Graham v. Antero Resources Corporation
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO COMPLETE DISCOVERY AND DENYING AS MOOT PENDING MOTIONS IN LIMINE: It is ORDERED that Defendant's 56 M otion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED; Defendant's 66 , 67 , 68 , 69 , 70 , 71 , 72 , and 73 Motions in Limine are DENIED AS MOOT; and Plaintiff's 54 Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery is DENIED. The Defendant 039;s counterclaim for declaratory judgment is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that this civil action be DISMISSED and STRICKEN from the active docket of this Court. The Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment on this matter. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr on 4/7/17. (cnd)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Civil Action No. 1:16CV26
ANTERO RESOURCES CORPORATION,
a Delaware corporation,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT,
DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR EXTENSION
OF TIME TO COMPLETE DISCOVERY AND
DENYING AS MOOT PENDING MOTIONS IN LIMINE
The plaintiff originally filed this civil action in the
Circuit Court of Ritchie County, West Virginia.
defendant removed the action to this Court based on diversity
The plaintiff is Luscious Graham, who alleges that
she owns a portion of the mineral rights underlying land known as
the “Belle Unit” in Ritchie County, West Virginia.
engages in the drilling and production of oil and gas wells in West
Virginia and other states.
The defendant obtained the required
permits and drilled three horizontal oil and gas wells on the Belle
Unit: A.P.I. Nos. 47-085-10027 (“Belle Unit 1H”), 47-085-10028
(“Belle Unit 2H”), and 47-085-10029 (“Belle Unit 3H”).
The plaintiff asserts two counts in her complaint. Count I of
the complaint alleges that the defendant drilled the wells without
the plaintiff’s permission and thereby is liable for trespass. The
plaintiff also claims in Count I that the defendant is liable for
theft and conversion of her interest in the mineral rights because
the defendant has produced and marketed petroleum from the wells
without her consent. Count II of the complaint asserts that, after
the defendant obtained the permits for drilling, the plaintiff
signed three joint operating agreements (“JOAs”) under threats of
contemplate the defendant’s working interest in the Belle Unit at
99.08314% and the plaintiff’s working interest at 0.91686%.
plaintiff also asserts in Count II that the defendant has refused
to provide her the accountings she requested after signing the
The defendant’s answer asserts a counterclaim against the
The counterclaim asks the Court to enter a declaration
of the rights and obligations of the parties in the three Belle
Unit wells under the plain language of the JOAs. Specifically, the
counterclaim asks the Court to declare that the plaintiff is a NonConsenting Party as to each well, that the plaintiff’s mineral
interest is leased to the defendant as to each well, and that the
defendant has the right to operate each well according to the terms
and conditions set forth in the respective JOAs.
counterclaim requests that the Court release and discharge the
defendant from all liability relating to this dispute.
The plaintiff filed a motion to remand on March 2, 2016,
alleging a lack of diversity.
The Court subsequently ordered
limited discovery and supplemental briefing as to jurisdiction.
The Court found that it had jurisdiction and denied the plaintiff’s
motion to remand on July 24, 2016.
The defendant timely served its initial disclosures and then
filed a motion to compel the plaintiff’s initial disclosures.
Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi granted the defendant’s motion
to compel on September 22, 2016. On October 5, 2016, the defendant
served discovery requests on the plaintiff, and the plaintiff did
not serve any responses to those requests, which were due on
November 7, 2016.
The plaintiff did not serve any discovery
requests on the defendant, and the discovery deadline was November
The plaintiff filed a motion to extend the time to
complete discovery on November 22, 2016.
At issue in this memorandum opinion are (1) the defendant’s
motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 56); (2) the plaintiff’s
motion for extension of time to complete discovery (ECF No. 54);
and (3) the defendant’s motions in limine (ECF Nos. 66-73).
the reasons set forth below, the defendant’s motion for summary
judgment is granted, the plaintiff’s motion for extension of time
to complete discovery is denied, and the defendant’s remaining
motions in limine are denied as moot.
