Ramirez v. Cty. of San Bernardino

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-23-2015
  • Case #: 13-56602
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: District Judge Foote for the Court; Circuit Judges Bybee and Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 does not require that the matter of course amendment be exhausted before an amendment may be made pursuant to 15(a)(2).

San Bernardino Sheriff’s deputies stopped Sergio Ramirez in his driveway and allegedly beat, tased, and detained him, despite Ramirez’s cooperation with the deputies’ commands. Ramirez filed suit against the County of San Bernardino and other individuals. The County filed a motion to dismiss Ramirez’s First Amended Complaint. Local Rule 7-9 required Ramirez to submit a written statement confirming non-opposition to the dismiss motion if in fact Ramirez was not going to oppose. Ramirez’s written non-opposition was due to the court by June 3, 2013, but Ramirez did not submit a response. On June 12, 2013, Ramirez then attempted to file a Second Amended Complaint, which was rejected. However, the County’s motion was still unopposed. Subsequently, Ramirez filed a motion for reconsideration pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“F.R.C.P.”) 59(e) and 60(b). The district court denied Ramirez’s motion. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit considered whether Ramirez was allowed to file a Second Amended Complaint as a matter of course under F.R.C.P. 15(a)(1), or whether the First Amended Complaint exhausted his one matter of course amendment. Under F.R.C.P. 15(a)(1), “[a] party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within 21 days after serving it, or if the pleading is one to which a responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or 21 days after service of a responsive pleading or 21 days after service of motion.” The panel held that Ramirez was allowed to file the Second Amended complaint because plaintiffs may amend any order so long as they comply with requirements of F.R.C.P. 15(a)(1) and 15(a)(2). REVERSED and REMANDED.

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