United States District Court, S.D. California
AHMED S. ADAN, an individual, Plaintiff,
INSIGHT INVESTIGATION, INC. A California corporation; and DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE AN AMENDED COMPLAINT [Dkt. No. 15.]
GONZALO P. CURIEL United States District Judge
the Court is Plaintiff's motion for leave to file an
amended complaint. (Dkt. No. 15.) An opposition and reply
were filed. (Dkt. Nos. 17, 19.) After a review of the briefs,
the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion for leave to file an
November 15, 2016, the case was removed from state court.
(Dkt. No. 1.) According to the complaint, on February 20,
2015, Plaintiff Ahmed Adan (“Plaintiff”) received
a written offer of employment as a “Call Center Fit
Expert” with Road Runner Sports (“RRS”).
(Dkt. No. 1-2, Compl. ¶ 14.) On the same day, RRS
requested an employment background check report from
Defendant Insight Investigations, Inc.
(“Defendant”). (Id. ¶ 15.) Part of
the background check involved a criminal history report.
(Id. ¶ 17.) The criminal history report for
Plaintiff disclosed a criminal history of an individual who
did not share the same middle name as Plaintiff.
(Id. ¶ 21.)
the discrepancy in the middle initials, Defendant disclosed
the criminal history report of the other named person on
Plaintiff's employment background check report which was
sold to RRS. (Id. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff was informed
he could not be hired because of the criminal history
information. (Id. ¶ 24.) Plaintiff immediately
disputed the information with Defendant but Defendant failed
to comply with certain provisions of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (“FCRA”). He alleges that Defendant
failed to utilize reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum
possible accuracy of information on Plaintiff's
background check report required by 15 U.S.C. §
1681e(b), failed to use strict procedures to ensure that the
reported public records information for employment purposes
was complete and up to date as mandated by 15 U.S.C. §
1681k(a)(2), and failed to disclose to Plaintiff a true copy
of the original report upon request as required by 15 U.S.C.
§ 1681g(a). (Id.)
February 22, 2017, a scheduling order was filed by the
Magistrate Judge setting a deadline of March 24, 2017 as the
date to file any motion to amend the pleadings. (Dkt. No.
12.) On March 24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to
file an amended complaint. (Dkt. No. 15.) Plaintiff seeks to
add a cause of action that Defendant failed to provide
Plaintiff a written notice of reinvestigation required under
15 U.S.C. § 1681i(a)(6). Defendant opposes the motion
arguing there was undue delay in bringing the motion and the
motion is being brought in bad faith.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 15(a),
leave to amend a complaint after a responsive pleading has
been filed may be allowed by leave of the court and
“shall freely be given when justice so requires.”
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). Granting leave to amend rests in the
sound discretion of the trial court. Internat'l
Ass'n of Machinists & Aerospace Workers v. Republic
Airlines, 761 F.2d 1386, 1390 (9th Cir. 1985). This
discretion must be guided by the strong federal policy
favoring the disposition of cases on the merits and
permitting amendments with “extreme liberality.”
DCD Programs Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186
(9th Cir. 1987).
Rule15(a) favors a liberal policy, the nonmoving party bears
the burden of demonstrating why leave to amend should not be
granted. Genentech, Inc. v. Abbott Labs., 127 F.R.D.
529, 530-31 (N.D. Cal. 1989). In assessing the propriety of
an amendment, courts consider several factors: (1) undue
delay, (2) bad faith or dilatory motive; (3) repeated failure
to cure deficiencies by amendments previously permitted; (4)
prejudice to the opposing party; and (5) futility of
amendment. Foman, 371 U.S. at 182; United States
v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir.
2011). These factors are not equally weighted; the
possibility of delay alone, for instance, cannot justify
denial of leave to amend, DCD Programs, 833 F.2d at
186, but when combined with a showing of prejudice, bad
faith, or futility of amendment, leave to amend will likely
be denied. Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 758 (9th
Cir. 1999). The single most important factor is whether
prejudice would result to the non-movant as a consequence of
the amendment. William Inglis & Sons Baking Co. v.
ITT Continental Baking Co., 668 F.2d 1014, 1053 (9th
argues there was undue delay in seeking the amendment as
Plaintiff waited six months after the original complaint was
filed, after the initial disclosures were exchanged, after
the ENE was held and after the court's scheduling order
was filed, to file a motion for leave to amend the complaint.
According to Defendant, Plaintiff's failure to explain
the delay is fatal to his motion. Next, Defendant contends
that Plaintiff is bringing his motion in bad faith as
Plaintiff was expressly notified and aware of Defendant's
reinvestigation of the report and Plaintiff misunderstood
Defendant's directions after Plaintiff disputed the
information. Plaintiff replies that there has been minimal
delay in seeking the amendment and there is a factual issue
as to whether Plaintiff was aware of Defendant's
reinvestigation of the report and whether Plaintiff
misunderstood Defendant's directions.
undue delay, the Court looks at whether the moving party
unduly delayed in filing their motion. Jackson v. Bank of
Hawaii, 902 F.2d 1385, 1388 (9th Cir. 1990).
making such a determination, the court looks at
“whether the moving knew or should have known the facts
and theories raised by the amendment in the original
not clear when Plaintiff learned of the facts to support the
proposed fourth cause of action; nonetheless, Plaintiff
timely raised a motion for leave to amend complaint according
to the court's scheduling order. While the proposed
fourth cause of action may not have been raised until six
months after the filing of the complaint, the case is still
in its early stages that undue delay cannot be shown from the
filing of Plaintiff's motion. See Zoe Mktg., Inc. v.
Impressions, LLC, 14cv1881 AJB(WVG), 2015 WL 12216340,
at *2 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 9, 2015) (“undue delay will not
result from granting Defendant leave to amend given that the
case remains in the early stages of discovery.”).
Moreover, even if Defendant could establish undue delay,
“delay alone . . . cannot justify denial of leave to
amend, ” DCD Programs, 833 F.2d at 186. Since
Defendant has not demonstrated any of the other factors to
oppose the motion, undue delay does not warrant denial of the
motion. See Bowles, 198 F.3d at 758. The Court
concludes that Plaintiff did not unduly delay in bringing the
can be bad faith in bringing an amendment if the party seeks
to prolong meritless litigation by adding baseless amendments
to their complaint or if there is any evidence of wrongful
motive. Jones v. Bates, 127 F.3d 839, 847 n. 8 (9th
Cir. 1997); Griggs v. Pace American Group, Inc., 170
F.3d 877, 881 (9th Cir. 1999); DCD Programs. Ltd.,
833 F.2d at 187. Here, Defendant's argument that
Plaintiff “was expressly notified and well aware of
Defendant's reinvestigation of the report” and that
Plaintiff misunderstood Defendant's directions after he
disputed the information, present factual disputes and do not