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United States of America v. Vincent Steven Booth

September 17, 2012

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
VINCENT STEVEN BOOTH, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER REGARDING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA'S MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT (Document 60)

RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On July 25, 2012, Plaintiff United States of America filed its Notice of Motion and Motion to Amend Complaint. The matter was originally set before District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on August 27, 2012. (Doc. 60.)

In a signed minute order dated July 26, 2012, the motion was reset to August 31, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. before the undersigned. (Doc. 61.)

On August 19, 2012, Defendants Acacia Corporate Management, LLC, Mariposa Holdings, Inc., and Michael Scott Ioane filed their opposition to the motion. (Doc. 64.)

On August 28, 2012, the motion was taken off calendar and under submission for written findings, pursuant to this Court's Local Rule 230(g). As explained below, Plaintiff's motion will be granted.

DISCUSSION

Legal Standards

Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff may amend his complaint once "as a matter of course," and without leave of court, before a response has been filed. Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 845 (9th Cir. 1995). However, a party can only amend the pleading with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave once a responsive pleading has been filed. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Here, Defendants filed responsive pleadings to Plaintiff's first amended complaint on April 11, 2012, thus, leave of Court is required. (Doc. 46.)

The United States Supreme Court has stated that

[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).

This policy is "to be applied with extreme liberality." Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted). The Ninth Circuit has summarized the factors to be considered by the court to include: (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). However, not all of these factors merit equal weight. Eminence Capital, LLC, v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d at 1052. It is the consideration of prejudice that carries the ...


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