The parties have now filed the following documents that are at
issue in this memorandum opinion and order: (1) the defendant filed
a motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 56); (2) the plaintiff filed
a motion for extension of time to complete discovery (ECF No. 54);
and (3) the defendant filed several motions in limine (ECF Nos. 6673).
The motion for summary judgment and motion for extension of
time to complete discovery are discussed below.
motions in limine, those are discussed later in this memorandum
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment
The defendant argues that this Court should grant its motion
for summary judgment as to both Count I and Count II of the
As to Count I, the defendant argues that the Court
should grant the motion because it entered into the three JOAs with
the plaintiff for each of the three wells on the Belle Unit.
Specifically, the defendant argues that there was no trespass or
conversion because the plaintiff agreed to lease her mineral rights
to the defendant under the JOAs. The defendant further argues that
the plaintiff defaulted on her working interest by failing to make
payments under the JOAs and is now thus a Non-Consenting Party.
The defendant asserts that, by signing the JOAs and electing to
participate in the drilling operations, the plaintiff was obligated
to advance her proportionate share of the costs of the operations.
Because she failed to make the payments and is now a Non-Consenting
Party, the defendant states that, under the terms of the JOAs, she
is entitled only to a one-eighth royalty for her mineral interest,
which is treated as leased to the defendant.
As to Count II, the defendant argues that the plaintiff is not
entitled to an accounting because she was deemed a Non-Consenting
Party after defaulting on her share of the drilling costs.
defendants explains that, under the terms of the JOAs, a NonConsenting Party is not entitled to receive information on the
Lastly, the defendant argues that the Court
should enter a declaration of the rights and obligations of the
parties under the plain language of the JOAs as pled in the
The plaintiff then filed her response in opposition.
64. The plaintiff attached an affidavit to her response explaining
that she has been able to conduct only limited discovery thus far
because her child was killed in a shooting accident during the time
discovery responses were due.
She also states in the affidavit
that she has since filed late responses and that she does not share
the defendant’s understanding of the terms of the JOAs.
response in opposition, she argues that the facts of the case are
as set forth in her complaint and the affidavit attached to the
response, and that those facts are contrary to the facts set forth
in the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
argues that the motion for summary judgment should be denied
because of the parties’ contrary statements of facts and because
the defendant’s argument centers around “blithe acceptance” of the
terms of the JOAs.
The defendant timely filed a reply.
ECF No. 65.
defendant states in its reply that the plaintiff’s response was not
timely and that the plaintiff has also ignored other filing and
scheduling order deadlines.
The defendant further states that the
plaintiff has not presented sufficient evidence to create a genuine
issue of material fact. In support of that argument, the defendant
notes that the plaintiff’s answers to the defendant’s requests for
insufficient as a matter of law and deems the matters asserted in
the requests admitted and conclusively established.
also cites case law in support of its argument that the plaintiff
cannot undo her default admissions with her later untimely answers
in part because they cannot be construed as a “motion” to withdraw
the default admissions.
Even if the Court were to construe the
untimely answers as a motion to withdraw the deemed admissions, the
defendant argues that the motion could not be granted because doing
so would prejudice the defendant and not promote presentation of
Plaintiff’s Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery
The plaintiff filed her motion for extension of time to
complete discovery on November 22, 2016.
The discovery deadline
set forth in the Court’s scheduling order was November 30, 2016.
The plaintiff argues that she has been unable to respond to the
defendant’s discovery requests for personal and logistic reasons.
The plaintiff also states that the defendant had informally agreed
to provide the plaintiff with certain discovery documents and did
plaintiff to obtain the requested information in a much more
lengthy and time-consuming manner.
Lastly, the plaintiff asserts
that neither party will be able to adequately prepare for trial
without an extension of the discovery deadlines.
plaintiff’s motion on December 5, 2016.
The defendant argues that
the plaintiff has not shown good cause to amend the scheduling
order to extend discovery deadlines as required by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 16(b)(4).
