UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
December 6, 2011
STEVEN BULLOCK, PLAINTIFF,
FORD MOTOR COMPANY,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER REGARDING APPLICATION
ALLOWING FIRST AMENDED
On December 1, 2011, Plaintiff Steven Bullock filed an Application and Proposed Order Allowing First Amended Complaint and Declaration of Erika M. Nicolalde. (Doc. 13.) More particularly, Plaintiff requests the Court permit the filing of a First Amended Complaint "without hearing or notice, as provided by Federal Code of Civil Procedure Rule 15." (Doc. 13 at 1.) Plaintiff explained the amendment was necessary to correct the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) reflected in the original complaint. (Doc. 13 at 2.)
Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows:
(a) Amendments Before Trial.
(1) Amending as a Matter of Course. 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 or 21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f), whichever is earlier.
(2) Other Amendments. In all other cases, 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.
Because Defendant Ford Motor Company filed its answer to Plaintiff's complaint on August 29, 2011 (Doc. 7), Rule 15(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not apply as more than twenty-one days have passed under all circumstances described therein. Therefore, Plaintiff is required to obtain Defendant's written consent or this Court's leave in order to amend his complaint. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). In the absence of a stipulation between the parties concerning the requested amendment, Plaintiff should seek this Court's leave by way of a noticed motion. See Local Rule 230.
Nevertheless, in this instance, because the amendment sought is ministerial in nature, the Court is inclined to grant Plaintiff's application. However, despite Plaintiff's assertion that the First Amended Complaint was attached to his application, the Court was not provided with any attachment.
In light of the foregoing, Plaintiff is DIRECTED to file the proposed First Amended Complaint within seven (7) days of the date of this Order. The First Amended Complaint shall reflect only a change of the "VIN number of the subject vehicle stated in the original complaint from 1FTWW31R56EC41915 to 1FTWW31R58EC41915." (See Doc. 13-2.) Assuming Plaintiff files such an amended complaint, Defendant shall have twenty-one (21) days within which to file its answer. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(3).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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