I am currently in a scenario analogous to this one:

Can this hypothetical sequence of events occur in the Federal Arena (particularly 9th cir).

1.) Plaintiff brings a suit against party A before limitations

2.) Party A files an answer

3.) Limitations expires

4.) Plaintiff files amended pleading, adding party B and argues that it should relate back under Rule 15(c)(1)

5.) Parties A and B respond with motions to dismiss, arguing that it does not relate back and thus limitations has expired with respect to both parties.

6.) Court agrees, entire action becomes time-barred against not only party B but also party A.


Generally, when you amend your pleading you ask for permission from the judge and are granted it, so if you filed within the time limit against party A, the court most likely would not say the time expired to file against party A. The rule even says "with leave to amend" so leave would be granted if you are talking about that rule.

Party B would have to ask that it be dismissed under the time rule and would win if the person who filed had no legal argument as to why they did not file in time. If the party who filed could show they couldn't have filed against party B in time, the judge might let it go forward, but it would probably be hard to say you could file against A in time, but not B.

It really just depends on the circumstances of why you didn't file against party B in time as to their part, but A wouldn't be excluded because you did file against A in time.

  • I am moved for leave to amend, but have not yet amended. 15.1(c) determines whether the amended pleading will be treated as having been filed on the same date as the original. That's the one I'm talking about. If I risk the amended pleading's filing date being treated as having been filed post-limitations, and the original party now gets to file a new response, I am concerned they can raise limitations in this new response. Does that make sense? Or would the case just revert back to the previously valid pleading? – David Reed Mar 29 '19 at 20:24
  • You filed by the right date. They can respond to your filings, but if you turned the original filing in by the right date you are good. 15.1(c) talks about how to structure your amended filing. It doesn't change the date. – Putvi Mar 29 '19 at 20:28
  • Yeah, 15(c)(1) of the Ninth Circuit rules refers to the structure of the filing. – Putvi Mar 29 '19 at 20:40
  • To clarify again sorry, I mean 15(c)(1) of the federal rules of civil procedure, I just included 9th circuit in case the interpretation of this rule varies via circuit – David Reed Mar 29 '19 at 20:41
  • If the judge gave you leave to amend your filing it should be treated as being filed on the correct date. The judge probably gave you a time limit to amend though. – Putvi Mar 29 '19 at 20:46

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