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Heggem v. Snohomish County Corrections

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 6, 2015

LARRY HEGGEM, Plaintiff,


RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court upon the following motions by Plaintiff Larry Heggem: Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. # 415), Motion to Compel Court Order (Dkt. # 417), and Motion for Discretionary Review (Dkt. # 419). Having considered the parties' memoranda and the relevant record, and being fully informed, the Court denies all three motions for the reasons stated herein.

First, Mr. Heggem moves for summary judgment on his excessive use of force claim against the two remaining defendants in this case, Sergeant Miller and Officer Nicholas. Dkt. # 415. On July 25, 2012, the Court adopted Judge Tsuchida's Report and Recommendation, denying summary judgment as to these two defendants in consideration of the "stark differences between the parties' claims" about the severity of the force they employed against Plaintiff. Dkt. # 161, p. 11; Dkt. # 205. After extending the discovery period on request of the parties, see, e.g., Dkt. # 296, the Court entered a Scheduling Order on January 17, 2014, setting a dispositive motions deadline of August 5, 2014. Dkt. # 305.

The instant Motion for Summary Judgment, filed 216 days after this dispositive motions deadline, is clearly untimely and cannot be considered absent good cause for an extension. See LCR 16(b)(3) (providing that summary judgment motions must be filed by the dispositive motions deadline). Plaintiff has not sought a modification of the pre-trial schedule, and the Court fails to identify good cause for extending the deadline at this late stage. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4) ("A schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent."); LCR 16(b)(4) ("Mere failure to complete discovery within the time allowed does not constitute good cause for an extension or continuance."); Zivkovic v. Southern California Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002) (a party demonstrates good cause for modification of the case schedule by showing that, despite the exercise of due diligence, he was unable to meet the deadlines set by the Court.). Although Plaintiff contends that the Motion is based on newly discovered evidence, it is premised entirely on evidence disclosed during the discovery period. Good cause is particularly wanting here, where Plaintiff was represented by counsel when the dispositive motions deadline lapsed, and the trial date was only continued in consideration of Plaintiff's decision to file suit against his appointed counsel.

Plaintiff, through his supplemental response brief, argues that the Motion should be considered timely because it was filed more than 30 days before the current trial date. Plaintiff misreads the Federal Rules. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(b) allows a party to file a summary judgment motion anytime until 30 days after the close of discovery, unless the Court orders otherwise. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(b). The discovery period in this case closed on July 7, 2014, see Dkt. # 305, and the Court has already denied Plaintiff's request to reopen it. See Dkt. # 394. In addition, Plaintiff's 94-page Motion is well beyond the 24-page limit set by the Local Rules and may be stricken on this ground alone. See LCR 7(e)(3). Despite its length, it fails to persuade the Court to revisit its earlier determination that there are genuine issues as to material facts that must be resolved at trial by the appropriate trier of fact.

Second, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel seeks a Court-ordered MRI scan of his spine, wrist, hips, and elbows. See Dkt. # 417. Through this Motion, Plaintiff moves the Court to re-open the discovery period-relief already denied by the Court. See Dkt. # 394. Plaintiff filed the instant request well beyond the June 6, 2014 deadline for discovery-related motions, See Dkt. # 305, and again makes no showing of good cause to reset long-lapsed deadlines. See LCR 16(b)(4). Plaintiff's untimely request shall also be denied.

Third, Plaintiff's Motion for Discretionary Review moves the Court to conduct a "discretionary review of former Defendant Matthew Eichelberger's declaration and deposition statement." Dkt. # 419. The Court entered an Order on October 3, 2014, following oral argument, granting Deputy Eichelberger's motion to dismiss him from this case. Dkt. # 354. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of this Order was denied shortly thereafter. See Dkt. # 371. The Court construes Plaintiff's instant Motion as a second Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order dismissing Deputy Eichelberger from this action. Local Rule 7(h) allows for only one motion for reconsideration to be filed within fourteen days after the order to which it relates is filed. LCR 7(h)(2). Plaintiff's Motion is thus both improper and untimely. Plaintiff's Motion also fails to show manifest legal error in the Court's prior ruling or any facts or legal authority that could not have been timely presented to this Court. See LCR 7(h)(1) ("Motions for reconsideration are disfavored."). Plaintiff's Motion shall accordingly be denied on its merits as well.[1]

Finally, Plaintiff is advised that the failure to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Local Rules, and the orders of this Court are all sanctionable offenses. LCR 11(c). Similarly, Plaintiff's decision to file unnecessary motions or to otherwise multiply or obstruct the proceedings in this case may subject him to imposition of any such penalty that this Court deems proper and just. Id. [2]


For the reasons stated herein, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. # 415), Motion to Compel Court Order (Dkt. # 417), and Motion for Discretionary Review (Dkt. # 419) are DENIED.

Plaintiff is advised to respect the Court-ordered deadlines in this case and to avoid obstructing the efficient conduct of these proceedings, as this case proceeds to trial on May 11, 2015. See Dkt. # 423.

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