The plaintiff cited three reasons for
her motion to extend discovery deadlines.
As to the plaintiff’s
first basis that she has been unable to respond to discovery
requests for personal and logistic reasons, the defendant argues
that the assertion fails to explain why the plaintiff did not
request additional time sooner and also fails to specify what
additional discovery is necessary and how long it will take.
defendant also argues that, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
36, the matters asserted in the defendant’s requests for admission
are deemed admitted and conclusively established.
The plaintiff’s second basis was that she and the defendant
had an informal agreement to provide documents. To this basis, the
defendant argues that it voluntarily provided the plaintiff with an
accounting of the actual costs for the Belle Unit wells and the
plaintiff never indicated that she was dissatisfied with the
accounting or attempted to obtain additional discovery.
plaintiff’s last basis for an extension of discovery deadlines is
that neither party will be able to prepare adequately for trial
without an extension.
The defendant responds to this argument by
stating that the plaintiff has not been able to point to a genuine
issue of material fact for trial after several months of discovery
and the plaintiff’s admissions provide conclusive evidence that the
defendant is entitled to summary judgment.
The defendant also asserts that the plaintiff did not contact
the defendant to determine three possible alternate deadlines
before filing the motion as required by Local Rule of Civil
Motion for Summary Judgment
Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the
record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stipulations . . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or
other materials; or
(B) showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute,
or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible
evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c).
The party seeking summary judgment bears
the initial burden of showing the absence of any genuine issues of
See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
“The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to come
forward with facts sufficient to create a triable issue of fact.”
Temkin v. Frederick County Comm’rs, 945 F.2d 716, 718 (4th Cir.
1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S. 1095 (1992) (citing Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)). However, as the
United States Supreme Court noted in Anderson, “Rule 56(e) itself
provides that a party opposing a properly supported motion for
summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials
of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at
determining whether there is the need for a trial—whether, in other
words, there are any genuine factual issues that properly can be
resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be
Charbonnages de France v. Smith, 597 F.2d 406, 414 (4th Cir. 1979)
(“Summary judgment ‘should be granted only in those cases where it
is perfectly clear that no issue of fact is involved and inquiry
into the facts is not desirable to clarify the application of the
law.’” (citing Stevens v. Howard D. Johnson Co., 181 F.2d 390, 394
(4th Cir. 1950))).
In Celotex, the Supreme Court stated that “the plain language
of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who
fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party’s case, and on which that party
will bear the burden of proof at trial.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322.
In reviewing the supported underlying facts, all inferences must be
viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the
motion. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 provides that a scheduling
order “may be modified only for good cause and with the judge’s
Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4).
Good cause requires that the
party has been diligent in seeking to abide by the applicable
Cook v. Howard, 484 F. App’x 805, 815 (4th Cir. 2012).
To determine whether a party has satisfied the good cause standard,
courts look to “the danger of prejudice to the non-moving party,
proceedings, the reason for the delay, and whether the movant acted
in good faith.”
Tawwaab v. Va. Linen Serv., Inc., 729 F. Supp. 2d
757, 768-69 (D. Md. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted).
As stated earlier, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment
and the plaintiff’s motion for extension of time to complete
discovery are at issue in this civil action.
Further, the parties
filed several motions in limine. Those motions are discussed below
in the order presented.
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment
In its motion for summary judgment, the defendant argues that
Count I of the plaintiff’s complaint, the claims of trespass and
conversion, fails because the parties entered into three JOAs for
each of the Belle Unit wells, in which the plaintiff agreed to
lease her minerals to the defendant.
The defendant argues that
Count II of the plaintiff’s complaint, in which she requests an
accounting, fails because, by defaulting on her working interest,
the plaintiff is now a Non-Consenting Party under the terms of the
JOAs and not entitled to an accounting.
The defendant also argues
that it is entitled to a declaration of the rights and obligations
of the parties as pled in its counterclaim.
