United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
PRECISION SPINE, INC., and SPINAL USA, INC., f/k/a Spinal USA, LLC PLAINTIFFS
ZAVATION, LLC, J2 MANUFACTURING LLC, and JEFFREY JOHNSON DEFENDANTS
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STRIKE
GUIROLA, JR. CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
THE COURT is the  Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike, in
which Plaintiffs Precision Spine, Inc. and Spinal USA, Inc.
(together, “Spinal”), ask that the thirteen
summary judgment motions filed by the defendants be striken
because the filings are not in compliance with Local Rule
7(b)(5) . In all, the motions total 173 pages and the
accompanying briefs total 198 pages. The defendants contend
that thirteen separate motions were necessary because of the
complexity of the case. After due consideration of the
parties' arguments and review of the record, the Court
finds that the motion to strike should be granted.
Spinal alleges a scheme by its former corporate officer,
Jeffrey Johnson, to steal confidential and proprietary
information, trade secrets, and employees in order to
unlawfully compete with Spinal. There are twenty counts in
the amended complaint, which names Jeffrey Johnson and two
companies he formed, Zavation, LLC, and J2 Manufacturing LLC,
as defendants. Spinal filed the amended complaint after the
Court granted in part and denied in part the defendants'
motion to dismiss the original complaint. (See
Order, ECF No. 40). Having reviewed the allegations in some
detail, the Court is familiar with the interrelated nature of
the parties and the actions on which the amended
complaint's twenty counts are based.
to Local Rule 7(b)(5), a “[m]ovant's original and
rebuttal memorandum briefs together may not exceed a total of
thirty-five pages.” The defendants in this case, all
represented by the same counsel, have filed seven motions for
partial summary judgment. [ECF Nos. 177, 179, 181, 183, 185,
187, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, 199, 203]. Taken together, the
memorandum briefs filed in support of the motions for summary
judgment vastly exceed thirty-five pages. The defendants did
not seek leave of this Court to exceed the page limit set by
Local Rule 7(b)(5), and although the defendants argue that it
was necessary to split the multiple issues and parties into
thirteen motions, it is the Court's view it will
unnecessarily complicate the summary judgment analysis to
start from the beginning of the case as to each defendant and
each claim. All of the claims ultimately originate from
Jeffrey Johnson's alleged actions, and the actions of the
defendants relate to one another.
Court therefore finds that the filings are a clear attempt to
circumvent the page limitations set forth in the local rules.
See Harvey v. Caesars Entm't Operating Co.,
Inc., No. 2:11CV194-NBB-SAA, 2014 WL 12656553, at *3
(N.D. Miss. Aug. 22, 2014). Page limits are
“circumvented when a party distributes its separate but
related contentions and legal challenges over several
dispositive motions, each of which is accompanied by a brief
that approaches the . . . page limit.” Thomas v.
Firerock Prod., LLC, No. 3:13CV109-DMB-JMV,
2014 WL 12541627, at *1 (N.D. Miss. Oct. 14, 2014) (quoting
Welker Bearing Co. v. PHD, Inc., No. 06-13345, 2007
WL 1647878, at *1 (E.D. Mich. June 4, 2007) and citing
Rainbow Nails Enters., Inc. v. Maybelline, Inc., 93
F.Supp.2d 808, 810 n.1 (E.D. Mich. 2000) (noting that filing
of separate motions addressing only certain counts of the
complaint was effort “to create the illusion of
compliance with the Local Rules”)).
a party seeks to circumvent a page-limit by filing multiple
dispositive motions, the proper course is to strike the
motions and direct the filing of ‘a single consolidated
motion and brief in support, combining all . . . arguments in
a single filing.'” Thomas, 2014 WL
12541627, at *1 (quoting Welker Bearing Co., 2007 WL
1647878, at *1). “This practice is justified by the
fact that ‘a single filing, even if somewhat over the .
. . page limit, is vastly preferable to a profligacy of
motions - which . . . invariably triggers multiple responses
and replies, supported by escalating rounds of overlapping
arguments and duplicative exhibits.'” Id.
Enforcement of the local rules by striking non-complying
filings is a matter within the Court's discretion.
See United States v. Rios-Espinoza, 591 F.3d 758,
760 (5th Cir. 2009).
Court will therefore strike all pending motions for summary
judgment filed by the defendants [177, 179, 181, 183, 185,
187, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, 199, 203]. The defendants shall
have twenty-one days from the entry of this order to file one
joint motion for summary judgment. The response and reply
shall be filed within the time allowed by the Local Rules. If
any party believes it is unable to adequately brief the
issues within the page limitations of Local Rule 7(b)(5), the
party shall seek leave of Court prior to filing memorandum
briefs exceeding the limitations.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the 
Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike is GRANTED.
The Motions for Summary Judgment filed by the defendants
[177, 179, 181, 183, 185, 187, 189, 191, 193, 195, 197, 199,
203] are hereby STRICKEN.
IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the defendants
shall have twenty-one days from the entry of this order to
file one joint motion for summary judgment.