Moussavi et al v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 5/9/2017. (kns, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
',' _ n
SEYED MOUSSAVI, ef :11.,
Case No.: G,IH-15-209-1
.11'MORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.,
This Memorandum Opinion and Order addresses Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration
of the Order Denying Extension of Time to Amend Complain!. ECF No. 27. No hearing is
necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons. Plaintiffs' Motion for
Reconsideration is denied.
The Court issued its Iirst Opinion in this ease on August 19.2016. granting Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. but allowing I'laintifls fourteen days to Iile an
Amended Complain!. ECF No. 14: ECF No. 15. The parties subsequently agreed to extend this
deadline by three weeks. stating that "[t]he parties are discussing a potential resolution of this
matter," and "[tJhe parties believe the requested extension will facilitate these discussions." ECF
No. 16 at 1.1 The Court thus extended the deadline for Plaintifls to tile their Amended Complaint
until September 23. 2016. ECF No. 17.
I Pin cites to documents
the Court"s electronic
filing system (CM/ECF)
refer to the page numbers generated
Plaintiffs did not submit an Amended Complaint by the September 23.2016 deadline.
however. nor did Plaintiffs move for a second extension of time. As a courtesy. the Court's
chambers emailed counsel on September 26. 2016. inquiring as to the status of the casco ECF No.
21-1 at 6. Plaintiffs' counsel replied to chambers. stating that "'wJe are still engagcd in
settlement negotiations. so we will need to seek additional timc:' ECF No. 21-1 at 6. l3ut
Plaintiffs did not file a motion seeking additional time. In IllCt.morc than five months passcd by
without any activity of any kind on the docket. Thc Court finally dismissed the case with
prejudice on March 3. 2017. ECF No. 18.
Allcr thc Court's final order was entered. Plaintiff<; filed a Motion on March 10.2017.
requesting an "extension of time to amend and replace counsel:' ECF No. 19. Plaintiffs
explained that they had originally sought an extension of time "because it was expected that the
parties would either settle this case or amend the complaint. if settlement negotiations fail:' ECF
19'i 2. Howevcr.
they complained that "Defendants took well over 6 months to consider
Moussavi for a loan modification:'
which was the stated purpose of the settlement negotiations.
Id. ~ 4. In support of their Motion. Plaintiffs attach several emails between Plaintiffs' counsel
and Defendants' counsel -
to which the Court was not copied -
stating in one email on
December 13.2016 ... 'tlhe District Court has not bothered us. so I"m not sure where we are with
time:' ECF No. 21.1 at 4.
In consideration of PlaintifTs' Motion fiJr Extension of Time. the Court found that nothing
was extraordinary about unsuccessful settlement negotiations. and that Plaintill's' excuse
ultimately amounted to no more than palpable oversight or administrative fllilure. ECF No. 25 at
5. The Court reasoned that failed attempts at settlement do not excuse noncompliance with the
Court's deadlines, especially considering that Plaintill's could have requested additional
extensions of time or a stay of the casc. but lailed to do eithcr. Id. Thercfore, the Court dcnied
Plaintiffs' Motionf()r Extension of Timc on April 6.2017. Id. Now. Plaintiffs havc movcd f(lr
reconsideration of the Court's dccision. ECF No. 27. Plaintiffs state that ..the Court misscd the
December 13.2016 email ... whcrc Moussavi[s'] counsel scnt [a message] to opposing counsel
stating shc was under thc impression the Court was giving the parties timc to ncgotiatc a
settlcmcnt but was unaware of how much timc [thcy] had to ncgotiate:' ECF No. 27
Plaintiffs further protest that "[h]ad the Court given a new timc lI'ame or replied. Counsel would
have complied:' Id. ~ 3.
In sum. Plaintiffs e1aim that the "Court is missing the point:' ECF No. 27 at 2. It is
Plaintiffs who miss the point. When. as a courtesy. the Court's chambers contacted counsel to
inquire as to the status of the Amended Complaint. thc Cou~t-imposcd deadline f()r amcnding thc
complaint had already passcd. Thus. on that datc. rathcr than sending a courtcsy cmail from
chambers. the Court would havc becn well within its discretion to dismiss thc case absent a
ncglcct:' Fcd. R. Civ. 1'. 6(b)( I): sre a/so Fed. R. Civ. 1'.41 (b): Link v.
Wahash R.R. Co .. 370 U.S. 626. 630-31 (1962) ("Thc authority of a court to dismiss sua sponte
for lack of prosecution has gencrally been considcred an . inhcrcnt powcr.. govcrncd not by rulc
or statutc but by thc control necessarily vcstcd in courts to managc thcir own affairs so as to
achicve the orderly and cxpeditious disposition of cases:"): Uniled Stales
i'v/ollssaolli. 483 F.3d
220.236 (4th Cir. 20tl7). Plaintiffs' counsel rcspondcd to the Court's chambers. stating that "wc
will need to scek additional time." ECF No. 21-1 at 6. Howevcr. thai additional time was ncvcr
sought. and live full months elapsed beforc the Court took action. Evcn Plaintiffs' Dccembcr 13.
2016 email. which Plaintiffs point to as indicating their belief that thcy wcre not "sure where wc
are with timc:' ECF No. 21-1 at 4. was sent approximately three months beforc the Court finally
thc cas~ with prcjudicc.
Nothing in Plaintiffs'
in thc Court's
April 6. 2017 Mcmorandum
which was alrcady
Opinion. changes this
In sum. it is not thc job of the Court to monitor deadlincs
stays. It is thcjob
of the parties. Plaintiffs missed thc Scptcmbcr
in thc Court's
23. 2016 deadlinc
cannot and will
was not an
Brandon \'. Marsh. 943 F.2d 48. at *2 (4th Cir. 1991) (aflinning
wherc "the rccord bcforc thc court was
with an acccptable
Smith \'. Look C~)'c1e
USA. 933 F, Supp. 2d 787. 792 (E.D. Va. 2013) (finding
Motion for Rcconsideration
law has occurrcd.
thc rcalm ofcxcusable
that ..( I) an intervcning
Supp. 2d 680. 681 (D. Md. 2002) (iistingjustifications
change in thc controlling
has bccomc availablc.
to corrcct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice:'
a blank pagc for fIlieen months. and counsel was not f()rlhcoming
prior opinion. this is not an "extraordinary
district court' s denial of motion t(Jr rclief from judgmcnt
or (3) it is
Turner \', Kig/u. 2\7 F.
for granting a motion \()r
the Motion I()r Reconsideration
is denicd. A separate Order shall
nel-tlect in this casco See, e,~.. Herman \'. AI. L Mkt~. Co.. 116 F.3d 91. 96
reason lor neglcct):
ncglect can bc found. ECF No. 25 at 5. Indced. mcre confusion
(4th Cir. 1997) (aflirming
GEORGE J. HAZEL
United Statcs District Judge
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