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Macias v. Pegasus Group LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 6, 2019

Joshua R. Macias, Plaintiff,
v.
Pegasus Group, LLC, et al., Defendants. Joshua R. Macias, Plaintiff,
v.
PTI Security Systems, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Dominic W. Lanza United Slates District Judge

         On April 30, 2019, the Court issued an Order granting pro se Plaintiff Joshua R. Macias's application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in CV 19-01961-PHX-DWL (“PTI case”), screening the Complaint (Doc. 1)[1] pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), and dismissing the complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted and for failure to plead facts establishing that the Court has subject-matter jurisdiction. (Doc. 7.) The Court granted leave to file an amended complaint by May 31, 2019. (Id. at 4.) Plaintiff failed to file an amended complaint by this deadline.

         Now pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion (Doc. 8), which seeks leave of the Court to file an amended complaint after the deadline has passed, and additionally seeks leave to “add[] another state address” and seeks an extension of time to serve the summonses.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         Although Plaintiff's motion purports to be a motion to amend, the Court already granted leave to amend the complaint and established a deadline for doing so. (Doc. 7 at 4.) Plaintiff missed that deadline. Thus, the legal standard at issue is the one applicable to a motion for an extension of time, where such motion is made after the expiration of a deadline.

         Rule 6(b)(1)(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that “[w]hen an act may or must be done within a specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time . . . on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect.” The Supreme Court has explained that “excusable neglect, ” in this context, can encompass mistakes and carelessness: “Congress plainly contemplated that the courts would be permitted, where appropriate, to accept late filings caused by inadvertence, mistake, or carelessness, as well as by intervening circumstances beyond the party's control.” Pioneer Inv. Servs. Co. v. Brunswick Assocs. Ltd. P'ship, 507 U.S. 380, 388 (1993).[2]

         Whether the neglect is “excusable” is a flexible standard, “at bottom an equitable one, taking account of all relevant circumstances surrounding the party's omission.” Id. at 395. At a minimum, courts assessing whether neglect is “excusable” must consider four factors: “[1] the danger of prejudice to the [non-moving party], [2] the length of the delay and its potential impact on judicial proceedings, [3] the reason for the delay, including whether it was within the reasonable control of the movant, and [4] whether the movant acted in good faith.” Id. Failure to consider all four factors constitutes an abuse of discretion. Lemoge v. United States, 587 F.3d 1188, 1192-93 (9th Cir. 2009). No. single factor is determinative. Bateman v. U.S. Postal Serv., 231 F.3d 1220, 1224 (9th Cir. 2000); Briones v. Riviera Hotel & Casino, 116 F.3d 379, 382 n.2 (9th Cir. 1997).

         When assessing whether a failure to act was caused by “excusable neglect, ” a court may not impose per se rules. Pincay v. Andrews, 389 F.3d 853, 855 (9th Cir. 2004) (“We now hold that per se rules are not consistent with Pioneer . . . .”). There can be “no rigid legal rule against late filings attributable to any particular type of negligence.” Id. at 860 (affirming that a paralegal's calendaring error was “excusable negligence.”). Even when the reason for the delay is weak, where the equities favor excusing the negligence, the court must do so. Bateman, 231 F.3d at 1224-25 (reason for delay was travel, jet lag, and the time it took to sort through mail).

         Once a district court has considered and weighed all four Pioneer factors, and any other factors it deems appropriate on a case-by-case basis, the court has broad discretion to grant or deny the motion. Pincay, 389 F.3d at 859 (“[T]he decision whether to grant or deny an extension of time . . . should be entrusted to the discretion of the district court because the district court is in [the best position] to evaluate factors such as whether the lawyer had otherwise been diligent, the propensity of the other side to capitalize on petty mistakes, the quality of representation of the lawyers . . ., and the likelihood of injustice if the appeal was not allowed.”).

         II. Analysis

         The Court first considers the danger of prejudice to Defendants. This factor weighs in favor of Plaintiffs because Defendants have not yet been served and have therefore suffered no prejudice under the circumstances.

         The next Pioneer factor is the length of the delay. Plaintiff's amended complaint was due Friday, May 31, 2019, and the motion requesting leave to file late was filed the following Monday, June 3, 2019. This is not a lengthy delay.

         The third Pioneer factor is the reason for the delay. The reason offered by Plaintiff is that he received a call from an unidentified person named “Nissy” and checked his mail, and apparently these events, combined with buses running late on May 31, prevented him from physically arriving at the courthouse in time to timely file an amended complaint or a motion to extend the deadline. This is a weak reason. Plaintiff has an obligation to adhere to the deadlines ...


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