LAWSON v. LYNCH et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION denying 36 Motion for Third Extension of Time to File, granting 29 Motion to Dismiss as conceded, and dismissing case without prejudice. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 05/24/2018. (lckbj1)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
SHEILA J. LAWSON,
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, U.S.
Attorney General, et al.,
No. 15-cv-1723 (KBJ)
On March 3, 2018, Defendants in this matter filed a motion to dismiss plaintiff
Sheila Lawson’s amended complaint, or alternatively, for summary judgment. (ECF
No. 29.) Because she is proceeding pro se, this Court advised Lawson of her
obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the local rules of this Court
to respond to the motion, and specifically warned Lawson that, if she did not respond to
the motion by April 20, 2018, the Court may treat the motion as conceded and may
dismiss the case or enter judgment in Defendants’ favor. (See Order, ECF No. 30, at 1–
3.) Lawson sought, and this Court granted, two extensions of this deadline (see Min.
Order of Apr. 26, 2018 (extending deadline to May 11, 2018); Min. Order of May 21,
2018 (extending deadline to May 21, 2018)), and in its Order granting the second
requested extension, the Court warned Lawson that “absent extraordinary and
unforeseen circumstances, no further extensions of this deadline will be granted” (Min.
Order of May 21, 2018).
Lawson has now requested a third extension to respond to Defendants’ motion,
asserting that she needs more time because “four fully identified FBI Special Agents
and a DOJ employee utilized the verified illegally circulated unauthorized
telecommunications property and access to computer programs that Plaintiffs is
listening to 24/7, 365, as she is spied on by laypersons and government officials[,]”
which has prevented her from working on her opposition. (Pl.’s Mot. for a 3d
Extension of Time to File and/or Supplement Pl.’s Mem. in Opp’n & Decl., ECF No.
36, at 1–2; see also id. at 8 (alleging that Lawson “has listened to [two individuals]
violently yelling into their computers (my brain) and spying into [my residence] for a
couple hours”); id. at 11 (alleging that an individual “accesses unauthorized
telecommunications property and stolen computer programs to stalk and talk to Sheila
Lawson’s brain 24/7, and also watch and listen to any talking in Sheila Lawson’s
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(e) authorizes this court to extend a deadline if
a party requests an extension before the deadline expires upon a showing of “good
cause.” And while Lawson did file her request before her deadline had passed, this
Court finds that her assertion that she needs more time because the government has
been spying on her and yelling into her brain does not constitute good cause, let alone
extraordinary and unforeseen circumstances that would justify yet another extension of
this deadline. Cf. Ling Yuan Hu v. U.S. Dep’t of Def., No. 13-5157, 2013 WL 6801189,
at *1 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 11, 2013) (holding that the district court’s sua sponte dismissal of
a complaint as patently insubstantial was proper where “its factual allegations were
‘essentially fictitious,’ involving a fantastic scenario of a vast government conspiracy
to interfere in appellant’s daily life”); Custis v. CIA, 118 F. Supp. 3d 252, 255 (D.D.C.
2015) (sua sponte dismissing a complaint as patently insubstantial where the plaintiff
alleged that government officials had implanted devices into her body and were
continuously stalking and surveilling her), aff’d sub nom. Custis v. Cent. Intelligence
Agency, 650 F. App’x 46 (D.C. Cir. 2016). Accordingly, this Court will DENY
Lawson’s request for a third extension of time, will GRANT Defendants’ motion to
dismiss as conceded, and will DISMISS this action without prejudice. 1 See LCvR 7(b);
Cohen v. Bd. of Trustees of the Univ. of D.C., 819 F.3d 476, 480 (D.C. Cir. 2016).
A separate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.
DATE: May 24, 2018
Ketanji Brown Jackson
KETANJI BROWN JACKSON
United States District Judge
Because the Court is dismissing Lawson’s complaint, it does not reach the merits of Defendants’
alternative argument that they are entitled to summary judgment. See Winston & Strawn, LLP v.
McLean, 843 F.3d 503, 505 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (“Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a motion
for summary judgment cannot be ‘conceded’ for want of opposition.”).
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