United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Judge Patricia T. Morris
ORDER AFFIRMING DENIAL OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
EXTEND DISPOSITIVE MOTION DEADLINES  AND EXERCISING
DISCRETION TO EXTEND DISPOSITIVE MOTION DEADLINES
E. LEVY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris's Order
denying Defendant's motion to extend the dispositive
motion filing deadlines due to Defendant's untimeliness.
(ECF No. 18.) Defendant timely objected to Judge Morris's
non-dispositive Order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); E.D. Mich. L.R.
72.1(d). The Court has carefully reviewed the record along
with Judge Morris's Order and concurs in the reasoning.
Accordingly, because Judge Morris correctly concluded that
Defendant's delay was inexcusably neglectful, the Court
ADOPTS the Order denying Defendant's motion to extend
dispositive motion filing deadlines.
because the facts in this case are undisputed and because
district courts may exercise discretion to consider untimely
dispositive motions, the Court exercises its discretion in
this case to EXTEND the dispositive motion deadline by thirty
12, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that Defendant
violated Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment right to be free
from unreasonable seizures. (ECF No. 1.) On February 6, 2019,
this Court referred all pretrial matters to Magistrate Judge
Morris. (ECF No. 8.) Defendant answered the complaint on
April 17, 2019. (ECF No. 10.)
April 18, 2019, Judge Morris entered a scheduling order
setting the dispositive motion deadline for November 20,
2019, and the discovery motion deadline for August 23, 2019.
(ECF No. 11.) In the Court's electronic filing system,
the dispositive motion deadline appeared in bright-red text
next to the words “SCHEDULING ORDER.”
September 24, 2019-after both deadlines had passed-Plaintiff
filed a motion to compel discovery, arguing that Defendant
had refused to respond to Plaintiff's interrogatory
requests. (ECF No. 16.) Two days later, Defendant filed a
motion to extend the scheduling order date so that it could
file a motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 17.) Defendant
argued that defense attorney Michael Auten had taken over the
case in June 2019, and that the April 2019 scheduling order
“was never given to” him and “was not in
the file.” (Id. at PageID.60-61.) Defendant
also argued that Auten had checked PACER for a scheduling
order but had “somehow miss[ed]” it.
(Id. at PageID.61.) Defendant argued that it was
entitled to an extension under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 16(b)(4) because Auten had good cause for missing
the deadlines set by the scheduling order. (Id.)
Defendant also argued that it had a viable summary judgment
argument, and attached an affidavit attesting to such.
(Id. at PageID.62, 69.)
support its good-cause argument, Defendant attached an
objection it had mailed to Plaintiff on August 13, 2019.
(Id. at PageID.66.) Apparently, Plaintiff had sent
Defendant a timely request for interrogatories, documents,
and other discovery on July 23, 2019. (Id.)
Defendant had responded to Plaintiff's request by noting
that no discovery could take place before the parties
“have conferred as required by Rule 26(f). As of this
date, no Rule 26(f) conference has been held in this case.
Therefore, Plaintiff's discovery requests are not
permitted.” (Id. at PageID.66-67.) It does not
appear that either party took further action until Plaintiff
filed its motion to compel on September 24, 2019.
October 3, 2019, Magistrate Judge Morris issued an Order
denying Defendant's Motion to Adjourn. (ECF No. 18.)
Judge Morris noted that, while courts may extend deadlines
after the deadlines have already passed, Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 6(b)(1)(B) requires that the movant show both
“excusable neglect” and “good cause”
before the court will do so. (Id. at PageID.74.)
Judge Morris found that Defendant was inexcusably neglectful
and that it was unnecessary to reach good cause.
(Id. at PageID.76.)
Morris also issued a second October 3 Order granting
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery. (ECF No. 19.)
Judge Morris noted that Plaintiff's motion was also
untimely, but that “[b]ecause Defendant's reasoning
for his failure to respond was based on [an] erroneous
assumption that no scheduling order had been issued, the
motion to compel is GRANTED.” (Id. at
October 14, 2019, Defendant filed a timely objection to Judge
Morris's Order denying Defendant's motion to extend
the deadlines. (ECF No. 20.)