United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. Teilborg Senior United States District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Amend Answer
(“Motion to Amend, ” Doc. 62). The Court now
rules on the motion.
December 14, 2017, Defendant filed the pending Motion to
Amend (Doc. 62). Plaintiff filed a timely Response (Doc. 64)
on December 28, 2017. Defendant then filed a Reply (Doc. 65)
on January 4, 2018.
January 25, 2018, Defendant Avalon Mobility Incorporated
filed a Notice (Doc. 68) that the company filed bankruptcy.
On the same day, Defendant also provided notice that
Defendant Scott Huffman is deceased. (Doc. 69). As per the
Court's resulting Order (Doc. 70), the instant order will
only apply to Defendant Brenda Huffman.
Motion to Amend follows the Court's Order (Doc. 59)
denying the parties' Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment
issued on August 21, 2017. The Court went through the
background facts of this case in its previous Order (Doc.
59), so it will not repeat them all here. (See Doc.
59 at 1-4). The Court will discuss other relevant facts as
necessary in the body of this Order.
pending motion, Defendant seeks to change several factual
allegations within her Answer. (Doc. 62 at 3-4).
Additionally, Defendant seeks to augment her affirmative
defenses by referencing provisions under 29 C.F.R. §
541, which explain how the administrative and/or managerial
exemption should be interpreted when an employee has multiple
or related duties. (Doc. 62 at 3). Furthermore, Defendant
seeks to add the Motor Carrier Exemption, as governed by 29
C.F.R. § 782, to her list of affirmative defenses. (Doc.
62 at 3). Although not clearly stated in her original motion,
Defendant also seeks to amend her prayer for relief to
include a request for attorney's fees. (Doc. 62-1 at
MOTION TO AMEND
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 15(a)
governs a motion to amend pleadings to add claims or parties.
However, Rule 16 also applies because Defendant filed her
request to amend after the Rule 16 Scheduling Order deadline
for amendments passed. With respect to the interplay between
Rules 16 and 15(a), “[a]s the Ninth Circuit explained
in Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d
604 (9th Cir. 1992), once the district court has filed a
pretrial scheduling order pursuant to Rule 16 which
establishes a timetable for amending pleadings, a motion
seeking to amend pleadings is governed first by Rule 16(b),
and only secondarily by Rule 15(a).” Jackson v.
Laureate, Inc., 186 F.R.D. 605, 607 (E.D. Cal. 1999).
“If [the court] considered only Rule 15(a) without
regard to Rule 16(b), [it] would render scheduling orders
meaningless and effectively would read Rule 16(b) and its
good cause requirement out of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.” Sosa v. Airprint Sys., Inc., 133
F.3d 1417, 1419 (11th Cir. 1998). Accordingly, the Court will
evaluate Plaintiff's motion first under Rule 16, and
then, if necessary, under Rule 15(a).
Rule 16, a scheduling order “may be modified only for
good cause and with the judge's consent.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). Under Rule 16, “good
cause” means the scheduling deadlines cannot be met
despite the party's diligence. Johnson, 975 F.2d
at 609 (citing 6A Wright, Miller & Kane, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1522.1 at 231 (2d ed.
1990)). “The pretrial schedule may be modified if it
cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party
seeking the extension. If the party seeking the modification
was not diligent, the inquiry should end and the motion to
modify should not be granted.” Zivkovic v. S. Cal.
Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002)
(internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
To demonstrate diligence under Rule 16's “good
cause” standard, the movant may be required to show the
following: (1) that he was diligent in assisting the court in
creating a workable Rule 16 order; (2) that his noncompliance
with a Rule 16 deadline occurred or will occur,
notwithstanding his diligent efforts to comply, because of
the development of matters which could not have been
reasonably foreseen or anticipated at the time of the Rule 16
scheduling conference; and (3) that he was diligent in
seeking amendment of the Rule 16 order, once it became
apparent that he could not comply with the order.
Morgal v. Maricopa County Bd. of Supervisors, 284
F.R.D. 452, 460 (D. Ariz. June 6, 2012) ...