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Murray v. City of Carlsbad

June 28, 2010

SHAWN MURRAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CARLSBAD AND MARK RENO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO JOIN ADDITIONAL PARTIES

Plaintiff Shawn Murray ("Plaintiff") has filed a motion to join additional parties. For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's motion to join additional parties is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

On November 18, 2008, Plaintiff commenced this action against the City of Carlsbad (the "City") and Lieutenant Marc Reno ("Reno"), alleging violations of his civil rights in connection with his August 17, 2008 arrest for domestic violence and the subsequent search of his vehicle and home.

A scheduling order was entered in this case on May 13, 2009. The scheduling order set deadlines for disclosures, witness identification, and pretrial motions. There was no deadline given for the addition of parties.

On March 18, 2010, Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint ("SAC"). According to the SAC, on August 18, 2008, six Carlsbad police officers responded to a call of domestic violence at Plaintiff's address. The officers responding to the scene were Reno, Sergeant Gilbert Beason ("Beason"), Officer Domingo Parra ("Parra"), Officer Derek Harvey ("Harvey"), Officer Dzung Luc ("Luc"), and Detective Eric Prior ("Prior"). (SAC ¶ 10.) Reno was the highest ranking officer at the scene, and the other five officers took directions from him. (SAC ¶ 11.) The officers placed Plaintiff under arrest for domestic violence despite Plaintiff's protestations that Ms. Carpenter, the alleged victim of the domestic violence, had stolen keys from his house, broken into his truck, and forced her way back into his house. (SAC ¶ 12.) The police officers then proceeded to search Plaintiff's vehicle and home without his consent and without a warrant, and seized firearms, baseball tickets, a bottle of wine, and two badge wallets. (SAC ¶ 13.) The SAC asserts § 1983 claims for false arrest and unlawful search against the City and Reno.

Depositions of Parra, Harvey, Luc, Beason, and Reno were completed on March 19, 2010.

Plaintiff now seeks to add Beason, Harvey, and Parra as defendants to the unlawful search claim. Plaintiff seeks to add Luc as a defendant to the false arrest claim.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

When a scheduling order is in place, modifications to the schedule can only be made after a showing of good cause. Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992). The good cause standard under Rule 16(b) "primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment," and the district court may modify the schedule "if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension." Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 advisory committee notes (1983 amendment)). If good cause is shown, then the amendment must be shown to be proper under Rule 15.

Under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, leave to amend a complaint should be freely given when justice so requires. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). "Liberality in granting a plaintiff leave to amend is subject to the qualification that the amendment not cause undue prejudice to the defendant, is not sought in bad faith, and is not futile." Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 757 (9th Cir. 1999). Courts may also consider whether there has been undue delay. Id. However, undue delay by itself is insufficient to justify denying a motion to amend. Id.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Applicable Standard

Defendants contend that Plaintiff is subject to the good cause standard of Rule 16(b) because a scheduling order has been entered in this case. The good cause standard, however, does not supplant the liberal Rule 15 standard immediately upon the entry of a scheduling order. Rather, the good cause standard applies only when a party seeks to modify a scheduling order after a ...


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