Relations Back Amendment Pleadings

It is important, when drafting complaints, to remember the primary purpose of the rule governing relations back of amended pleadings. It is to preserve actions that, through mistaken identity or misnomer, have been filed against the wrong person.

Consult the wording on action limitation at Rule 15 (C) in the Rules of Civ. Proc. Whether the amendment will be allowed is at the discretion of the court.

Amendment Requirements Require Strategic Precision

Civ.R. 15 (C) sets forth 3 requirements that must be met before an amendment “changing the party” can relate back to the original pleading. First, the claim in the amended complaint must arise “out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading.” Second, the party sought to be substituted by the amendment must have received notice of the action “within the period provided by law for commencing the action,” so that the party is not prejudiced in maintaining a defense. Third, the new party, “within the period provided by law for commencing the action,” knew or should have known that, but for a mistake concerning the proper party’s identity, the action would have been brought against the new party.