WEH Magic Valley Holdings v. EIH Parent et al
ORDER denying 142 and 146 Motions for Summary Judgment. Please review Order/Memorandum for complete details regarding ruling. Signed by Judge Sam E Haddon on 9/5/2017. (DED)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
WEH Magic Valley Holdings, LLC, a
limited liability corporation,
SEP 0 :> 2017
Clerk, U.S. District Court
District Of Montana
EIH Parent, LLC, a limited liability
company and James Carkulis, an
On June 29, 2017, the Court supplemented and in part replaced prior
scheduling orders in this case. Thereafter and as ordered by the Court, motions
and briefs were filed directed to:
( 1) the attorneys' fees issue in Count I of the Second
Amended Complaint; (2) remaining issues in Counts II,
III, IV, and VI [sic] as asserted against Carkulis
individually in the Second Amended Complaint; and (3)
issues related to Defendants' Counterclaim as asserted
against Plaintiff in Defendants' Answer to Second
Amended Complaint. Each party shall file a response, if
appropriate, with supporting documents, on or before
August 4, 201 7. An optional reply brief shall be due on
or before August 18, 2017. 1
The materials filed in support and in opposition to the several pending
Doc. 141 at 2.
motions encompass over 11 7 pages of briefing, over 55 combined statements of
undisputed facts and disputed facts in over 85 pages of materials in support and in
opposition to motions, 2 some 125 of which are asserted to be additional facts that,
in tum, reference to over 254 separate citations to other materials said to support
either disputed or undisputed facts.
The support materials as submitted also include compilations of selected
parts of, but not complete, texts of several depositions. Such incomplete
compilations render virtually impossible the task of deciphering whether the
selected materials made available to the Court accurately reflect the complete
content of the depositions referenced.
Documents separately identified in the undisputed and disputed fact
statements or offered in support of such statements, likewise, are not sufficiently
identified or authenticated to enable the Court, without additional information not
provided, to permit a reasoned decision to be made as to whether the documents
referenced would be admissible in evidence at trial.
Four separate affidavits or declarations totaling 383 pages have been
Defendants' Statement of Disputed and Undisputed Facts in Opposition to Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 154) fails to comply with L.R. 56.l(b)(l) which states
a party opposing a motion for summary judgment must- when asserting if the moving party's
Statement is undisputed or disputed- "set forth verbatim the moving party's Statement."
submitted, some of which were by counsel of record and which may raise, other
issues aside, the question of whether such counsel have, by that action, made
himself or herself a percipient witness subject to, inter alia, Mont. R. Prof.
Conduct 3.7 (2014).
In summary, the filings now before the Court, directed to new pending
issues, encompass over 590 separate pages of material and some 16 separate
documents that the Court will be required to review and digest to discern if
feasible whether a moving party has established sufficient undisputed material
facts to entitle it to particular relief as requested.
The summary judgment process is undoubtedly an important component of
our civil justice system. It is not, however, a document driven replacement for
trial on the merits by which the trial judge is expected to take on and carry out the
task of divining undisputed relevant material fact truth from a myriad of varying
and often conflicting factual accounts, recollections and inferences. Summary
judgment is not an out-of-courtroom, weight of paper substitute for trial on the
merits, which, itself remains as a bedrock of our system of justice.
In this case, the Court has determined it is inappropriate to order summary
judgment on issues raised by the pending motions on the record as it is now
characterized and presented in the filings by the parties. Obvious issues of
material fact are present and remain that preclude any such order. To undertake to
do so would require an inordinate waste of counsel and court resources, do little
or nothing to advance the merit dispute resolution process and would in the end
even further delay disposition of the case.
The pending motions for summary judgement are denied. 3 Each party shall
have the option to and including September 22, 2017, in which to refile a motion
for summary judgment, briefs and supporting papers, in whole or in part, in
appropriate form and content warranting merit consideration under Fed. R. Civ. P.
DATED this stfiaay of September, 2017.
United States District Judge
If summary judgment motions are submitted, the parties are strongly urged
to limit requests for relief to those in which counsel are prepared to represent to
the court that the relief sought is fully supported by controlling principals of law
Doc. Nos. 142 and 146.
and undisputed material facts.
Factual statements that are expected to require the Court to search the record
or to undertake a process of fact resolution or determination, or which would
require the Court to resolve questions as to which fact issues are material and
which are not should be avoided.
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