United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
JESS R. SMITH, Plaintiff,
BARBARA GRONSETH, Y STUBBS, S FRAKES, M OBENLAND, ROY GONZALEZ, M HOLTHE, WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge.
District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action
filed by Plaintiff Jess R. Smith to United States Magistrate
Judge David W. Christel. Presently before the Court is
Plaintiff Jess. R. Smith's “Motion to Reopen
Discovery” (“Motion”). Dkt.
Court concludes Plaintiff has not shown good cause or
excusable neglect for the untimely discovery requests.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion is denied. Further, in
light of “Defendants' Answer to Plaintiff's
Amended Civil Rights Complaint” (Dkt. 66), the Court
amends the Pretrial Scheduling Order (Dkt. 27).
Motion to Reopen Discovery
Motion, Plaintiff requests additional time to conduct
discovery. Dkt. 65. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 6(b) and 16(b), the Court may extend a deadline for
good cause. However, if a motion for an extension is made
after a deadline, the Court may not extend time
absent a showing of excusable neglect. Fed.R.Civ.P.
began in this case on November 23, 2016. Dkt. 27. On April
11, 2017, the Court stayed this case pending resolution of
Plaintiff's interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
Dkt. 47. On January 12, 2018, because Plaintiff's appeal
had resolved, the Court issued an Order lifting the stay and
amending the briefing schedule to allow the parties to file
supplemental briefs to Defendants' then-pending Motion
for Summary Judgment. See Dkt. 53, 55. The Order
allowed Plaintiff to file a supplemental response on or
before April 16, 2018, and allowed Defendants to file an
optional supplemental reply on or before April 20, 2018. Dkt.
55, p. 2. Therefore, Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment was due to come ready for the Court's
consideration on April 20, 2018. Id.; see
also Dkt. 53.
on January 19, 2018, because the stay had been lifted,
Defendants' attorney responded to discovery requests
Plaintiff had sent him prior to the stay being issued. Dkt.
67, Pavela Dec., ¶ 11. Defendants' attorney received
additional discovery requests from Plaintiff on April 11,
2018. Id. at ¶ 12. Defendants' attorney
returned the discovery requests to Plaintiff unanswered,
contending the requests were untimely. Id. at ¶
13; see also Dkt. 65, p. 6.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require parties to respond
to interrogatories and requests for production within thirty
days after being served with them. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b), 34(b).
Thus, given the time limits set forth in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and that Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment was due to come ready on April 20, 2018, Plaintiff
had between January 12, 2018 and March 21, 2018, to serve
Defendants with discovery requests.
April 30, 2018, Plaintiff signed, effectively filing, the
present Motion. Dkt. 65. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion
is untimely and the Court may not grant the Motion unless
Plaintiff shows excusable neglect. Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B).
asserts he should be granted additional time to conduct
discovery because the discovery he was given after the stay
was lifted provided “newly discovered facts” and
resulted in his further discovery requests. Dkt. 65, pp. 5-6.
However, the record reflects Defendants most recently sent
Plaintiff discovery on January 19, 2018 - nearly three months
before Plaintiff's next discovery requests in April 2018.
See Id. at 2-3, 5-6, 9; Dkt. 67, Pavela Dec.,
¶¶ 11-12. Further, although Plaintiff asserts
Defendants sent him discovery “out of order” and
in small font, the record demonstrates the discovery was not
so indecipherable as to warrant a nearly three-month delay
between Plaintiff's receipt of this discovery and his
next discovery requests. Dkt. 65, p. 3; see also
Dkt. 60-2, pp. 4-17. The Court also notes Plaintiff had more
than four months prior to the stay being issued to conduct
discovery. See Dkt. 27, 47. Therefore, Plaintiff has
failed to show either good cause or excusable neglect.
above stated reasons, the Court finds Plaintiff has not shown
good cause or excusable neglect sufficient to reopen the time
to conduct discovery. Accordingly, the Motion (Dkt. 65) is
Pretrial Scheduling Order Amendment
April 24, 2018, the Court issued an Order granting
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend. Dkt. 62. In light of
“Defendants' Answer to Plaintiff's Amended
Civil Rights Complaint” (Dkt. 66), the Court amends the
Pretrial Scheduling Order (Dkt. 27) as follows:
• Dispositive motions are due on or before July 9, 2018.
This amendment to the scheduling order does ...