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Littlefield v. State ex rel. Department of Public Safety

United States District Court, District of Nevada

March 31, 2015

Danny Lynn Littlefield, Plaintiff,
v.
State of Nevada, ex rel. Department of Public Safety, Nevada Highway Patrol, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND

Richard F. Boulware, II, United States District Court.

For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a), ECF No. 25, is denied.

I. Background

Plaintiff Danny Lynn Littlefield alleges that he applied for a position as a Department of Public Safety Officer with the Nevada Highway Patrol (“NHP”) on March 19, 2012. He further claims that he received a conditional offer of employment on May 30, 2012.

Littlefield claims that he has had monocular vision since the age of six months, and that his optometrist and his optomologist both held the opinion that Littlefield could perform the essential job functions of a Department of Public Safety Officer without accommodation. Littlefield further claims that the doctor performing his physical examination agreed with the optomotrist and optomologist and cleared Littlefield as fit for duty.

However, Littlefield says, on August 16, 2012, he was informed that the NHP had rejected his employment application on the basis of monocular vision and that the NHP was pressuring the doctor to change her report to indicate the monocular vision was disqualifying.

Littlefield claims he was issued a Right to Sue letter on April 5, 2013. On June 10, Littlefield filed the instant suit, seeking relief for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Nevada Revised Statute sections 613.330, et seq.

On April 29, 2014, Littlefield filed the instant motion for leave to amend his amended complaint. ECF No. 25. In this motion, Littlefield seeks to amend by “(1) adding facts regarding the reasons Littlefield was terminated, (2) adding a claim for relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on Civil Rights violations for discriminating against Littlefield, (3) adding a party to the case who may be held personally liable for the discrimination claims.” Id. at 1:19– 22.

II. Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, “A district court shall grant leave to amend freely ‘when justice so requires.’ . . . this policy is to be applied with extreme liberality.” Owens v. Kaiser Found. Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 712 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal citations omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). A district court may consider “undue delay, bad faith, futility of amendment, and prejudice to the opposing party.” Howey v. United States, 481 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1973); accord Chudacoff v. Univ. Med. Ctr. of S. Nevada, 649 F.3d 1143, 1152 (9th Cir. 2011). “While all these factors are relevant, the crucial factor is the resulting prejudice to the opposing party.” Howey, 481 F.2d at 1190. “Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining Foman factors, there exists a presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003).

However, once a scheduling order has been entered pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 16, the district court is to first apply the standards of Rule 16 rather than those of Rule 15. Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 607-08 (9th Cir. 1992). The “good cause” standard of Rule 16 “primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment, ” and a party’s “carelessness is not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers no reason for a grant of relief.” Id. at 609.

III. Discussion

The parties have not discussed whether this proposed amendment is timely, and both parties’ briefs assume Rule 15 is applicable. However, because the motion will be denied even under the more liberal Rule 15 standard, the ...


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