United States District Court, C.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT ; AND DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND THE SCHEDULING ORDER
D. WRIGHT, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff The Garmon Corporation's
(“Garmon”) Motion for Leave to File a First
Amended Complaint. (Mot. to Amend Compl.
(“Mot.”), ECF No. 110.) Garmon seeks to amend its
Complaint to re-allege its voluntarily dismissed copyright
infringement claim. However, because Garmon does not meet the
requisite “good cause” standard for modifying the
scheduling order to allow amendment at this stage of the
litigation, the Court DENIES Garmon's
Motion. (ECF No. 110.)
April 19, 2018, Garmon filed a Complaint that included eight
causes of action against Defendants HealthyPets, Inc., and
Mandeep Ghumann (collectively, “HealthyPets”).
(Compl., ECF No. 1.) Three of Garmon's causes of action
are federal claims: (1) Trademark Infringement, (2) Unfair
Competition, and (3) Copyright Infringement; the remainder
asserted state law claims. (See Compl.) The Court
set the deadline to hear motions to amend pleadings or add
parties on October 29, 2018. (Scheduling Order 24, ECF No.
67.) Garmon did not seek to amend its Complaint on or before
that deadline. On October 10, 2018, HealthyPets moved for
judgment on the pleadings as to certain of Garmon's
claims, setting a hearing date on November 19, 2018. (Mot.
for J., ECF No. 89.)
April 23, 2019, Garmon moved to dismiss its copyright
infringement claim. (Mot. to Voluntarily Dismiss, ECF No.
101.) Garmon asserts that it voluntarily dismissed its
copyright infringement claim pursuant to the decision in
Fourth Estate because it had not yet registered two
of its copyright works. (Mot. to Voluntarily Dismiss.) The
Court granted Garmon's voluntary dismissal without
prejudice. (Order Granting Dismissal, ECF No. 102.)
16, 2019, the Court granted in part HealthyPets, Inc.'s
motion for judgment on the pleadings with regards to
Garmon's trademark infringement and unfair competition
claims. (Order Granting J. on the Pleadings (“J.
Order”) 8, ECF No. 103.) As no federal claims remained,
the Court found that it lacked federal subject matter
jurisdiction and declined to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over Garmon's state claims. (J. Order 8-9.)
months after the deadline to hear motions to amend, almost
three months after the Supreme Court's decision in
Fourth Estate, and long after the record indicates
Garmon's copyright works were registered,  Garmon moved for
leave to amend its Complaint to add claims for copyright
party moves to amend a pleading beyond the deadline set in
the scheduling order, it must first show “good
cause” for relief from the deadline. Fed.R.Civ.P.
16(b)(4); Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975
F.2d 604, 607-08 (9th Cir. 1992). “Rule 16(b)'s
‘good cause' standard primarily considers the
diligence of the party seeking the amendment.”
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. “[C]arelessness is
not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers no
reason for a grant of relief. . . . If [the moving] party was
not diligent, the inquiry should end.” Id.
where Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”)
16's good cause standard is met must a court consider
whether amendment is proper under Rule 15. See Id.
at 608 (citing Forstmann v. Culp, 114 F.R.D. 83, 85
(M.D. N.C. 1987)). Under Rule 15, “[f]our factors are
commonly used to determine the propriety of a motion for
leave to amend. These are: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice
to the opposing party, and futility of amendment.”
DCD Programs, Ltd v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186
(9th Cir. 1987). While the Rule 15 factors should be analyzed
with “extreme liberality” toward favoring
amendment, United States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979
(9th Cir. 1981), the moving party cannot “appeal to the
liberal amendment procedures afforded by Rule 15”
unless it first “satisf[ies] the more
stringent ‘good cause' showing required under
Rule 16” AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysist W.,
Inc., 465 F.3d 946, 952 (9th Cir. 2006).
argues in its Motion that Rule 15 governs their proposed
amendment. Not so. This case is governed by a scheduling
order, and the date to amend pleadings has long passed.
See Johnson, 975 F.2d at 607-08; (Scheduling Order
24.) As such, Rule 16 governs this case, requiring a
demonstration of good cause. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The Court
finds that Garmon fails to demonstrate good cause for its
delay in seeking leave to amend its complaint under Rule 16.
fails to address Rule 16's good cause standard or support
its own diligence under Johnson, and has not
adequately shown that it has been diligent with respect to
this proposed amendment. See Johnson, 975 F.2d at
609. Garmon asserts that two of its copyright works were not
registered until April 29, 2019, but provides no evidence to
support this assertion. (Mot. 6.) In contrast, the record
suggests that Garmon knew by January 22, 2019, that the works
had been registered. (Opp'n 6; Decl. of Jeffrey T.
Lindgren Ex. A (“HealthyPets's Second Set of
Interrog.”) 5, ECF No. 117-2.) Such a delay of months
by Garmon smells of gamesmanship and, at best, reflects a
lack of diligence. Stiletto Television, Inc. v. Hastings,
Clayton & Tucker, Inc., No. 18-cv-3911-DSF (PLAx),
2019 WL 2619642, at *2 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2019) (finding
plaintiff was not diligent ...