In opposition to the defendant’s motion, the plaintiff argues
that the defendant’s argument centers around “blithe acceptance” of
the terms of the JOAs and that the plaintiff initiated the case to
set aside the terms of the JOAs.
For the following reasons, this Court grants the defendant’s
motion for summary judgment.
The Defendant’s Requests for Admission Are Deemed Admitted and
admission are deemed admitted and conclusively established.
plaintiff did not respond to the defendant’s First Requests for
Admission, Second Set of Interrogatories, or Second Request for
Production of Documents.
The defendant served the discovery
requests by regular United States mail and electronic mail on
October 5, 2016.
The thirty-day period for the plaintiff to
respond expired on November 7, 2016.
Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 36, the matters asserted in the defendant’s requests for
admission are deemed admitted and conclusively established.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(a)(3) (“A matter is admitted unless, within 30
days after being served, the party to whom the request is directed
serves on the requesting party a written answer or objection
addressed to the matter and signed by the party or its attorney.”);
Fed. R. Civ. P. 36(b) (“A matter admitted under this rule is
conclusively established unless the court, on motion, permits the
admission to be withdrawn or amended.”); see also Weva Oil Corp. v.
Belco Petroleum Corp., 68 F.R.D. 663, 667 (N.D. W. Va. 1975)
(“[W]here there is no response to a request for admission, the
party making the request is entitled to rely thereon and no further
proof is required to be made of the facts thus admitted.”).
The plaintiff filed late responses, but those late responses
were only a one-line blanket denial of the defendant’s requests for
admission, which are insufficient as a matter of law.
See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 36(a)(4) (“If a matter is not admitted, the answer must
specifically deny it or state in detail why the answering party
cannot truthfully admit or deny it.
A denial must fairly respond
to the substance of the matter . . . .”).
This Court cannot
construe the untimely one-line blanket denial as a formal request
admissions to the defendant’s discovery requests as required by
Rule 36(b) gives the Court discretion to permit withdrawal or
amendment of an admission to a request for discovery only upon
motion of a party, not sua sponte.
See Adventis, Inc. v. Consol.
Prop. Holdings, Inc., 124 F. App’x 169, 173 (4th Cir. 2005)
(“[O]nce a matter that is properly subject of an admission under
Rule 36(b) has been admitted during discovery, the district court
is not free to disregard that admission.”).
Here, there was no
such motion and, thus, this Court cannot disregard the plaintiff’s
The Plaintiff’s Default Admissions Cannot Be Rebutted by the
Affidavit Attached to Her Response to the Defendant’s Motion for
The plaintiff attached an affidavit to her response to the
defendant’s motion for summary judgment, but the affidavit is
inadequate to present a genuine issue of material fact. First, the
affidavit improperly relies on hearsay, asserting that the death of
her child during the time her discovery responses were due was the
reason she did not respond appropriately. See Fed R. Civ. P.
56(c)(4) (“An affidavit or declaration used to support or oppose a
motion must be made on personal knowledge, set out facts that would
be admissible in evidence, and show that the affiant or declarant
is competent to testify on the matters stated.”); Evans v. Tech.
(“[S]ummary judgment affidavits cannot be conclusory or based upon
hearsay.” (internal citations omitted)).
Second, the affidavit is an improper use of a pleading to
dispute a summary judgment motion.
See Buckner v. Tygart Valley
Const., Inc., No. 2:04CV75, 2007 WL 2416373, at *11 (N.D. W. Va.
Aug. 20, 2007) (“Default admissions that are not withdrawn or
amended cannot be rebutted by affidavits entered in opposition to
summary judgment nor can those admissions be ignored by the Court
simply because it finds the evidence presented by the party against
whom the admissions operated to be more credible.”).
plaintiff cannot cure her constructive admissions with an affidavit
attached to her summary judgment pleading.
Additionally, even if the affidavit did not improperly rely on
hearsay and use a pleading to dispute a summary judgment motion, it
still would not present a genuine issue of material fact.
affidavit asserts that the plaintiff’s son died in an accident when
her initial disclosures were already more than two weeks late and
more than five weeks before the defendant served its second set of
In other words, the plaintiff’s discovery
responses were due over ten weeks after the date of her son’s
death, during which time the plaintiff did file her late initial
affidavit cannot rebut her earlier constructive admissions.
