United States District Court, D. Arizona
G. Campbell United States District Judge
have filed a pro se motion to amend their second amended
complaint. Doc. 39. The motion has been fully briefed (Docs.
43, 45), and Plaintiffs have filed a supplement to their
original motion (Doc. 44) and lodged the proposed amendment
(Doc. 40). No party requests oral argument. The Court will
grant the motion.
last year, Plaintiff Shelly Lachcik and her mother, Plaintiff
Katherine Fox, lived together in federally-subsidized
housing. On July 4, 2015, the Housing Authority of Maricopa
County (“HAMC”) terminated Lachcik’s
housing assistance based on its finding that she failed to
report a change in her household income arising from
Fox’s self-employment. Doc. 40 at 35-37. Plaintiffs
filed their original complaint on November 16, 2015. Doc. 1.
December 1, 2015, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint,
naming as defendants the Maricopa County Board of
Commissioners, HAMC, and HAMC’s Executive Director,
Gloria Munoz, in her official capacity. Doc. 10. The amended
complaint asserted claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based
on alleged violations of the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment, section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937
(42 U.S.C. § 1437f), the informal hearing provision of
the section 8 regulations (24 C.F.R. § 982.555), and the
Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)). Id. at
7-8. Plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive, and damages
relief, including reinstatement of her housing assistance.
Id. Defendants subsequently filed their answer. Doc.
18. With leave of court, Plaintiffs amended their amended
complaint to substitute the “Maricopa County Board of
Supervisors” for the “Maricopa County Board of
Commissioners.” Doc. 34.
11, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a motion to amend their second
amended complaint. The proposed amendment seeks to add four
defendants: Jenese Bojorquez, Marifel Saldana, Keith Quinn,
and the unknown hearing officer (collectively, the
“HAMC Employees”). Doc. 40 at 1. The HAMC
Employees are each named in both their individual and
official capacities. Id. The proposed amendment has
little overlap with the second amended complaint. It includes
several pages of new exhibits, cites new legal authority, and
alleges violations of several regulations not discussed in
the prior complaint. Compare Doc. 35 with
Doc. 40. The demand for relief, however, is largely
unchanged: the proposed third amended complaint seeks a
declaratory judgment stating that Defendants’ conduct
violated the Due Process Clause, preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief reinstating Plaintiff Lachcik’s
subsidy, and compensatory damages. Docs. 35 at 7-8; 40 at 14.
the deadline for amending as a matter of course has passed,
Plaintiffs may amend “only with the opposing
party’s written consent or the court’s
leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Leave to amend is given
freely “when justice so requires.” Id.
“Rule 15’s policy of favoring amendments to
pleadings should be applied with extreme liberality.”
DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186
(9th Cir. 1987) (internal quotation marks and citations
omitted; alterations incorporated). A motion for leave to
amend may be denied, however, if the court finds “undue
delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments
previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowance of the amendment, [or] futility of
amendment.” Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182
to this Court’s Local Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[a] party who moves for leave to amend a pleading must
attach a copy of the proposed amended pleading as an exhibit
to the motion, which must indicate in what respect it differs
from the pleading which it amends, by bracketing or striking
through the text to be deleted and underlining the text to be
added.” LRCiv 15.1(a). This rule carries
“‘the force of law.’” Eldridge v.
Schroeder, No. CV-14-01325-PHX-DGC-ESW, 2016 WL 354868,
at *2 (D. Ariz. Jan. 28, 2016) (quoting Hollingsworth v.
Perry, 558 U.S. 183, 191 (2010)). Courts in this
district “routinely den[y] motions for leave to amend
for failure to comply with LRCiv 15.1(a), ”
id. (collecting cases), and it is well within their
discretion to do so. See, e.g., Young v.
Nooth, 539 F. App’x 710, 711 (9th Cir. 2013)
(“The district court did not abuse its discretion in
denying Young leave to amend his complaint because Young
failed to attach a proposed amended complaint as required by
contend that Plaintiffs’ motion should be denied
because (1) Plaintiffs failed to comply with LRCiv 15.1(a),
(2) Plaintiffs have unduly delayed this motion, (3) the
proposed amendment would be prejudicial to Defendants, and
(4) the proposed amendments would be futile. Doc. 43.
Defendants pointed out in their opposition, Plaintiffs’
motion for leave to amend did not comply with LRCiv 15.1(a).
Within one week of being apprised of this defect, Plaintiffs
filed a version of the second amended complaint that
satisfied LRCiv 15.1(a). Docs. 46, 48. Because Plaintiffs
acted quickly in responding to the procedural defect in their
original motion, and because it does not appear that
Defendants were prejudiced by Plaintiffs’ initial
noncompliance with LRCiv 15.1(a), the Court will not dismiss
Plaintiffs’ motion based on this initial noncompliance.
The Court reminds Plaintiffs, however, that compliance with
the Local Rules of Civil Procedure is mandatory, even for pro
se litigants, and that failure to comply with these rules in
the future may result in denial of motions of dismissal of