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Amending Pleadings

Amending Pleadings

Brien Roche

In Virginia, amending pleadings is an issue that arises frequently.

Amending Pleadings-Criteria

The only standard set forth in the rules is found in Rule 1:8 which says that “Leave to amend should be liberally granted in furtherance of the ends of justice.”

However the case law on the subject has further refined the criteria.  It is within the sound discretion of the court as to whether amendment should be granted.  Ogunde v. Prison Health ServicesInc., 274 Va. 55, 67 (2007)  A court’s refusal to allow amendment after a showing of good cause is an abuse of discretion in ordinary circumstances as stated in Ford Motor Co. v. Benitez, 273 Va. 242, 252 (2007)

Good cause is based upon several criteria:

  • Any previous attempts at amendment.
  • Timeliness of the motion.
  • Prejudice to the opposing party.
  • Aside from prejudice, the court should also consider whether such prejudice will affect that party’s ability to have a fair trial. Peterson v. Castano, 260 Va. 299, 303 (2000)
  • Is the request made to avoid or unnecessarily delay the trial?  Ogunde at 67

In Costanzo v. Costanzo, WL 230159 (2009), the court concluded that there was an abuse of discretion in not allowing an amendment to an answer where the moving party had not previously sought amendment and there was nothing to suggest that the moving party was attempting to avoid the trial date.  Also in that case the non-moving party’s suggestion that an amendment would increase attorneys’ fees was meritless.

Amendments to Pleadings-Approaching Trial Date

In addition the issue sometimes arises as to how long before trial such amendments should be allowed.  In Godfrey v. Hofheimer, 33 Va. Cir. 427 (1994), the court allowed an amendment of the ad damnum 3 to 4 days before trial.  Further in Bell v. Kirby, 226 Va. 641, 646 (1984), the court permitted an amendment to increase the ad damnum 2 days before trial, doubling the amount sued for.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on amending pleadings see the Wikipedia pages.

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Amending Pleadings

Amending Pleadings

Brien Roche

In Virginia, amending pleadings is an issue that arises frequently.

Amending Pleadings-Criteria

The only standard set forth in the rules is found in Rule 1:8 which says that “Leave to amend should be liberally granted in furtherance of the ends of justice.”

However the case law on the subject has further refined the criteria.  It is within the sound discretion of the court as to whether amendment should be granted.  Ogunde v. Prison Health ServicesInc., 274 Va. 55, 67 (2007)  A court’s refusal to allow amendment after a showing of good cause is an abuse of discretion in ordinary circumstances as stated in Ford Motor Co. v. Benitez, 273 Va. 242, 252 (2007)

Good cause is based upon several criteria:

  • Any previous attempts at amendment.
  • Timeliness of the motion.
  • Prejudice to the opposing party.
  • Aside from prejudice, the court should also consider whether such prejudice will affect that party’s ability to have a fair trial. Peterson v. Castano, 260 Va. 299, 303 (2000)
  • Is the request made to avoid or unnecessarily delay the trial?  Ogunde at 67

In Costanzo v. Costanzo, WL 230159 (2009), the court concluded that there was an abuse of discretion in not allowing an amendment to an answer where the moving party had not previously sought amendment and there was nothing to suggest that the moving party was attempting to avoid the trial date.  Also in that case the non-moving party’s suggestion that an amendment would increase attorneys’ fees was meritless.

Amendments to Pleadings-Approaching Trial Date

In addition the issue sometimes arises as to how long before trial such amendments should be allowed.  In Godfrey v. Hofheimer, 33 Va. Cir. 427 (1994), the court allowed an amendment of the ad damnum 3 to 4 days before trial.  Further in Bell v. Kirby, 226 Va. 641, 646 (1984), the court permitted an amendment to increase the ad damnum 2 days before trial, doubling the amount sued for.

Call, or contact us for a free consult. Also for more info on amending pleadings see the Wikipedia pages.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

    Contact Us For A Free Consultation

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