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Guion v. Bonner Homeless Transitions Board of Directors

United States District Court, D. Idaho

June 13, 2019

JOSEPHINE GUION, Plaintiff,
v.
BONNER HOMELESS TRANSITIONS BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye Chief U.S. District Court Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Pro se Plaintiff Josephine Guion's Motion to Amend Original Complaint (Dkt. 19), Motion for Joinder of Parties (Dkt. 25), Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply (Dkt. 29), Motion to Supplement (Dkt. 32), and Motion for Appointment of Counsel (Dkt. 35). Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will address the motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B).

         II. BACKGROUND

         The background of this case is set forth in the Court's prior order (Dkt 14). The Court incorporates that background by reference here.

         III. DISCUSSION

         Guion has filed various motions. The Court considers each in turn:

         1. Motion to Amend (Dkt. 19)

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that, once a responsive pleading has been served, a party may amend its pleading “only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The Ninth Circuit recognizes that “the underlying purpose of Rule 15 [is] to facilitate [a] decision on the merits, rather than on the pleadings or technicalities, ” Chudacoff v. University Med. Cent. of Southern Nev., 649 F.3d 1143, 1152 (9th Cir. 2011). “Rule 15's policy of favoring amendments to pleadings should be applied with extreme liberality.” United States v. Webb, 655 F.2d 977, 979 (9th Cir. 1981)).

         Leave need not be granted, however, where the amendment “would cause the opposing party undue prejudice, is sought in bad faith, constitutes an exercise in futility, or creates undue delay.” Ascon Props., Inc. v. Mobil Oil Co., 866 F.2d 1149, 1160 (9th Cir. 1989) (citing Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).

         Here, Guion seeks to amend her complaint to assert claims related to allegations of fraud and forgery. Defendants contend that “justice does not require amendment, ” “amendment does not serve any legitimate purpose, ” “amendment is prejudicial to the defendant, ” “amendment is futile, ” and “denial of the motion does not harm the merits of plaintiff's action.” Dkt. 22, at 2. The Court, however, finds allowing Guion to amend is proper. Her Motion to Amend was timely, allowing amendment would not be prejudicial to the Defendant, and the Court does not have sufficient information to confidently say that allowing Guion to amend her Complaint would be futile.

         As such, and because Rule 15's policy of favoring amendments to pleadings should be applied with extreme liberality, Guion's Motion to Amend (Dkt. 19) is GRANTED. If Guion still desires to file an amended complaint, she must do so within thirty (30) days of entry of this order.

         2. Motion for Joinder (Dkt. 25)

         For similar reasons as those outlined above, the Court will also allow Guion to join additional parties to her amended complaint. Kaminski v. Target Stores, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13977 (N.D. Cal. Sep. 4, 1998) (“Amending a complaint to add additional parties is governed by the same liberal standard set forth in Rule 15 for amending complaints.”); Anna Claire Farms, Inc. v. Bayer CroSscience LP (In re Genetically Modified Rice Litig.), 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91724 (E.D. Mo. Sep. 2, 2010) (“Rule 15 does not specifically address whether a party may join additional parties by amending a complaint. However, courts regularly allow parties to add or drop parties by amending a complaint under Rule ...


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