United States District Court, E.D. California
RONALD PADILLA, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated, Plaintiff,
SKYTEL SYSTEMS, LLC, Defendant.
ORDER VACATING HEARING DATE AND CONTINUING STATUS
CONFERENCE ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (DOC. 15)
BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pending before the Court is Plaintiff Ronald Padilla's
motion for leave to file a first amended complaint pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2). (Doc. 11.)
Defendant SkyTel Systems, LLC is in default and did not file
a timely opposition to the motion pursuant to Local Rule
230(c). (Doc. 7.) In the absence of any opposition, the Court
finds the motion appropriate for resolution without oral
argument and the hearing currently set for September 11,
2019, is VACATED. See Local Rule 230(g). The matter
is deemed submitted.
considered the record and briefs on file, Plaintiff's
motion for leave to amend shall be GRANTED.
March 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed a purported class action
complaint against SkyTel System, LLC regarding alleged
violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act
(“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227. Plaintiff
contends that SkyTel Systems, LLC violated the TCPA by
“placing calls using an automatic telephone dialing
system (“ATDS”) to the cellular telephones of
consumers nationwide without their prior express written
consent.” (Doc. 1, Complaint at 1.) Plaintiff and other
purported class members received these calls from telephone
number (800) 205-4259 and “when [the] number is called
back, a recording states: ‘Welcome to the SkyTel System
. . . .” (Id. at ¶¶ 9, 11.) On June
12, 2019, default was entered against SkyTel Systems, LLC.
August 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for leave
to amend to name the proper defendant in this action.
Plaintiff asserts that further research has revealed that
SkyTel Corp., not SkyTel Systems, LLC, is the owner of the
number (800) 205-4259. (Doc. 11, Pl's Mtn. at ¶ 3.)
Plaintiff reportedly subpoenaed Verizon Global Business, LLC,
the telephone company that provides service for (800)
205-4259, requesting “information related to the
ownership of the telephone number (800) 205-4259, from
03/15/15 to the present.” (Doc. 11-1, Declaration of L.
Timothy Fisher, Ex. B at 1.) In response, Verizon Global
Business provided Plaintiff with the following name and
address: “Bell Industries-Skytell, 188 E Capitol St.,
Suite 1390, Jackson, MS 39201.” (Id. at 3).
Plaintiff asserts that further investigation revealed that in
December 2006, Bell Industries, Inc. acquired a
Mississippi-based company named “SkyTel Corp.”
(Doc. 11, Pl's Mtn. at ¶ 4.) Plaintiff therefore
believes that SkyTel Corp. is the owner of the phone number
(800) 205-4259 and is the entity that placed the calls that
form the basis of this action. (Id.) Plaintiff
therefore requests leave to file a First Amended Class Action
Complaint to add SkyTel Corp. as a defendant in this action
and to dismiss all claims against Skytel Systems, LLC.
15(a) provides that a court “should freely give leave
[to amend] when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(2). The United States Supreme Court has stated:
[i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason-such as
undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments
previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment,
etc. -the leave sought should, as the rules require, be
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). The intent
of the rule is to “facilitate decision on the merits,
rather than on the pleadings or technicalities.”
Chudacoff v. Univ. Med. Center of S. Nev., 649 F.3d
1143, 1152 (9th Cir. 2011). Consequently, the “policy
of favoring amendments to pleadings should be applied with
‘extreme liberality.'” United States v.
Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1981).
evaluate a motion to amend under Rule 15, the Court considers
the following factors: (1) undue delay; (2) bad faith; (3)
prejudice to the opponent; and (4) futility of amendment.
Loehr v. Ventura County Cmty. Coll. Dist., 743 F.2d
1310, 1319 (9th Cir. 1984). These factors are not of equal
weight as prejudice to the opposing party has long been held
to be the most critical factor in determining whether to
grant leave to amend. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003) (“As
this circuit and others have held, it is the consideration of
prejudice to the opposing party that carries the greatest
weight”); Jackson v. Bank of Hawaii, 902 F.2d
1385, 1387 (9th Cir. 1990) (“Prejudice to the opposing
party is the most important factor.”). Absent
prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining three
factors, a presumption exists under Rule 15(a) in favor of
granting leave to amend. Eminence Capital, 316 F.3d
considered the moving papers, the Court finds that Plaintiff
has not unduly delayed in seeking to amend the complaint, the
amendment is not brought in bad faith, there will be no
prejudice to defendant in permitting the amendment and there
is no indication that such amendment is futile. Accordingly,
leave to amend will be granted.