Washington Law Review


The Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal have had a serious effect on the way that Rule 12(b)(6) Motions to Dismiss are handled in federal courts across the country. In the five years since Iqbal was handed down, scholars and practitioners alike have discussed the merits and effects of this decision at length. However, there has been very little—if any—discussion on the relationship between amended complaints and original complaints when it comes to this newly-minted plausibility standard. This Comment aims to examine and critique a post-Twiqbal practice regarding amended complaints that is beginning to emerge in the Ninth Circuit. A number of district courts in the Ninth Circuit have held that courts may compare amended complaints to their predecessors as a part of the Twiqbal plausibility analysis. This Comment argues that this practice is not in line with the intent of Twiqbal nor with available precedent on amended complaints. As such, courts should refrain from adopting this practice going forward, and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit should strike down this emerging practice if presented with a chance to do so.

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