Towet v. United States Department of Homeland Security
ORDER denying 6 Motion to Reduce the Response Time to the Summons Issued. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 2/16/21. Mailed to pro se party Erick Towet by regular mail. (ct)
Case 2:21-cv-02044-TC-TJJ Document 9 Filed 02/16/21 Page 1 of 2
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
Case No: 21-cv-2044-TC-TJJ
Plaintiff, who proceeds pro se, filed a Motion to Reduce the Response Time to the
Summons Issued (ECF No. 6). Plaintiff has been deported, but his family remains in the United
States. Plaintiff claims this situation, particularly during a global pandemic, creates an urgency
not present in an ordinary federal civil case. In light of this urgency, Plaintiff asks this Court to
reduce the amount of time—60 days—that Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(2) provides for the United States
and its agencies to file an answer or otherwise respond to his Complaint.
The Court sympathizes with Plaintiff’s situation, but Plaintiff offers no authority in
support of his request and the Court has found none.1 Fed. R. Civ. P 12(a)(1) prescribes the
time for serving a responsive pleading “[u]nless another time is specified by this rule or a federal
statute.” No other subsection of the rule or a federal statute specifies another time for Defendant
to file a responsive pleading. And the global pandemic, combined with difficulties presented by
1 In Plaintiff’s reply brief, Plaintiff cites “Fed Procedure 45 B(3)” as authority for his request. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 45(b)(3) addresses service of a subpoena in a foreign country and doesn’t appear to have relevance here.
The Court assumes Plaintiff means Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3), which allows a Court to modify or quash a subpoena.
But there are at least two problems with use of Rule 45. First, it relates to subpoenas—not summonses. And
second, Rule 45(d)(3) is written to protect those who are subject to a subpoena. It does not provide an avenue for
the Court to shorten a response time to benefit a party who served the subpoena (or, in this case, the summons).
Case 2:21-cv-02044-TC-TJJ Document 9 Filed 02/16/21 Page 2 of 2
a recent fire impacting the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Kansas, also
presents unique challenges for Defendant to respond more quickly than prescribed by Rule 12—
especially as quickly as Plaintiff asks: within 7 business days of service.
The Court denies the relief that Plaintiff seeks. But the Court, noting the statement in
Defendant’s response that it “will attempt to answer the Complaint before 60 days without the
need for extension” (ECF No. 7, at 2), provides the following guidance: The Court discourages
Defendant from requesting extension of its answer deadline given the alleged claims and
circumstances in this case, namely Plaintiff’s deportation and resulting long distance separation
from his family during the current pandemic.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated in Kansas City, Kansas, this 16th day of February, 2021.
Teresa J. James
U. S. Magistrate Judge
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