Easton v. Shulkin et al, No. 6:2018cv00233 - Document 26 (D. Or. 2018)

Court Description: OPINION AND ORDER: Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend and Reconsideration 24 is GRANTED as to his request to file the Second Amended Complaint and DENIED as to his request for reconsideration. Signed on 12/18/2018 by Judge Ann L. Aiken. (ck)
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Easton v. Shulkin et al Doc. 26 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON EUGENE DIVISION THOMAS DEWEY EASTON Case No. 6: 18-cv-00233-AA OPINION AND ORDER Plaintiff, v. DAVID J. SHULKIN, in his official capacity as the Secretary of US Depatiment of Veterans Affairs, CAROLINE M. HOWELL, FNP, individually and in her official capacity as employee of VA Eugene Clinic, KRISTOPHER G. KYES, individually and in his official capacity as DMV /Medical Programs Coordinator, and OREGON DOT/DMV, Defendants. AIKEN, District Judge: This matter comes before the Couti on plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Amend and Reconsideration (doc. 24). For the reasons stated below, the motion is GRANTED in pati and DENIED in pati. Ill Ill Page 1 - OPINION AND ORDER Dockets.Justia.com BACKGROUND The parties are familiar with the background facts of this case, which are discussed in the Court's October 9, 2018 Opinion and Order (the "October Opinion") granting the Motion to Dismiss that was filed by Kristopher G. Kyes and Oregon Depatiment of Transpo1tation/Depatiment of Motor Vehicles ("Oregon DOT/DMV") (collectively, "State Defendants"). The Court will not retread them here. In the October Opinion, the Comt concluded that the Oregon DOT/DMV were entitled to sovereign immunity because it had not been waived in federal cou1t and that the claims against Kyes were either proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment or lacked a constitutional basis under ยง 1983. Plaintiff filed his Motion for Leave to Amend and Reconsideration (the "Motion") on October 23, 2018. State Defendants filed their Response in Opposition on November 6, 2018. DISCUSSION Plaintiff argues that the Motion should be granted because (i) "defendants DMV and Kyes ... attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the Oregon Court of Appeals [because they alleged that plaintiff] had not followed agency rules to restore his driver's license" and (ii) plaintiff wants to add a new discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). I. 1Wotion for Reconsideration Plaintiff asks for reconsideration under Rule 60(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides for reconsideration upon a showing of fraud. Plaintiff argues that State Defendants attempted to defraud the Oregon Comi of Appeals by making a false claim in their brief on October 9, 2018-the day this Cou1t' s October Opinion was issued. Plaintiff further states that he "does not oppose the stay of proceedings [in this Comt] until the decision of the Oregon Comi of Appeals [is filed]"-which implies that there is, Page 2 - OPINION AND ORDER or was when he filed this motion, an ongoing state law proceeding. To the extent there was a fraudulent statement in the State Defendants' state court brief, that is best addressed to the state court itself. Thus, reconsideration based on Rule 60(b)(3) is improper. Additionally, Ninth Circuit precedent indicates that reconsideration is proper when a district comt "(l) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." Sch Dist. No. JJ v. ACandS, inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993) (internal citation omitted). Reconsideration is an "extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). There is no allegation of e1rnr or injustice under (2), or that there has been a change in the law under (3). The only issue, then, is whether there is new evidence to consider under (1 ). A defendant's fraudulent briefing in a state comt proceeding is not new evidence that waITants dismissal in federal comt-pmticularly because the content of the October Opinion was umelated to the alleged fraud. Accordingly, plaintiffs motion for reconsideration is denied. II. 1vfotionfor Leave to Amend Plaintiff also requests leave to file a Second Amended Complaint to add an ADA discrimination claim. Rule 15(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that "[t]he court should freely give leave [to amend a pleading] when justice so requires." A district court should apply the "policy of favoring amendments ... with extreme liberality." Price v. Kramer, 200 F.3d 1237, 1250 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks omitted). In determining whether to grant leave to amend, a district comt should consider the presence of the following factors: (1) bad Page 3 - OPINION AND ORDER faith, (2) undue delay, (3) prejudice to the opposing pmiy, and (4) futility. Owens v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., 244 F.3d 708, 712 (9th Cir. 2001). Futility of amendment, however, "can, by itself, justify the denial of a motion for leave to amend." Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 845 (9th Cir. 1995). State Defendants' only argument is that the October Opinion dismissed all claims against them with prejudice-they provide no argument as to why the ADA claim shouldn't be added. Therefore, I am left to assess plaintiffs request without the benefit of State Defendants' position. There is nothing in the record to suppmi, and State Defendant do not argue for, a finding of bad faith, undue delay, or prejudice. Plaintiffs new ADA claim is also not futile because, unlike the claims discussed in the October Opinion, it is not barred by sovereign immunity. United States v. Georgia, 546 U.S. 151, 153 (2006). Therefore, consistent with the Ninth Circuit's admonition for amendment requests to be granted with liberality, see Price, 200 F.3d at 1250, plaintiffs request to file a Second Amended Complaint is granted. CONCLUSION Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Amend and Reconsideration (doc. 24) is GRANTED as to his request to file the Second Amended Complaint and DENIED as to his request for reconsideration. IT rs so ORDERED. Dated this /8day of December 2018. Ann Aiken United States District Judge Page 4 - OPINION AND ORDER