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Ridola v. Chao

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

June 22, 2017

RACHELLE RIDOLA, Plaintiff,
v.
INGRID CHAO, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND [RE: ECF 36]

          BETH LAB SON FREEMAN, United States District Judge

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Rachelle Ridola (“Ridola”)'s motion for leave to file a first amended complaint (“FAC”) adding allegations directed to accessibility barriers identified during the joint site inspection. Mot. 2, ECF 36-1. The time to oppose the motion has elapsed and no opposition has been filed. Pursuant to Civ. L.R. 7-1(b), the Court finds Ridola's motion for leave to amend suitable for submission without oral argument and hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for October 26, 2017. As set forth below, the Court finds that the factors weigh in favor of granting leave and hereby GRANTS the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Ridola brings this suit against Ingrid Chao and Nelson Chao (collectively, “Defendants”), d/b/a Executive Inn-Morgan Hill (“Motel”), for allegedly failing to make the Motel and its parking lot accessible to all customers regardless of disability. Compl., ¶¶ 1-2, ECF 1. The complaint was filed on April 25, 2016. Mot. 2. The joint site inspection was conducted on August 5, 2016. Id.; Ex. B to Mot. Ridola avers that the joint sit inspection report identified 46 accessibility barriers related to her disability. Id.; Mot. 2.

         The parties attended a court-sponsored mediation on December 20, 2016 and a settlement conference held by Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins on May 6, 2017. Mot. 2. However, no settlement was reached.

         On March 23, 2017, the parties appeared for an initial case management conference and the Court subsequently issued a scheduling order, setting the last day to amend the pleadings 60 days from the date of the order - May 22, 2017.

         On May 9, 2017, Ridola asked Defendants to stipulate to the proposed FAC but Defendants did not respond to the request. Id. at 3. Ridola then filed the instant motion on May 22, 2017. Mot.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Where, as here, a party moves to amend its pleadings on or before the deadline to amend the pleadings, a motion for leave to amend is evaluated under Rule 15. See Coleman v. Quaker Oats Co., 232 F.3d 1271, 1294 (9th Cir. 2000).

         Rule 15 provides that “[t]he court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). In deciding whether to grant leave to amend, the Court must consider the factors set forth by the Supreme Court in Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178 (1962), and discussed at length by the Ninth Circuit in Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048 (9th Cir. 2009). A district court ordinarily must grant leave to amend unless one or more of the Foman factors is present: (1) undue delay, (2) bad faith or dilatory motive, (3) repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendment, (4) undue prejudice to the opposing party, and (5) futility of amendment. Eminence Capital, 316 F.3d at 1052. “[I]t is the consideration of prejudice to the opposing party that carries the greatest weight.” Id. However a strong showing with respect to one of the other factors may warrant denial of leave to amend. Id.

         III. DISCUSSION

         The factor of “repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendment” does not apply here because this would be the first amendment of the complaint. However, the Court finds that the remaining factors weigh in favor of granting leave to amend for reasons set forth below.

         A. Undue Delay; Bad Faith or Dilatory Motive

         Ridola argues that even if there has been some delay in seeking leave to amend, the delay is not undue and she is seeking this amendment in good faith. Mot. 5. Specifically, Ridola first attempted to resolve the case during the December 20, 2016 mediation and later during the May 6, 2017 settlement conference. Id. Ridola avers that she was under a good faith belief that a settlement would be forthcoming and so believed that amending the complaint would be unnecessary and premature. Id. Moreover, Ridola claims that the amendment does not add ...


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