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Rashid v. Delta State University

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division

April 17, 2015

RAHAT T. RASHID, Plaintiff,
v.
DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING EXTENSIONS

DEBRA M. BROWN, District Judge.

Before the Court are multiple motions for extensions of time filed by the parties. For the reasons that follow, none of the requested extensions will be granted.

I

The motions deadline in this case was originally set for December 5, 2014. Doc. #15. It was first extended until December 26, 2014, on Defendant's ore tenus motion, then extended until January 26, 2015, on Defendant's written motion.[1] See Nov. 20, 2014, Text Order; Dec. 8, 2014, Text Order. On January 26, 2015, Defendant moved for a third time to extend the deadline to January 29, 2015, stating that its counsel "has continued to encounter extenuating circumstances... which have impacted the pretrial process." Doc. #28. Specifically, Defendant represented that its counsel: (1) serves as conservator for her recently-hospitalized mother; and (2) was unable to access certain files in this matter as a result of a recent job change. Id. at ¶¶ 2-3. As justification for the extension, Defendant also cited the fact that Plaintiff was not deposed until January 15, 2015. Id. at ¶ 3. This Court granted the extension by text order on January 27, 2015, and reset the motions deadline for January 29, 2015.

On January 29, 2015, a Thursday, Defendant filed its motion for summary judgment, [2] Doc. #29, but did not file a supporting memorandum brief as required by Uniform Local Rule 7(b)(4). The following Monday, on February 2, 2015, Defendant filed an unopposed motion seeking a four-day extension until February 2, 2015, to file its brief, attaching the brief to the motion as an exhibit. Doc. #30. As grounds for the extension, Defendant represented that the brief was not completed because its counsel "has continued to encounter the extenuating circumstances, which impacted preparing and finalizing Delta State's Brief in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment." This Court granted the extension through text order on February 3, 2015.

Plaintiff's response to Defendant's summary judgment motion was due February 16, 2015, a Monday. See L.U. CIV. R. 7(b)(4); FED. R. CIV. P. 6(a)(1)(C) and (d).[3] On Friday, February 13, 2015, Plaintiff filed an unopposed motion to extend the deadline to file a response from February 17, 2015, [4] until February 24, 2015. Doc. #32. In her motion, Plaintiff represented that the extension was necessary "to acquire affidavits to support the response." Id. The Court granted Plaintiff's motion the same day, extending the deadline to file a response through February 24, 2015. See Feb. 13, 2015, Text Order.

Plaintiff did not file a response to the summary judgment motion by the February 24 deadline. However, on March 11, 2015, approximately two weeks after the deadline to respond, Plaintiff filed first her response, Doc. #34, and separate supporting brief, Doc. #35. The same day, Plaintiff then filed a motion to extend the time for the filing of her response through and until March 11, 2015. Doc. #36. Plaintiff's only arguments in support of her after-the-fact motion for extension are: (1) the motion is unopposed; (2) she needs more time "to acquire affidavits to support the response"; and (3) "Defendant did not respond [to] written discovery until the week of March 9, 2015." Doc. #36.

Because Plaintiff filed her response on March 11, 2015, the deadline for Defendant's reply in support of summary judgment was March 23, 2015.[5] On March 18, 2015, Defendant filed a reply with attached exhibits but no accompanying memorandum brief. Doc. #39. The same day, Defendant also filed a separate motion to strike certain statements in an affidavit of Plaintiff offered in opposition to the motion for summary judgment. Doc. #40.

On March 24, 2015, Defendant filed a motion to extend the time for its reply brief from March 23, 2015, until March 24, 2015, stating that "despite diligent effort, " one additional day was needed because its counsel "is the only attorney who has worked on this matter." Doc. #41. Later that day, citing the same reason, Defendant filed an "unopposed amended motion" for the same extension. Doc. #42. At approximately the same time, Defendant filed its reply brief. Doc. #43.[6]

The deadline for Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion to strike was April 6, 2015. On April 6, 2015, Plaintiff filed an unopposed motion for "an additional day to complete her response to Defendant's Motion to Strike." Doc. #45. On April 7, 2015, Plaintiff filed such response. Doc. #47. Defendant filed a reply in support of its motion to strike on April 14, 2015. Doc. #49.

Thus, presently pending before the Court are four requests for extensions: (1) Plaintiff's motion for an extension to respond to Defendant's summary judgment motion, Doc. #36; (2) Defendant's motion for an extension to file her summary judgment reply brief, Doc. #41; (3) Defendant's amended motion for an extension to file her summary judgment reply brief, Doc. #42; and (4) Plaintiff's motion for an extension to respond to the motion to strike, Doc. #45. All of these motions are fatally flawed.

II

Rule 6(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that, "for good cause, " a court may extend a deadline before the original deadline or its extension expires. A party seeking an after-the-fact extension, however, bears the heavier burden of demonstrating both "good cause" and "excusable neglect." See FED. R. CIV. P. 6(b)(1)(B) ("[T]he court may, for good cause, extend the time... on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect.") (emphasis added). "Relevant factors to the excusable neglect inquiry include: the danger of prejudice to the [non-movant], the length of the delay and its potential impact on the judicial proceedings, the reason for the delay, including whether it was within the reasonable control of the movant, and whether the movant acted in good faith." Adams v. Travelers Indem. Co. of Connecticut, 465 F.3d 156, 161 n.8 (5th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). "Even if good cause and excusable neglect are ...


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