United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Diane J. Humetewa United States District Judge
this Court is Defendants' Motion to Strike
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint (Doc. 53). Plaintiff
has filed a Response (Doc. 58) and Defendants have filed a
Reply (Doc. 59). Additionally, the parties have filed a
notice of a discovery dispute (Doc. 60) and an “Updated
Notice of Discovery Dispute” (Doc. 62).
a former Arizona Summit Law School student, initiated this
action on October 12, 2016. (Doc. 1). Count Two of the
Complaint accused Defendants of negligent misrepresentation
and Count Three accused Defendants of common law fraud.
(Id., ¶¶ 115-130). In a prior Order, the
Court dismissed Counts Two and Three. (Doc. 39). Therefore,
the only claim remaining is Count One, in which Plaintiff
alleged that Defendants failed to provide appropriate
accommodations for her disabilities while she was a student
at Arizona Summit Law School. (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 104-114).
23, 2018, the Court issued a Rule 16 Scheduling Order, which
provided that “[t]he deadline for joining parties,
amending pleadings, and filing supplemental pleadings is 60
days from the date of this Order.” (Doc. 44). Sixty
days later, on September 21, 2018, Plaintiff filed her First
Amended Complaint (“FAC”), without seeking leave
to do so. (Doc. 50).
MOTION TO STRIKE
Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 12(f) allows a
court to “strike from a pleading” any matter that
is “redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or
scandalous.” See also LRCiv. 7.2(m)(1) (a
motion to strike may only be filed if “authorized by
statute or rule, . . . or if it seeks to strike any part of a
filing or submission on the ground that it is prohibited (or
not authorized) by a statute, rule, or court order.”).
“[T]he function of a 12(f) motion to strike is to avoid
the expenditure of time and money that must arise from
litigating spurious issues by dispensing with those issues
prior to trial . . . .” Sidney-Vinstein v. A.H.
Robins Co., 697 F.2d 880, 885 (9th Cir. 1983). The
decision to strike a pleading is ultimately within a trial
court's discretion. Whittlestone, Inc. v. Handi-Craft
Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010). Additionally,
the Court possesses inherent power to manage its docket and
strike improper filings. See, e.g., Atchison,
Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. v. Hercules Inc., 146 F.3d
1071, 1074 (9th Cir. 1998); Spurlock v. F.B.I., 69
F.3d 1010, 1016 (9th Cir. 1995) (recognizing the district
court's inherent power and authority over the
administration of its business, to regulate the conduct of
litigants who appear before it, and to promulgate and enforce
rules for the management of litigation) (collecting cases).
reasserts Plaintiff's ADA Claim but also makes new
allegations on behalf of a putative class. (Doc. 50 at 1,
15-16). Plaintiff argues that the Rule 16 Scheduling Order
negates the necessity to seek leave before filing an amended
complaint. (Doc. 58 at 2). The Court disagrees. The Rule 16
Scheduling Order set a deadline to file an amended pleading,
it did not eliminate Plaintiff's responsibility to comply
with the requirements of Rule 15(a)(2) when filing an amended
pleading. Rule 15(a)(2) requires that if the party is not
amending as a matter of course, then the “party may
amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written
consent or the court's leave.” Here, Plaintiff did
not seek leave to file an amended complaint and did not
receive Defendants' written consent; therefore,
Plaintiffs FAC was improperly filed and shall be stricken
from the record. See Cwiak v. City of Phoenix, 2010
WL 1742531, at *2 (D. Ariz. Apr. 29, 2010) (finding that
granting a defendant's motion to strike the seconded
amended complaint for the plaintiffs failure to seek leave
prior to filing the amended pleading is “is clearly
warranted under L.R.Civ. 7.2.”). If Plaintiff wishes to
amend her complaint she must comply with Rule 15.
parties dispute whether Plaintiffs medical records following
her withdrawal from Arizona Summit Law School are relevant to
her claims of disability discrimination. (Doc. 60).
Plaintiffs statement regarding the discovery dispute assumes
that the First Amended Complaint (Doc. 50) is the operative
complaint; however, as the Court granted Defendants'
Motion to Strike the First Amended Complaint previously in
this Order, the Court will not issue a ruling on the
discovery dispute at this time. The parties are directed to
confer regarding the effect of this Court's Order on the
present discovery dispute. If the parties are still unable to
resolve the discovery dispute, then the parties may refile a
notice of discovery dispute in compliance with the Rule 16
Scheduling Order. (Doc. 44 at 4).
IT IS ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to
Strike Plaintiffs First Amended ...