Cox v. United States of America
OPINION AND ORDER: The Court DENIES plaintiff's Request for Extension 10 . (See 4 page opinion for more information.) Signed on 6/12/17 by Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan. (Mailed copy to plaintiff) (dsg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
SHAWNA COX, and those similarly
situated, and those real parties to be
joined as their names become known,
Case No. 2:17-cv-00121-SU
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
and JOHN DOES 1-100,
SULLIVAN, United States Magistrate Judge:
Plaintiff Shawna Cox brings this action to challenge the federal government’s ownership
of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The United States has
moved to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, or in the alternative, for failure to state a
Page 1 – OPINION AND ORDER
claim. (Docket No. 4). In her Response to that Motion, plaintiff moves to remand to Oregon
state court. (Docket No. 5). Plaintiff previously moved for an extension of time to amend her
Complaint and to file a reply in support of her Motion to Remand (Docket No. 8), which the
Court granted (Docket No. 9). Plaintiff now moves for another extension, in her “Request for
Extension of Time to Resolve Unsettle State Court Matters.” (Docket No. 10). The United
States opposes. (Docket No. 11). For the following reasons, the Court DENIES plaintiff’s
Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(1) permits the court to extend the time for a party to undertake a
particular action upon a showing of “good cause.” The primary factor in determining whether
good cause exists is whether the party seeking amendment was diligent in pursuing the
amendment. See Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir.1992)
(discussing “good cause” standard under analogous Fed. R. Civ. P. 16). Under Local Rule 163(a), objections to “any court-imposed deadline” must be made by motion and: (1) “[s]how good
cause why the deadlines should be modified”; (2) “[s]how effective prior use of time”; (3)
“[r]ecommend a new date for the deadline in question”; and (4) “[s]how the impact of the
proposed extension on other existing deadlines, settings, or schedules.”
Whether to grant an extension of time lies within the district court’s discretion. See
Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., 624 F.3d 1253, 1258 (9th Cir. 2010). “Rule 6(b) gives the
court extensive flexibility to modify the fixed time periods found throughout the rules, whether
the enlargement is sought before or after the actual termination of the allotted time.” Lujan v.
Nat’l Wildlife Fed., 497 U.S. 871, 905 n.7 (1990) (emphasis added) (citing 4A C. Wright & A.
Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1165, p.475 (2d ed. 1987)).
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Plaintiff requests a 90-day extension to file a reply in support of her Motion to Remand,
so that she may “address and resolve unsettled matters in Harney County District Court as they
will have a direct effect on the proceeding herein.” Pl. Request for Extension, at 1 (Docket No.
10). In an attached affidavit, plaintiff recites purported “fatal due process violations and errors”
in this matter when it was in Oregon state court, id., Ex. 1, Cox Aff.; plaintiff had originally filed
this action in Harney County Circuit Court, and the United States removed to this Court because
the federal government is the defendant, see 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1); Notice of Removal (Docket
No. 1). Plaintiff asserts that the state court should have entered default in this action. Cox Aff.
Plaintiff previously obtained a 30-day extension to reply. (Docket No. 9). In moving for
that extension, plaintiff represented that she needed additional time to reply because she “had
three recent funerals of close family friends and [would] be attending to family duties out of state
for 10 days.” Pl. Mot. for Extension, at 1 (Docket No. 8). Plaintiff’s Reply (under her original
extension) was due May 15, 2017. Plaintiff filed the present Request on May 9, 2017.
Plaintiff has not shown good cause for a second extension. Plaintiff has not explained
how she has made diligent use of her time already, including the already-granted first extension.
In fact, she gives no explanation of why she requires a second, considerably lengthier, extension
(unlike her explanation for why she needed the original extension). Plaintiff has also not
explained why any purported problems in state court affect the questions before this Court on her
and the United States’ Motions. These questions are whether this action was properly removed
and whether this Court has subject-matter jurisdiction, neither of which turns on procedural
issues in state court. Plaintiff has not explained how any action she might take in state court
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would affect these analyses, and it appears to the Court that no such action would. Additional
extensions in this matter would thus be futile. Therefore, there is no good cause shown for
plaintiff’s requested, second extension.
For these reasons, the Court DENIES plaintiff’s Request for Extension. (Docket No. 10).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 12th day of June, 2017.
/s/ Patricia Sullivan
United States Magistrate Judge
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