United States District Court, E.D. California
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT BE DENIED [ECF
Angel Rodriguez is appearing pro se and in forma
pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to the
Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to amend the
complaint, filed November 14, 2019. Because the Court finds
that Plaintiff's motion to amend should be denied as
futile, the Court finds an opposition by Defendant is
unnecessary and the Court deems the motion suitable for
review. Local Rule 230(1).
action is proceeding against the United States of America for
assault and battery under the FTCA.
filed an answer to the complaint on June 18, 2019. On June
19, 2019, the Court issued the discovery and scheduling
Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party
may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course
twenty-one days after serving, or if a response was filed,
within twenty-one days after service of the response.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). Otherwise, a party may amend only by
leave of the court or by written consent of the adverse
party, and leave shall be freely given when justice so
requires. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
15(a) is very liberal and leave to amend ‘shall be
freely given when justice so requires.'”
AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. Dialysis West, Inc., 465
F.3d 946, 951 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)).
However, 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 the
litigation; or (4) is futile.” AmerisourceBergen
Corp., 465 F.3d at 951. Relevant to the futility factor,
a plaintiff may not bring unrelated claims against unrelated
parties in a single action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a), 20(a)(2);
Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011);
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
The burden to demonstrate prejudice falls upon the party
opposing the amendment. DCD Programs, Ltd. v.
Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 187 (9th Cir. 1987). 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, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003). Further,
undue delay alone is insufficient to justify denial of a
motion to amend. Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 758
(9th Cir. 1999). However, “[f]utility of amendment can,
by itself, justify the denial of a motion for leave to amend.
Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 814, 845 (9th Cir. 1995);
Miller v. Rykoff-Sexton, 845 F.2d 209, 214 (9th Cir.
seeks to amend the complaint to add correctional officer
Ramos as a Defendant. Plaintiff's motion to amend is
futile. The United States is the only proper party defendant
in an FTCA action. Kennedy v. United States Postal
Service, 145 F.3d 1077, 1078 (9th Cir. 1998). Moreover,
the “FTCA is the exclusive remedy for tort actions
against a federal agency, and this is so despite the
statutory authority of any agency to sue or to be sued in its
own name.” Id. (Affirming the district
court's dismissal of plaintiff's FTCA claim as
improperly brought against a person and entity not subject to
the FTCA); see also Lance v. United States, 70 F.3d
1093, 1095 (9th Cir. 1995) (“The district court also
properly dismissed Lance's action to the extent his
complaint named Does 1 through 20 as additional defendants:
the United States is the only proper defendant in an FTCA
action.”). Because Plaintiff cannot seek liability
against correctional officer Ramos under the FTCA upon which
this action proceeds, Plaintiffs motion to amend should be
denied as futile.
on the foregoing, it is HEREBY RECOMMENDED THAT Plaintiffs
motion to amend the complaint filed on ...