United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE: RENEWED MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST
AMENDED ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES RE: DKT. NO.
MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge
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 (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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...