United States District Court, D. Arizona
DOUGLAS L. RAYES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
issue is Defendants Zuzanna and Magdalena Czerny's motion
for judgment on the pleadings, which is fully briefed. (Docs.
12, 14, 15.) For the following reasons, the motion is denied.
Chad and Danae Kim, who are New Mexico residents, allege that
they were injured in an automobile accident that occurred on
January 13, 2015 in Tempe, Arizona. They claim that the
accident was caused by Defendants, who are Arizona residents.
initially and timely filed suit against Defendants in New
Mexico state court in November 2016. Defendants were served
and the New Mexico action was removed to the United States
District Court for the District of New Mexico. Eventually,
the New Mexico action was dismissed without prejudice after
the district court concluded that it lacked personal
jurisdiction over Defendants. Plaintiffs then filed this
action on September 6, 2017, alleging that the timely filing
and diligent prosecution of their New Mexico action equitably
tolled the two-year statute of limitations for personal
injury actions in Arizona. A.R.S. § 12-542(1).
motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(c) "is properly granted when, taking
all the allegations in the non-moving party's pleadings
as true, the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law." Fajardo v. Cty. of L.A., 179 F.3d 698,
699 (9th Cir. 1999). "Rule 12(c) is 'functionally
identical' to Rule 12(b)(6) and . . . 'the same
standard of review' applies to motions brought under
either rule." Cafasso v. Gen. Dynamics C4 Sys.,
637 F.3d 1047, 1054 n.4 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Dworkin
v. Hustler Magazine Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir.
1989)). Thus, a motion for judgment on the pleadings should
not be granted if the complaint is based on a cognizable
legal theory and contains "sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation marks and citation
argue Plaintiffs' complaint lacks a cognizable legal
theory because it was filed outside the limitations period.
Plaintiffs concede that this action was filed more than two
years after the accident, but contend that limitations period
was tolled as a result of the timely New Mexico action
pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-504(A), Arizona's
savings statute provides, in relevant part:
If an action is commenced within the time limited for the
action, and the action is terminated in any manner other than
by abatement, voluntary dismissal, dismissal for lack of
prosecution or a final judgment on the merits, the plaintiff,
or a successor or personal representative, may commence a new
action for the same cause after the expiration of the time so
limited and within six months after such termination.
§ 12-504(A). Relief under the savings statute is
discretionary. When determining whether a plaintiff should be
permitted to refile:
the court should ascertain whether the plaintiff acted
reasonably and in good faith, whether he prosecuted his case
diligently and vigorously, whether a procedural impediment
exists which affects his ability to file a second action, and
whether either party will be substantially prejudiced. . . .
The burden is on the plaintiff ...