Fellah v. City University of New York et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER. For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's motion for a jury trial is GRANTED. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to terminate the motion pending at Docket Number 26. SO ORDERED. re: 26 FIRST LETTER MOTION fo r Leave to File Jury Demand Per Briefing Schedule (DKT. 22) Request Jury Demand to be So Ordered by Judge addressed to Judge John P. Cronan from Plaintiff dated 12/11/2020. Document filed by Tarik Fellah. (Signed by Judge John P. Cronan on 1/8/2021) (rjm)
Case 1:20-cv-06423-JPC Document 29 Filed 01/08/21 Page 1 of 3
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK et al.,
20 Civ. 6423 (JPC)
JOHN P. CRONAN, United States District Judge:
The question here is whether Plaintiff’s jury demand is timely and, if it is not, whether the
Court should allow an untimely demand anyway. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
concludes that Plaintiff’s jury demand is timely and thus grants Plaintiff’s motion for a jury trial.
Defendants removed this matter from the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New
York County, on August 13, 2020. Dkt. 1. Defendants have not yet filed an answer to the
Complaint, but the Court granted Defendants leave to file a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 15. Defendants
motion is due by January 20, 2021. Dkt. 17.
On November 16, 2020, Plaintiff filed a letter-motion requesting a conference before filing
a motion for a late demand for a jury trial. Dkt. 18. The Court denied Plaintiff’s request for a
conference, but set a briefing schedule for this motion. Dkt. 22. On December 11, 2020, Plaintiff—
acting through newly retained counsel—filed a letter motion that argues that Plaintiff’s jury demand
“is in fact timely.” Dkt. 26 at 1. Defendants responded, but took “no position on the timeliness of
Plaintiff’s request to file a jury demand.” Dkt. 27. Plaintiff replied on December 30, 2020. Dkt.
Case 1:20-cv-06423-JPC Document 29 Filed 01/08/21 Page 2 of 3
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 81(c)(3) governs jury demands in removed actions. This
rule outlines three different scenarios for when a party in a removed action must demand a jury.
First, if a party demanded a jury trial before the case was removed, he need not file another jury
demand in federal court after removal. Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)(3)(A). This provision does not apply
here because Plaintiff did not file a jury demand in state court. See Dkt. 26 at 1. Second, if “all
necessary pleadings have been served at the time of removal,” a party seeking a jury trial must file
a demand within 14 days after he files the notice of removal or is served with the notice of removal.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)(3)(B). This also does not apply here because Defendants did not file an answer
or otherwise respond to the Complaint in state court. See Dkt. 18 at 1. Finally, Rule 81 provides
that if the state law “did not require an express demand for a jury trial,” a party does not have to
demand a jury trial after removal unless the court orders otherwise. Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)(3)(A).
Plaintiff argues that this provision applies here, Dkt. 26 at 1, but the Court disagrees. New York
law does require that a party demand a jury trial. See N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 4102(a) (“Any party may
demand a trial by jury of any issue of fact triable of right by a jury, by serving upon all other parties
and filing a note of issue containing a demand for trial by jury.”). So Rule 81(c) does not answer
the question before the Court.
“When, as here, a removed case does not fall under Rule 81(c), courts must look to the
general rules governing jury demands in federal courts.” Encarnacion v. Isabella Geriatric Ctr.,
No. 11 Civ. 3757 (GHW) (JCF), 2014 WL 4494160, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 11, 2014). Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 38 provides, in relevant part, that a party may demand a jury trial by serving the
demand “no later than 14 days after the last pleading directed to the issue is served.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 38(b)(1). Here, Defendants have not yet filed a responsive pleading to the Complaint. Thus,
Plaintiff’s jury demand is timely under Rule 38. The Court therefore need not reach whether it
Case 1:20-cv-06423-JPC Document 29 Filed 01/08/21 Page 3 of 3
would order a jury trial if Plaintiff’s demand was untimely. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 39(b); Cascone v.
Ortho Pharm. Corp., 702 F.2d 389, 392-93 (2d Cir. 1983).
For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for a jury trial is GRANTED. The Clerk of
Court is respectfully directed to terminate the motion pending at Docket Number 26.
Dated: January 8, 2021
New York, New York
JOHN P. CRONAN
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?