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Citizens Development Corporation, Inc v. County of San Diego; City of San

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 5, 2012

CITIZENS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO; CITY OF SAN
DIEGO; CITY OF ESCONDIDO; VALLECITOS WATER DISTRICT; HOLLANDIA DAIRY, INC.; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irma E. Gonzalez United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE FIRST PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR AMENDED COMPLAINT [Doc. No. 58]

Before the Court is Plaintiff Citizens Development Corporation, Inc.'s motion for leave to file a first amended complaint adding money damages claims against Defendant Vallecitos Water District for continuing nuisance, continuing trespass, and equitable indemnity, as well as a claim for injunctive relief pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. [Doc No. 58.] For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.

DISCUSSION

"The court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires." FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a). The Ninth Circuit instructs that this policy is "to be applied with extreme liberality." Owens v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 712 (9th Cir. 2001). Against this liberal policy, courts may consider "the presence of any of four factors: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the opposing party, and/or futility." Owens, 244 F.3d at 712. But there is a presumption in favor of leave to amend absent prejudice or a strong showing of one of the other factors. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003).

Here, all factors weigh towards granting Plaintiff leave to file the proposed amended complaint. There is no evidence of bad faith or undue delay. Nor is any prejudice posed by the additional causes of action because the case remains in its earliest stages. Indeed, no Defendants even filed an opposition and the one Defendant to which the new claims pertain, Vallecitos Water District, stipulates to the proposed amendment, [see Doc. No. 56, Ex. 2]. Finally, the Court cannot conclude at this time that Plaintiff's new claims would be futile.*fn1 See, e.g., Netbula, LLC v. Distinct Corp., 212 F.R.D. 534, 539 (N.D. Cal. 2003)("Ordinarily, courts will defer consideration of [futility] . . . until after leave to amend is granted and the amended pleading is filed."). Accordingly, the Court hereby GRANTS Plaintiff leave to file a first amended complaint by no later than Friday, October 12, 2012.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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