(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this sexual harassment case and its proceedings.)
Several California cases strongly encourage the Court to exercise its discretion liberally to permit amendments of the pleadings. Nestle v. Santa Monica (1972) 6 Cal.3d 920, 939. In fact, the judicial policy favoring amendment is so strong that it is a rare case in which denial of leave to amend can be justified:
[w]hile a Motion to permit an amendment to a pleading to be filed is one addressed to the discretion of the court…it is a rare case in which a court will be justified in refusing a party leave to amend his pleadings so that he may be properly present his case… If the motion to amend is timely made and the granting of the Motion will not prejudice the opposing party, it is error to refuse permission to amend; and, where the refusal also results in a party being deprived of their right to assert a meritorious defense, it is not only error but an abuse of discretion (emphasis added). Calif. Cas. Gen. Ins. Co. v. Superior Court. (1985) 173 Cal.App.3d 275, 278; Morgan v. Superior Court (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530.
Moreover, under California Code of Civil Procedure § 426.50, leave to amend the pleading to assert a new cause of action must be given if the party who failed to plead the cause of action has acted in good faith. California Code of Civil Procedure § 426.50 specifically provides that it should be liberally construed to avoid forfeiture of causes of action.
In Hirsa v. Superior Court, the court expressly held that because trial courts are vested with the discretion to allow amendments to pleadings in furtherance of justice, they are to liberally permit such amendments, at any stage of the proceedings. (1981) 118 Cal.App.3d 486. This well-established California policy rests on the fundamental policy that cases should be decided on their merits. (Id.)
Here, if this Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to state sufficient facts to constitute any of her causes of action against Defendants, Plaintiff respectfully request this Court grant her leave to file their First Amended Complaint in order to correct any deficiencies that the Court may find. Defendants will not suffer any prejudice from such an amendment.
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff respectfully requests this Court to deny Defendants’ Demurrer in full. Should the Court rule otherwise on any cause of action and find Plaintiffs’ Complaint insufficient to overcome any portion of Defendants’ Demurrer, Plaintiff respectfully requests leave to amend her Complaint.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.