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Estate of Nathan Prasad, Deceased, By and Through Mary Prasad; Mary Prasad v. County of Sutter; J. Paul Parker

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


November 19, 2012

ESTATE OF NATHAN PRASAD, DECEASED, BY AND THROUGH MARY PRASAD; MARY PRASAD;
T.P., A MINOR; AND A.P., A MINOR,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COUNTY OF SUTTER; J. PAUL PARKER, SUTTER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SHERIFF;
DAVID SAMSON, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL DIVISION COMMANDER;
NORMAN BIDWELL, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL CORRECTIONS LIEUTENANT;
LOU ANNE CUMMINGS, SUTTER COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER;
AMERJIT BHATTAL, SUTTER COUNTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES -- HEALTH DIVISION;
BRENT GARBETT, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL NURSE PROGRAM MANAGER;
DORIS BROWN, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL ADVANCED REGISTERED NURSE PRACTITIONER;
MELODY YOUNG, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL LICENSED VOCATIONAL NURSE;
BALJINDER RAI, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL DEPUTY OFFICER;
SHANE DICKSON, SUTTER COUNTY JAIL DEPUTY OFFICER; UNKNOWN JAIL EMPLOYEE I; FREMONT-RIDEOUT HEALTH GROUP;
MICHAEL FRATERS, D.O.; AND DOES I THROUGH LX,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs move under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 15(a)(2) for leave to file a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") to add eight new defendants and factual allegations against them. Defendants County of Sutter, Parker, Samson, Bidwell, Cummings, Bhattal, Garbett, Brown, Young, Rai, and Dickson ("Defendants") oppose the motion, arguing that amendment would be "premature" or "futile." (Opp'n 2:8, 2:12.) Plaintiffs rejoin that their motion is "not premature, but instead was made in good faith and in compliance" with the Court's Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order and that their SAC is not futile, since it "alleges specific facts . . . which, if proven, would . . . plainly state claims against the newly-named defendants." (Reply 2:24-25, 6:16.) Rule 15(a)(2) provides that "[t]he court should freely grant leave [to amend a pleading] when justice so requires." "'This policy is to be applied with extreme liberality.'" C.F. ex rel. Farnan v. Capistrano Unified Sch. Dist., 654 F.3d 975, 985 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051 (9th Cir 2003)).

In 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). Here, there is no contention of undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive, repeated failure to cure deficiencies, or undue prejudice. Rather, Defendants' arguments are that the amendment would be "premature" or "futile." (Opp'n 2:8, 2:12.) In evaluating arguments for denying leave to amend, "[n]ot all of the factors merit equal weight." Eminence Capital, 316 F.3d at 1052. Instead, "it is the consideration of prejudice to the opposing party that carries the greatest weight. . . . Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining Foman factors, there exists a presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend." Id.; Capistrano Unified School Dist., 654 F.3d at 985 (same). Defendants have not shown that they would be prejudiced by Plaintiffs' proposed amendment; nor that another Foman factor favors denial of the motion.

Accordingly, Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have ten (10) days leave from the date on which this Order is filed to file the SAC.

20121119

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