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United Tactical Systems, LLC v. Real Action Paintball, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 26, 2017

UNITED TACTICAL SYSTEMS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
REAL ACTION PAINTBALL, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER RE: RENEWED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES RE: DKT. NO. 410

          MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         The Court has twice denied Defendants and Counterclaimants Real Action Paintball, Inc. and K.T. Tran's (together, “Real Action”) requests to file a first amended answer and affirmative defenses. First First Am. Answer (“FAA”) Order (“First FAA Order”), Dkt. No. 277; Second FAA Order, Dkt. No. 396. Real Action has filed a second Renewed Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 15(a) and 16. Mot., Dkt. No. 410. Plaintiff United Tactical Systems, LLC (“UTS”) and related Counter-Defendants[1] (together with UTS, “Counter-Defendants”) filed an Opposition (Dkt. No. 422) and Real Action filed a Reply (Dkt. No. 439). Having considered the parties' positions, the relevant legal authority, and the record in this case, the Court DENIES the Motion for the following reasons.[2]

         BACKGROUND

         The Court's prior Orders set forth a detailed factual and procedural history of this action. See Order re: Mots. for Summ. J. (“MSJ Order”), Dkt. No. 348; Second FAA Order.

         As is relevant to this Motion, on August 26, 2016, the Court denied Real Action's first Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Answer. See First FAA Order at 8-9; First FAA Mot., Dkt. No. 247. Real Action sought to assert two new affirmative defenses based on “release” and on statute of limitations grounds. Id. at 8; First Proposed FAA at 34-35, Dkt. No. 247-1. The Court found Real Action failed to provide an adequate factual basis for its defenses, which precluded the Court from “weigh[ing] the factors associated with determining whether leave should be granted.” See First FAA Order at 8-9. In addition, the Court found Real Action failed to provide a basis for why justice required the amendment. Id. at 9. The Court accordingly denied Real Action's Motion without prejudice. Id.

         Five months later, Real Action again moved for leave to amend its Answer to assert affirmative defenses based on a release and on statute of limitations grounds. Second FAA Mot., Dkt. No. 335; see Second Proposed FAA at 34-35, Dkt. No. 355-1. The Court denied this Motion as well. See Second FAA Order. The Court found Real Action had unduly delayed in seeking amendment and that UTS would be prejudiced if Real Action were permitted to amend its Answer. Id. at 4-8. The Court also noted Real Action had filed its Motion long after the July 14, 2016 deadline to amend the pleadings. Id. at 9 (“Whereas Real Action first moved to amend prior to the amended pleadings deadline, it filed the [second] Motion approximately six months after the deadline.”); see Case Management Order, Dkt. No. 218. Real Action had not, however, complied with Civil Local Rule 16-2(d) which, along with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16, sets forth the requirements for seeking relief from a case management order. Second FAA Order at 9-10. The Court found that this, coupled with the undue delay and prejudice, warranted denial of the Motion. Id. at 10.

         Now for a third time, Real Action seeks leave to amend its Answer to assert two affirmative defenses:

SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiff's claims are barred because Plaintiff's predecessor-in-interest, Advanced Tactical Ordnance Systems, LLC released Real Action Paintball, Inc. from all claims it had against it by operation of a certain Confidential Settlement Agreement and Mutual General Release (“Settlement Agreement”) that released a partner of Real Action, Conrad Sun. Because Plaintiff is asserting claims that it alleges to have acquired from Advanced Tactical Ordnance Systems, LLC, those claims do not exist because Advanced Tactical Ordnance Systems, LLC released Real Action. Because Plaintiff's claims against defendant K.T. Tran are predicated on him being vicariously liable for claims against Real Action Paintball, Inc. those claims are also subject to this defense of release.
SEVENTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
One or more of Plaintiff's claims is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, including the two-year statute of limitations for claims under the Lanham Act, because the operative facts pleaded in the Complaint occurred more than two years before ATO and UTS filed their complaints against Real Action Paintball, Inc. and K.T. Tran.

         Third Proposed FAA at 34-35, Dkt. No. 410-1 (emphasis in original). These proposed affirmative defenses are largely the same as the affirmative defenses Real Action sought to assert twice before. See ...


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