Whitman v. Daigle's Autobody & Repair, LLC et al
ORDER & REASONS: denying 7 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 3/13/17. (sek)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
DAIGLE’S AUTO & BODY
REPAIR, LLC, ET AL.
ORDER & REASONS
Before the Court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
(Rec. Doc. 7) filed by Defendants, Daigle’s Auto & Body Repair,
LLC and Neil Daigle (“Defendants”), an opposition thereto (Rec.
Doc. 8) filed by Plaintiff, Michael Whitman, and a reply (Rec.
Doc. 11) filed by Defendants. Having considered the motion and
legal memoranda, the record, and the applicable law, the Court has
determined that it will defer ruling on the motion at this time;
and therefore, the motion is DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On September 26, 2016 Plaintiff, a former tow truck driver
for Defendants, filed a lawsuit alleging that Defendants failed to
pay him minimum wages and overtime compensation pursuant to the
Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and
for alleged unpaid wages pursuant to Louisiana’s Wage Payment
Statute, La. Rev. Stat. 23:631, et seq. (Rec. Doc. 1.) On January
19, 2017, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment (Rec. Doc. 7), seeking to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for
overtime pay pursuant to the Motor Carrier Act (“MCA”) exemption
opposition to the motion, asserting that the motion should be
denied due to genuine issues of material fact, or alternatively,
the motion should be delayed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(d). (Rec. Doc. 8, at 1.) On February 11, 2017 Defendants filed
a reply, asserting that Plaintiff does not properly raise any
issues of material fact, and that discovery is unwarranted. (Rec.
Doc. 11.) Defendants’ motion is now before the Court on the briefs
and without oral argument.
discovery, and any affidavits show that “there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); see also
reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the nonmoving party,
but “unsupported allegations or affidavits setting forth ‘ultimate
or conclusory facts and conclusions of law’ are insufficient to
either support or defeat a motion for summary judgment.” Galindo
v. Precision Am. Corp., 754 F.2d 1212, 1216 (5th Cir. 1985); Little
v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
Procedure, if a nonmovant shows that “it cannot present facts
essential to justify its opposition” to a motion for summary
judgment, the Court may: “(1) defer considering the motion or deny
it; (2) allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take
discovery; or (3) issue any other appropriate order.” Rule 56(d)
“provides a mechanism for dealing with the problem of premature
summary judgment motions.” Murillo v. Coryell Cty. Tradesmen, LLC,
No. 15-3641, 2017 WL 228218, at *1 (E.D. La. Jan. 19, 2017) (citing
State Farm Fire & Cas., Co. v. Whirlpool Corp., No. 10-1922, 2011
WL 3567466, at *2 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 15, 2011)). Rule 56(d) “allows
for further discovery to safeguard non-moving parties from summary
judgment motions that they cannot adequately oppose.” Culwell v.
City of Fort Worth, 468 F.3d 868, 871 (5th Cir. 2006). “Such
motions are broadly favored and should be liberally granted.” Id.
specifically state that a “party who seeks relief under subdivision
(d) may seek an order deferring the time to respond to the summaryjudgment motion.” However, a request to defer ruling on a summary
judgment motion under Rule 56(d) must “set forth a plausible basis
for believing that specified facts, susceptible of collection
within a reasonable time frame, probably exist and indicate how
the emergent facts, if adduced, will influence the outcome of the
pending summary judgment motion.” Raby v. Livingston, 600 F.3d
552, 561 (5th Cir. 2010) (citing C.B. Trucking, Inc. v. Waste
Management Inc., 137 F.3d 41, 44 (1st Cir. 1998)).
Plaintiff sent its discovery request to Defendants on January
19, 2017, and Defendants filed the pending motion on the same date.
The submission date on Defendants’ motion was February 15, 2017.
opposition to Defendants’ motion was due by February 7, 2015.
Defendants’ responses to discovery were not due until February 18,
2017. This effectively barred Plaintiff from conducting discovery
prior to filing its opposition, and did not allow for any responses
to discovery prior to the February 15, 2017 submission date.
Plaintiff has asserted that it cannot properly oppose the motion
until discovery is conducted and is able to receive discovery
responses and perform depositions. (Rec. Doc. 8-3.) Specifically,
Plaintiff contends that he needs to conduct discovery regarding
the Defendants’ policies regarding interstate towing jobs, which
directly addresses the issue of whether the MCA exemption would
apply. Id. Pursuant to the Court's Scheduling Order, the parties
have until July 31, 2017 to complete discovery, and any nonevidentiary pretrial motions must be filed in sufficient time to
permit hearing thereon no later than August 10, 2017. (Rec. Doc.
6.) Thus, Defendants’ motion is premature. See Murillo, 2017 WL
Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Court shall defer ruling Defendants’ Motion for
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment (Rec. Doc. 7) DENIED, as explained above.
New Orleans, Louisiana this 13th day of March, 2017.
CARL J. BARBIER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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