United States District Court, D. Arizona
Dominic W. Lanza, United States District Judge
before the Court is C.L.’s motion for leave to file a
first amended complaint (“FAC”). (Doc. 77.) For
the following reasons, the Court grants C.L.’s motion.
6, 2018, C.L.-a 14-year-old autistic boy-filed a complaint
against the City of Buckeye, the Buckeye Police Department
(“BPD”), and three members of the BPD
(collectively, “Defendants”) (Doc.
The complaint arises from a July 2017 incident in which
Defendant Officer David Grossman is alleged to have slammed
C.L. against a tree, wrestled C.L. to the ground, and then
pinned C.L. down while attempting to handcuff him. Officer
Grossman had approached C.L. because he witnessed C.L.
“stimming”-self-stimulating with a piece of
string, which is a common technique used by individuals with
autism to calm their nerves-which he mistook for illegal drug
use. There is no suggestion C.L. committed a crime before
this encounter occurred.
December 10, 2018, the Court entered a Rule 16 scheduling
order that established February 8, 2019 as the deadline for
amending pleadings. (Doc. 35 ¶ 2.)
January 30, 2019, the Court issued an order dismissing
several counts of the complaint, including Count III, which
asserted a claim failure to train and/or supervise. (Doc.
40.) C.L. had alleged the City of Buckeye failed to
“enforce proper and adequate training and supervision
on interacting and dealing with individuals with
disabilities.” (Doc. 7 ¶ 125.) The Court dismissed
that claim because C.L. hadn’t alleged “a
pre-existing pattern of violations” sufficient to
conclude that the City engaged in “deliberate
indifference for purposes of failure to train.” (Doc.
40 at 11-12.)
27, 2019, C.L. conducted a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of the
City of Buckeye, with the City designating Assistant Police
Chief Robert Sanders as its representative. (Doc. 77-3.)
During that deposition, Sanders arguably testified that he
had knowledge, predating the incident with C.L., that
autistic individuals were at a higher risk than other
citizens of being involved in encounters with police officers
and that these encounters often resulted in the autistic
individual’s injury or death. (Doc. 77-1, citing Doc.
77-3 at 2, 15, 25-26.) Further, Sanders testified that he had
watched a training video recommending that officers receive
additional training to adequately raise awareness about
autistic individuals. (Doc. 77-1 at 3, citing 77-3 at 19.) He
also arguably testified that the BPD had sufficient time to
train its officers on those issues but didn’t. (Doc.
77-1 at 3-4, citing 77-3 at 19, 72.)
August 14, 2019, C.L. filed a motion for leave to file a FAC.
(Doc. 77.) The proposed FAC seeks to incorporate the
newly-discovered facts elicited during the Rule 30(b)(6)
deposition in order to resuscitate the failure to
train/supervise claim. (Doc. 77-2 ¶¶ 16-42,
moves for leave to amend under Rule 15’s liberal
amendment standard. (Doc. 77-1.) Defendants, on the other
hand, argue C.L. must first show “good cause”
under Rule 16 because the deadline to amend pleadings has
passed. (Doc. 78 at 2-3.)
Court agrees with Defendants that C.L. must first satisfy
Rule 16 before turning to Rule 15’s liberal amendment
standard. The Court entered a Rule 16 scheduling order on
December 10, 2018. (Doc. 35.) That scheduling order
established a February 8, 2019 deadline for amending
pleadings-a deadline that has already expired. After a
deadline established in a Rule 16 scheduling order expires, a
party seeking to amend its pleading must satisfy Rule
16’s standards. Johnson v. Mammoth
Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 607-08 (9th
those standards apply here, C.L. must first show “good
cause” to amend his complaint. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4).
“Rule 16(b)’s ‘good cause’ standard
primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the
amendment . . . . [C]arelessness is not compatible with a
finding of diligence and offers no reason for a grant of
relief . . . . [T]he focus of the inquiry is upon the moving
party’s reasons for seeking modification. If that party
was not diligent, the inquiry should end.”
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609.
argues that good cause exists because he is seeking amendment
based upon new facts discovered during the 30(b)(6)
deposition of the City of Buckeye. (Doc. 89 at 2-3.) Further,
C.L. argues he moved for leave to amend “soon after