IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
April 30, 2012
JULIUS ANDERSON, PLAINTIFF,
O. TOWNE; ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Carlos T. Bea United States Circuit Judge
Plaintiff Julius Anderson ("Anderson") has moved to amend his Seventh Amended Complaint to join additional parties associated with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("the CDCR defendants") under Fed. R. Civ. P. 19 and 20. The gravamen of Anderson's argument is that the CDCR defendants should be joined because they "are in exclusive possession of necessary witnesses and records necessary for [Anderson] to establish his case." Anderson thus apparently seeks to use Rule 19 as an aid to discovery and presentation of evidence at trial. The argument that joinder is necessary because "the testimony and records of the absent parties are crucial to a proper determination of this case . . . confuses the role of the absent persons as witnesses with their role as parties." Trans Pacific Corp. v. South Seas Enters., Ltd., 291 F.2d 435, 436 (9th Cir. 1961). Facilitating discovery and presentation of evidence at trial are not within the bounds of Rule 19:
[T]he question of whether or not an entity or individual should be a party to an action is something quite different from the questions and problems associated with obtaining evidence from such an entity or individual. Rule 19 . . . does not list the need to obtain evidence from an entity or individual as a factor bearing upon whether or not a party is necessary or indispensable to a just adjudication. Costello Publ'g Co. v. Rotelle, 670 F.2d 1035, 1044 (D.C. Cir. 1981).
Rule 20 also does not justify joinder. Rule 20 allows permissive joinder of defendants if "any right to relief is asserted against them." Anderson has identified no specific right to relief asserted against the CDCR defendants.
Accordingly, the Anderson's motion to amend the Seventh Amended Complaint is DENIED. Any further motions to amend shall be accompanied by a proposed Amended Complaint.
CARLOS T. BEA United States Circuit Judge, sitting by designation
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