United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO FILE AMENDED ANSWER ECF NO. 12
STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.
On January 21, 2015, Defendants Millennium Acquisitions, LLC and Timeless Investments, Inc. ("Defendants") filed a motion for leave to file an amended answer. Plaintiff Ronald Moore ("Plaintiff") filed an opposition on January 28, 2015. (ECF No. 14.) Defendants filed a reply on February 17, 2015. (ECF No. 15.)
The Court finds it appropriate for Defendants' motion to be submitted upon the records and briefs on file without the need for oral argument. Accordingly, the Court will vacate the hearing scheduled for February 25, 2015. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Defendants' motion.
Plaintiff filed the complaint in this action on September 9, 2014. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff brought claims against Defendants under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants operate an Arco AM/PM located at 6725 North Golden State Boulevard in Fresno, California. Plaintiff alleges that he encountered barriers that interfered with Plaintiff's ability to visit the business due to Plaintiff's disabilities, such as uneven pavement, heavy doors, narrow pathways and items which were out of Plaintiff's reach.
Defendants filed their answer to Plaintiff's complaint on October 3, 2014. (ECF No. 6.) On January 21, 2015, Defendants filed the present motion seeking leave to amend their answer. (ECF No. 12.) Defendants seek to amend their answer to add an affirmative defense of "fraud." The new affirmative defense alleges:
As and for a eighteenth, separate and distinct affirmative defense, Defendant alleges that the plaintiff's business plan and operation is to sue small businesses as a plaintiff for ADA claim and that he has deliberately sought, located and sued Defendant not to redress an actual injury or barrier but to gain money by way of his ADA suits which he frequently and numerously files throughout State of California. Therefore, Defendant claims that Plaintiff is engaged in fraud by his acts, including the lawsuit on file herein.
(Not. of Mot. and Mot for Leave to File a First Am. Answer by Defs. Millennium Acquisitions, LLC and Timeless Investments, Inc., Ex. 1 at pg. 5:14-20.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) states that "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." "This policy is to be applied with extreme liberality." C.F. ex rel . Farnan v. Capistrano Unified School Dist., 654 F.3d 975, 985 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051 (9th Cir. 2003)) (internal quotations omitted).
In determining whether to grant leave to amend, the Court considers factors should 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, or futility of amendment. Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining factors, ...