United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND (ECF
BARBARA A. McAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Anthony Craig Huckabee (“Plaintiff”) is a state
prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This
action proceeds on Plaintiff's fifth amended complaint
against Defendants Wu, McGuinness, Enenmoh, Jeffreys, and
Jimenez in their individual capacities for deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment. (ECF Nos. 195, 199.)
September 11, 2017, Plaintiff lodged a sixth amended
complaint without filing a motion seeking leave to amend.
(ECF No. 228); Fed.R.Civ.P. 7(b), 16(b)(4). On September 15,
2017, the Court issued an order requiring Plaintiff to file a
motion seeking leave to amend within thirty days. (ECF No.
229.) Plaintiff filed a motion to amend on September 25,
2017. (ECF No. 231.) Defendants Enenmoh, Jeffreys, Jimenez,
and Wu filed an opposition on October 17, 2017, (ECF No.
232), and Plaintiff filed a “traverse” in reply
on October 26, 2017, (ECF No. 234). Defendant McGuinness did
not file a response, and the deadline to file a response has
expired. The motion is deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(1).
asserts in his motion that good cause exists for the filing
of his sixth amended complaint because the Court's
Discovery and Scheduling Order of June 16, 2017, (ECF No.
216), states that the deadline for amending the pleadings is
December 16, 2017. Plaintiff states that he timely lodged his
sixth amended complaint, but inadvertently did not include
the motion seeking leave to amend. Plaintiff therefore
requests review pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b) and an order directing Defendants to file
an answer. (ECF No. 231.)
Enenmoh, Jimenez, Wu, and Jeffreys oppose the motion, arguing
that Plaintiff has failed to articulate any good cause to
justify the proposed amendment and Plaintiff's proposed
sixth amended complaint is an attempt to resurrect claims and
defendants already dismissed from this case. (ECF No. 232.)
Defendants argue that the proposed sixth amended complaint
disregards the Court's previous findings and screening
orders, and suffers from many of the same defects as
Plaintiff's prior complaints. Defendants argue that
permitting the amendment will result in delay and prejudice
to Defendants, and given Plaintiff's refusal to comply
with guidance from the Court regarding the applicable legal
standards, the proposed amendment is futile. (Id.)
Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party
may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course
at any time before a responsive pleading is served.
Otherwise, a party may amend only by leave of the court or by
written consent of the adverse party. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a).
“Rule 15(a) is very liberal and leave to amend shall be
freely given when justice so requires.”
AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysist West, Inc., 465
F.3d 946, 951 (9th Cir. 2006) (citation and quotation
courts “need not grant leave to amend where the
amendment: (1) prejudices the opposing party; (2) is sought
in bad faith; (3) produces an undue delay in litigation; or
(4) is futile.” Id. These factors do not carry
equal weight. Prejudice is the most important factor to
consider. Jackson v. Bank of Hawaii, 902 F.2d 1385,
1387 (9th Cir. 1990).
initiated this action in 2009. Since that time, Plaintiff has
filed five amended complaints, and the Court has issued four
screening orders setting forth the applicable legal standards
for stating a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF
Nos. 12, 19, 174, 195.) More than twenty-one days have passed
since Defendants filed responsive pleadings or motions to
dismiss the fifth amended complaint.
case, given Plaintiff's pro se status and his reliance on
the Court's Discovery and Scheduling Order, the Court
declines to find bad faith. However, the Court finds
significant prejudice, undue delay, and futility here that
warrant the denial of Plaintiff's motion for leave to
amend. Plaintiff seeks to revive claims and defendants
previously dismissed by the Court, and as such, further
amendment would be futile. See Hartmann v. CDCR, 707
F.3d 1113, 1130 (9th Cir. 2013) (“A district court may
deny leave to amend when amendment would be futile.”)
The Court will not expend additional resources screening and
requiring Defendants to answer an amended complaint that does
little to cure the deficiencies identified by numerous prior
Conclusion and Order
Plaintiff's motion for leave to amend his complaint, ...