Quinn v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company et al
ORDER denying 58 Motion for Reconsideration filed by Derek Quinn. The Clerk is directed to to unrestrict the audio file (Doc. 49) as to Quinn, so that he may access it if he so desires. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 2/25/2014. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL
TRUST COMPANY, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION 13-0115-WS-C
This matter comes before the Court on pro se plaintiff Derek Quinn’s Motion to
Reconsider (doc. 58).
By Order (doc. 47) dated January 13, 2014, this Court fixed a briefing schedule for a pair
of pending Motions for Summary Judgment, pursuant to which Quinn’s response was due no
later than February 7, 2014. At a hearing conducted on January 16, 2014, Magistrate Judge
Cassady indicated that he was going to allow Quinn’s attorney to withdraw and that Quinn (who
personally attended and participated in the hearing) would have to represent himself unless and
until he retained other counsel. Judge Cassady made repeated mention of defendants’ Motions
for Summary Judgment during the hearing. When Quinn appeared to protest that he had not seen
those Motions, Judge Cassady reminded Quinn that he had complete access to the court file. In a
follow-up written Order dated February 5, 2014 and emailed to Quinn at the address he provided,
Judge Cassady expressly stated that Quinn’s response to the summary judgment motions
remained due on or before February 7, 2014.
On February 13, 2014, six days after the summary judgment response deadline, Quinn
filed a Motion to Extend Time (doc. 56). In that Motion, Quinn did not assert that he needed
more time to respond to the summary judgment motions because (i) he is no longer a practicing
lawyer and has to travel to a law library to perform research, (ii) his energies had been focused
on other facets of the case, or (iii) he had mistakenly believed that the briefing deadlines would
be extended when he requested re-opener of the discovery period. Instead, the sole stated ground
for Quinn’s Motion to Extend Time was that “only [on February 13] did Quinn discover that a
motion for summary judgment had been filed.” (Doc. 56, at 1-2.) This statement was false.
Quinn had known about the pending Rule 56 Motions since no later than January 16, 2014. We
know this because an audio recording of the January 16 hearing reveals that Judge Cassady
referenced those motions repeatedly. Moreover, Quinn had been reminded of those motions (and
his impending briefing deadline) in the February 5 Order. Besides, Quinn could and should have
checked the docket sheet well before February 13 to ascertain what motions were pending and
what deadlines were approaching. For these reasons, this Court entered an Order (doc. 57) on
February 17, 2014, denying Quinn’s Motion to Extend Time.
Now, Quinn submits a seven-page Motion to Reconsider. In this Motion, he complains
of “unreasonable requirements” imposed by this Court, states that he “believes this Court is
attempting to hold Quinn to a higher standard,” and “asks this court for a little understanding.”
(Doc. 58, at 4, 5, 7.) Frankly, the Court does not understand plaintiff’s conduct. Quinn
misrepresented to this Court that he first discovered the existence of the Motions for Summary
Judgment on February 13, 2014, when the record conclusively proves otherwise.1 He admitted
that he did not read the February 5 Order (reminding him of the impending summary judgment
response deadline) until “immediately prior to and during drafting” his Motion to Reconsider on
February 20. (Doc. 58, at 5.) And despite being a former attorney who practiced in federal
court, Quinn admittedly did not bother to look at the docket sheet for a month after he took
responsibility for this case. Yet he now attempts to blame everyone else – his former lawyer,
opposing counsel, Magistrate Judge Cassady, and even this Court2 – for his failure to respond to
On this point, Quinn objects that he “does not have any recording or transcript of
the January 16, 2014 hearing to dispute any order to speak intelligently as to all the words of that
hearing.” (Doc. 58, at 7.) The audio recording of that hearing is part of the court file, and is
found at document 49. The Clerk’s Office is directed to “unrestrict” that audio file as to Quinn,
so that he may access it if he so desires.
Quinn suggests that the summary judgment briefing schedule violates Local Rule
7.2 and that his response time was somehow unfairly shortened because he was busy doing other
things. He is incorrect. Both Motions for Summary Judgment were filed on January 10, 2014.
The January 13 Order provided that plaintiff had until February 7, 2014, or 28 days, to respond
to those Motions. Local Rule 7.2 provides that a summary judgment response is due “[w]ithin
30 days … or as may be otherwise ordered.” LR 7.2(b) (emphasis added). Nothing in Local
Rule 7.2 guarantees a litigant 30 days of “unencumbered” time devoid of any other case activity
in which to prepare a summary judgment response.
the summary judgment motions in a timely manner. Quinn has only himself to blame for the
predicament in which he has placed himself through neither good cause nor excusable neglect.
The Motion to Reconsider is denied, and defendants’ Motions for Summary Judgment
have now been taken under submission.
DONE and ORDERED this 25th day of February, 2014.
s/ WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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