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Renner v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 26, 2014

Patrick Renner, Plaintiff,
Bank of America, N.A., Defendant.


JAMES A. TEILBORG, Senior District Judge.

Previously in this case, Defendant moved to dismiss Plaintiff's first amended complaint. In response to that motion to dismiss, Plaintiff moved to file a second amended complaint. Defendant opposed the motion to amend on futility grounds. The Court's analysis of Plaintiff's motion to amend, including Defendant's futility argument, is repeated below:

Plaintiff filed his Motion to Amend with the purpose of "correct[ing] deficiencies and add[ing] clarity" to his complaint. (Doc. 25 at 1). The Lodged SAC includes additional facts that the Court recounts below.
From July 1, 2011 until March 15, 2013, Defendant serviced Plaintiff's mortgage, originally obtained from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. in December 2006. (Doc. 26 at 1). In September 2012, Plaintiff became aware of alleged inaccuracies in his credit history when BBVA Compass Bank denied his application to refinance his mortgage due to "negative items" in Plaintiff's credit history. ( Id. at 2). In particular, Defendant reported that: (1) Plaintiff's mortgage was "part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy"; (2) "the account was delinquent"; (3) "the account was closed"; and (4) the account had no payment history. ( Id. ).
Plaintiff filed complaints with multiple CRAs stating that the reported information was inaccurate. ( Id. ). In October 2012, the CRAs notified Plaintiff that Defendant verified the information reported and determined it was correct. ( Id. ). Plaintiff wrote numerous letters to Defendant documenting why the information was allegedly inaccurate and incomplete. ( Id. ). Twice more Plaintiff filed complaints with the CRAs. ( Id. at 2-3). Both times the CRAs responded that Defendant had verified the information being reported as correct. ( Id. ). In September 2013, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank denied Plaintiff's application to refinance his mortgage due to negative information in his credit history. ( Id. at 3).
Plaintiff now seeks to amend the FAC pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2) by including the above-stated facts related to Plaintiff's FCRA claim. ( See Doc. 25).
A. Legal Standard
A party may amend a pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days after serving it or within 21 days of service of, among others, a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). In all other circumstances, a party must seek leave to amend from the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). "The court should freely give leave when justice so requires." Id. Additionally, there is a "longstanding rule that [l]eave to amend should be granted if it appears at all possible that the plaintiff can correct the defect.' " Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1127 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting Balistreri, 901 F.2d at 701). In determining whether to grant a motion to amend, a court should consider five factors: "(1) bad faith; (2) undue delay; (3) prejudice to the opposing party; (4) futility of amendment; and (5) whether the plaintiff has previously amended his complaint." Nunes v. Ashcroft, 375 F.3d 805, 808 (9th Cir. 2004). "Significantly, [t]he party opposing amendments bears the burden of showing prejudice, ' futility, or one of the other permissible reasons for denying a motion to amend." Farina v. Compuware Corp., 256 F.Supp.2d 1033, 1060 (D. Ariz. 2003) (quoting DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 187 (9th Cir. 1987)). Additionally, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recognizes that the complaint of a pro se plaintiff may be dismissed "only where it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" Franklin v. Murphy, 745 F.2d 1221, 1228 (9th Cir. 1984) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972)); see also Weilburg v. Shapiro, 488 F.3d 1202, 1205 (9th Cir. 2007) ("Dismissal of a pro se complaint without leave to amend is proper only if it is absolutely clear that the deficiencies of the complaint could not be cured by amendment.") (quoting Schucker v. Rockwood, 846 F.2d 1202, 1203-04 (9th Cir. 1988)).
B. Analysis
Here, Plaintiff has already amended the Complaint as a matter of right pursuant to Rule 15(a)(1) and seeks the Court's leave to amend his complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2). (Doc. 25 at 1). Defendant argues that the Court should not grant Plaintiff's Motion to Amend because of Plaintiff's prior amendment (Doc. 23 at 5) and futility of amendment (Doc. 27 at 1-2).
1. Prior Amendments
Defendant first argues that the Court should deny Plaintiff's Motion to Amend because "Plaintiff has already had one opportunity to amend his Complaint." (Doc. 23 at 5).

The Court's discretion to deny an amendment is "particularly broad" where a plaintiff has previously amended his complaint. Allen v. City of Beverly Hills, 911 F.2d 367, 373 (9th Cir. 1990). The presence of prior amendments may persuade a court to deny leave, even in absence of the four other factors "when the movant present[s] no new facts but only new theories and provide[s] no ...

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