Boston Post Partners II, LLP v. Paskett et al

Filing 135

ORDER granting 134 Motion for Court to Accept Its Summary Judgment Opposition Papers Filed One Day Late. Signed by Judge Douglas L Rayes on 3/22/2017. (MMO)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Boston Post Partners II LLP, No. CV-16-02401-PHX-DLR Plaintiff, 10 ORDER 11 v. 12 Golden Sands Partnership, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 16 Plaintiff/Counterdefendant Boston Partners II, LLC has filed a Motion for Court to 17 Accept Its Summary Judgment Opposition Papers Filed One Day Late. (Doc. 134.) 18 Defendants filed their summary judgment motions on February 13, 2017. Pursuant to 19 LRCiv 56.1, Plaintiff’s responses were due 30 days later on March 15, 2017, but Plaintiff 20 filed them one day later. 21 declaration that he anticipated filing Plaintiff’s responses on March 15, 2017, but he 22 encountered technical difficulties with the Court’s electronic filing system, CM/ECF. 23 Specifically, Mr. Livingstone’s password did not work and he tried three times to reset it 24 prior to the filing deadline, but was unsuccessful. 25 Plaintiff’s counsel, James Livingstone, states in a sworn The following day, Mr. Livingstone emailed Plaintiff’s responses to counsel for 26 Defendants and filed the materials with the Court. He also emailed counsel for 27 Defendants and asked if they would consent to a one day extension of time to 28 accommodate his delayed filings. Surprisingly, counsel for Defendants refused, 1 apparently because they did not believe the CM/ECF system was down for maintenance 2 during the relevant time. Neither attorney, however, responded that the delay prejudiced 3 their clients. 4 For good cause, the Court may accept documents filed late due to excusable 5 neglect. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(1)(B). “Determining whether neglect is excusable requires 6 a court to balance the danger or prejudice to the [other party], the length of the delay and 7 its potential impact on judicial proceedings, the reason for the delay, . . . and whether the 8 movant acted in good faith.” Uche-Uwakwe v. Shinseki, 349 Fed. App’x 136, 137 (9th 9 Cir. 2009) (internal quotation and citations omitted). “This rule, like all the Federal 10 Rules of Civil Procedure, is to be liberally construed to effectuate the general purpose of 11 seeing that cases are tried on the merits.” Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., 624 F.3d 12 1253, 1258-59 (9th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation and citation omitted). 13 Here, the Court need not await a response from Defendants to conclude that good 14 cause, the interests of justice, and the spirit of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure weigh 15 in favor of Plaintiff’s requested extension. Counsel for Defendants complained of no 16 prejudice to their clients when responding to Mr. Livingstone’s email, nor can the Court 17 conceive of any meaningful prejudice under these circumstances. Mr. Livingstone filed 18 Plaintiff’s responses a mere one day late, and the delay appears to have resulted from 19 technical difficulties and not from bad faith. 20 Absent meaningful prejudice to their clients, counsel for Defendants should have 21 agreed to Mr. Livingstone’s request as a matter of professional courtesy. This would 22 have obviated the need for Plaintiff to file the present motion and its accompanying 23 twenty pages of attachments, and would have saved the judicial resources spent in having 24 to issue an order granting the motion. Civil litigation is not a war to be won at all costs, 25 and there is no need to “play hardball” in order to prevail on the merits. Rule 1 of the 26 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure makes clear that the rules should be employed by the 27 parties not as a “gotcha game” to take advantage of innocent and harmless mistakes by 28 the other side, but to “secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every -2- 1 action[.]” In short, the “purpose of the court system is to resolve civil disputes in a civil 2 way.” Younes v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 312 F.R.D. 692, 708 (D.N.J. 2015). 3 4 5 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Court to Accept Its Summary Judgment Opposition Papers Filed One Day Late (Doc. 134) is GRANTED. Dated this 22nd day of March, 2017. 6 7 8 9 10 Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

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