United States District Court, S.D. California
DAVID KENT GREENLEY, individually and on behalf of all others similar situated, Plaintiff,
AVIS BUDGET GROUP.INC., a Delaware and New Jersey corporation Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE AN AMENDED
COMPLAINT [ECF NO. 24]
Gonzalo P. Curiel, United States District Judge.
David Kent Greenley (“Plaintiff”) has moved for
leave to amend his second amended complaint against Defendant
Avis Budget Group, Inc. (“Defendant” or
“Avis”). ECF No. 24. On August 5, 2019, Avis
filed a response in opposition the motion. ECF No. 33.
Subsequently, Greenley filed a reply in support of the motion
to for leave on August 18, 2019. ECF No. 36. Upon review of
the moving papers, the Court finds that good cause exists to
permit the filing of a Third Amended Class Action Complaint
December 31, 2018, Plaintiff filed his original Class Action
Complaint in the California Superior Court for the County of
San Diego. ECF No. 1, Notice of Removal at 2. On January 24,
2019, an Amended Class Action Complaint was filed pursuant to
California Code of Civil Procedure 47(a) to add Plaintiff
Greenley and to remove certain allegations related to former
plaintiff Steve Kramer. See id.
March 4, 2019, Defendant removed this action to federal
court. Shortly afterwards, pursuant to the consent of the
parties with the permission of the Court, Plaintiff filed the
Second Amended Class Action Complaint on April 8, 2019. ECF
No. 14. Defendants responded with a motion to compel
arbitration and dismiss or to stay proceedings on April 10,
2019. ECF No. 15. Plaintiff subsequently filed an opposition
to this motion on June 10, 2019, ECF No. 19, and the
Defendant replied on July 1, 2019. ECF No. 22.
3, 2019, Greenley filed this instant motion for leave to
amend his Second Amended Class Action Complaint.
Plaintiff's motion is premised a recent decision issued
in Kramer v. Enterprise Holdings, Inc.
(“Enterprise”), where the Northern District of
California granted a motion to compel arbitration in an
action involving rental car privacy issues that, on the
merits, appear similar to the issues in this case. Kramer
v. Enterprise Holdings, Inc., No. 3:19-cv-00979-VC (N.D.
Cal. June 11, 2019), ECF No. 30. In this case, Greenley
asserts that the addition of an explicit claim for public
injunctive relief would be responsive to Avis'
suggestions in its motion to compel arbitration that
Plaintiff only seeks private relief, that the a UCL claim
would be necessary for Plaintiff to seek public injunctive
relief, and that Plaintiff's proposed class is limited.
now proposes to amend his Third Amended Class Action
Complaint to: (1) add a new Third Cause of Action for
violation of the “unlawful” and
“unfair” prongs of California's Unfair
Competition Law; (2) explicitly seek public injunctive relief
to the extent that the assertion is required under the recent
Enterprise decision; and (3) extend the class the
class period by a year, to begin on December 31, 2014, four
years prior to the filing of the original pleading, in
accordance with the UCL's four year statute of
15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that,
after the initial period for amendments as of right,
pleadings may only be amended by leave of court, which
“[t]he court shall freely give when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Courts commonly use
four factors to determine the propriety of a motion for leave
to amend: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the opposing
party, and futility of amendment. Ditto v. McCurdy,
510 F.3d 1070, 1078-79 (9th Cir. 2007); Loehr v. Ventura
Cnty. Cmty. Coll. Dist., 743 F.2d 1310, 1319 (9th Cir.
1984); Howey v. United States, 481 F.2d 1187, 1190
(9th Cir. 1973). “When weighing these factors . . . all
inferences should be made in favor of granting the motion to
amend.” Hofstetter v. Chase Home Fin., LLC,
751 F.Supp.2d 1116, 1122 (N.D. Cal 2010) (citing Griggs
v. Pace Am. Grp., Inc., 170 F.3d 877, 880 (9th Cir.
1999)). In accordance with the Federal Rules' liberal
pleading standards, courts typically apply the policy of free
amendment with much liberality. DCD Programs, Ltd. V.
Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987), citing
United States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir.
argues that this Court should grant its motion for leave to
file an amended complaint because such motions are granted
liberally - and because the amended Complaint would more
clearly assert a new cause of action as well as a plausible
defense against the compulsion of arbitration. Defendant
counters that Plaintiff's motion should be denied on
account of bad faith, undue delay, and futility.
Specifically, Defendant contends that Plaintiff's
amendment would be made in bad faith - solely in an attempt
to plead around a binding contract containing an arbitration
provision. In addition, Defendant argues that Plaintiff has
caused undue delay by filing two other amended complaints in
the six months prior to seeking leave for this amendment. And
finally, Defendant proffers that the proposed amendments are
futile both because Plaintiff does not have standing to
assert them and because the claims would still be subject to
arbitration. As such, Avis submits that Plaintiff should not
be allowed to file a third amended complaint. The Court will
address these arguments in turn.
Bad Faith and Undue Delay
Ninth Circuit has previously found that bad faith exists
where the moving party intends to harass the non-moving party
or otherwise disrupt litigation. Leon v. IDX Sys.
Corp., 464 F.3d 951, 961 (9th Cir. 2006). In other
words, a party acts in bad faith where, for example,
“the plaintiff merely is seeking to prolong the
litigation by adding new but baseless legal theories, ”
See Griggs v. Pace AM. Grp., Inc., 170 F.3d 877, 881
(9th Cir. 1999) (citations omitted), or when plaintiffs
attempt to use the amendment to change the warrantlessly
change the nature or venue of the case, see Sorosky v.
Burroughs Corp., 826 F.2d 794, 805 (9th Cir. 1987).
Courts may also consider the factor of undue delay. However,
undue delay, by itself, is insufficient to justify denying a
motion to amend. See DCD Programs, Ltd. V. Leighton,
833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987).
postulates that Plaintiff's sole purpose in filing an
amended complaint before this Court is to “attempt to
plead around a binding contract containing an arbitration
agreement.” ECF No. 33 at 2. Moreover, Defendant
asserts that Plaintiff delayed this motion for six months -
through the filing of two other amended complaints - before
seeking to amend this complaint to bring a claim ...