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Bald v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

November 20, 2017

DAVID EMORY BALD, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

          KEVIN S.C. CHANG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint, filed October 20, 2017. This matter came on for hearing on November 20, 2017. James Bickerton, Esq., John Perkins, Esq., and Bridget Morgan, Esq., appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Blaine Rogers, Esq., appeared on behalf of Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. After careful consideration of the parties' submissions, the applicable law, and the arguments of counsel, the Court HEREBY GRANTS the Motion for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs commenced this action on September 7, 2012, in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii. On March 20, 2013, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal. Shortly after removal, Defendants filed motions to dismiss.

         On July 25, 2013, then Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway issued an Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.[1] Plaintiffs filed an appeal.

         On April 24, 2017, the Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal order and remanded the case for further proceedings.

         On May 23, 2017, the first Rule 16 Scheduling Order issued.

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs seek to file a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) to add additional plaintiffs to represent the putative class; add additional subclasses; add factual allegations in support of the claims alleged; and remove/modify certain allegations in light of the dismissal of Defendants The Law Office of David B. Rosen and David B. Rosen.

         Defendant opposes the requested amendments on grounds of prejudice, undue delay, and futility. Defendant contends that Plaintiffs should not be permitted to add new claims guised as subclasses or allegations concerning a consent order or consent judgment because the information underlying those claims and allegations were available at the time the action was filed. Defendant also argues that the voluminuous discovery necessitated by the proposed amendments, coupled with the passage of time, would be prejudicial. Finally, Defendant submits that the proposed subclass amendments are barred by the statute of limitations.

         Rule 15(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) provides:

         A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course within:

(A) 21 days after serving it, or
(B) 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 motion under Rule ...

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