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Cryer v. Franklin Templeton Res., Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

July 26, 2017, Decided; July 26, 2017, Filed

No. C 16-4265 CW

Opinion

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT

Plaintiff moves for leave to file an amended complaint. Defendant Franklin Resources, Inc. (FRI) has filed an opposition and Plaintiff has filed a reply. Having considered the parties' papers and oral argument, the Court DENIES the motion.

BACKGROUND

The Court has previously provided the relevant background (Docket No. 44). Plaintiff filed the original Complaint in this case on July 28, 2016. In a [*2]  minute entry on January 10, 2017, the Court issued a scheduling order setting February 13, 2017 as the deadline to add additional parties or claims. On June 20, 2017, Plaintiff filed this motion for leave to file the proposed First Amended Complaint (1AC).

The proposed 1AC includes four changes. First, it names as Defendants the individual members of Franklin Resources, Inc.'s (FRI) Board of Directors and the Plan's Investment Committee, in place of Does. Second, it adds factual allegations concerning the Board's authority over the Investment Committee; Defendants' financial arrangements with the Plan's recordkeeper and trustee, Charles Schwab; Defendants' alleged failure to offer the Plan a servicing credit granted to other investors in the same share class; and individual Defendants' alleged conflicts of interest. Third, it adds claims that Defendants engaged in transactions explicitly prohibited by ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1106. Fourth, it adds a claim against the Board of Directors, its members and FRI for failure to monitor their appointees.

LEGAL STANDARD

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4), a scheduling order "may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Where a schedule has been ordered, a party's ability [*3]  to amend its pleading is governed by this good cause standard, not the more liberal standard of Rule 15(a)(2). Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992). In order to determine whether good cause exists, courts primarily consider the diligence of the party seeking the modification. Id. at 609; see also Coleman v. Quaker Oats Co., 232 F.3d 1271, 1294 (9th Cir. 2000). "[N]ot only must parties participate from the outset in creating a workable Rule 16 scheduling order but they must also diligently attempt to adhere to that schedule throughout the subsequent course of the litigation." Jackson v. Laureate, Inc., 186 F.R.D. 605, 607 (E.D. Cal. 1999).

DISCUSSION

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150684 *; 2017 WL 4023149

MARLON H. CRYER, individually and on behalf of a class of all other persons similarly situated, and on behalf of the Franklin Templeton 401(k) Retirement Plan, Plaintiff, v. FRANKLIN TEMPLETON RESOURCES, INC.; and THE FRANKLIN TEMPLETON 401(k) RETIREMENT PLAN INVESTMENT COMMITTEE, Defendants.

Subsequent History: Motion granted by, Petition denied by Cryer v. Franklin Res., Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1842 (9th Cir. Cal., Jan. 24, 2018)

Prior History: Cryer v. Franklin Templeton Res., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34040 (N.D. Cal., Jan. 17, 2017)

CORE TERMS

good cause, scheduling order, diligent, Reply, first amended complaint, original complaint, amended complaint, individual member, facts underlying, motion for leave, leave to file, deadline, modified, monitor, parties, argues, amend