief pursuant to Title VII, claiming retaliation for "prior EEOC" activity. Complaint, p. 1.

On January 13, 2010, Defendant filed an answer to the complaint.

On February 9, 2010, the parties filed a joint scheduling report. In the report, Plaintiff indicated that she wished to add Dr. Dean Norman as defendant to the action in his official capacity as the Chief of Staff of Greater Los Angeles Healthcare. Plaintiff also reserved her right to include any individuals who conspired in any way. The United States contended that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in his official capacity, is the only proper defendant under Title VII.

On February 17, 2010, the Court issued a Scheduling Order, setting the non-expert discovery deadline as September 16, 2010, and the expert discovery deadline as December 16, 2010.

On April 19, 2010, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to include Dr. Dean Norman, Chief of Staff at Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in Los Angeles, CA, as a defendant in his official capacity.

On April 28, 2010, Defendant filed an opposition to the motion.

DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

Plaintiff essentially seeks to amend the complaint to name Dr. Norman as a defendant in his official capacity. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that the Court "should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires." The United States Supreme Court has stated:

[i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason -- such as 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, futility of amendment, etc. -- the leave sought should, as the rules require, be "freely given."

Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). The Ninth Circuit has summarized the factors to be considered to include the following: (1) undue delay; (2) bad faith; (3) prejudice to the opponent; and (4) futility of amendment. Loehr v. Ventura County Cmty. Coll. Dist., 743 F.2d 1310, 1319 (9th Cir. 1984). Granting or denial of leave to amend rests in the sound discretion of the trial court. Swanson v. United States Forest Serv., 87 F.3d 339, 343 (9th Cir. 1996). Despite the policy favoring amendment under Rule 15, leave to amend may ...


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