The Plaintiff Has Failed to Present Any Genuine Issue of
The plaintiff’s argument that the terms of the JOAs should be
set aside falls short because, in her reply to the defendant’s
counterclaim, the plaintiff admits to executing the JOAs and the
recording supplement, Authorization for Expenditure (“AFE”), and
Well Participation Election for each of the JOAs.
admitted that she signed the Belle Unit 3H Well Participation
Election and Belle Unit 3H Well AFE on December 27, 2013.
supplements for the Belle Unit 3H Well and the Belle Unit 1H Well,
the Belle Unit 1H Well Participation Election, and the Belle Unit
1H AFE on February 21, 2014.
Lastly, the plaintiff admitted that
Election, and AFE for the Belle Unit 2H Well on March 18, 2014.
The plaintiff’s argument also falls short because she admitted
that she was invoiced for each of the three Belle Unit Wells.
admitted that she received a letter with the invoice for the Belle
Unit 3H Well on December 20, 2013.
She admitted that she received
the letter with the invoice for the Belle Unit 1H Well on February
12, 2014. Lastly, she admitted that she received a letter with the
invoice for the Belle Unit 2H Well on March 10, 2014.
admitted that she received follow-up letters requesting the payment
of the invoice for each of the three wells within thirty days.
received the request for payment of the Belle Unit 3H Well invoice
on March 3, 2014, the request for payment of the Belle Unit 2H Well
invoice on April 2, 2014, and the request for payment of the Belle
Unit 1H Well invoice on April 25, 2014.
Despite admitting to receiving the invoices and follow-up
letters requesting payment within thirty days, the plaintiff did
not remit payment for any of the wells. The plaintiff’s failure to
remit payment on the wells triggered Article XVI.J. of each JOA,
which provides in relevant part:
Any party electing to participate in any drilling or
completion operation, or any other operation requiring
the advance written approval of the parties participating
in such operation shall, if invoiced by Operator, be
obligated to advance its proportionate share of the total
estimated cost shown on the proposal for such operation.
Operator shall have the right to invoice each Consenting
Party for its proportionate share of such costs within
thirty (30) days prior to the anticipated commencement
date of such operation (or promptly following the
commencement of operations after the expiration of the
election period stated in Article VI.C.1. with respect to
a completion operation). Any Consenting Party who fails
to pay the full amount of its invoice to Operator within
thirty (30) days following receipt of such invoice shall
be in default and shall be deemed to be a Non-Consenting
Party with respect to such operation, without any
requirement that Notice of Default or Notice of NonConsenting Election be furnished to such party.
Thereafter, the provisions of Article VI.B.2.(a), shall
apply with respect to treatment of the proposal and the
Article VI.B.2.(a), referenced in the above provision, provides in
relevant part as follows:
Operator shall assume the rights and obligations of any
Non-Consenting Party in the proposed operation to the
extent of such Non-Consenting Party’s interest in the
Thus, as the plaintiff admits to executing the JOAs and
associated documents, she is bound by the terms of those documents,
including Articles XVI.J. and VI.B.2.(a) of the JOA for each of the
three Belle Unit wells.
Under the terms of the JOAs, portions of
which are cited above, the plaintiff became a Non-Consenting Party
when she failed to remit payment on any of the wells.
As a Non-
Consenting Party, her mineral interest is treated as leased to the
defendant under the terms and conditions of the form Oil and Gas
Leases attached as exhibits to the JOAs.
Accordingly, the plaintiff cannot prevail on her claims for
trespass and conversion stated in Count I of her complaint.
West Virginia law, trespass is “an entry on another man’s ground
inconsiderable, to his real property.”
Hark v. Mountain Fork
Lumber Co., 34 S.E.2d 348, 352 (W. Va. 1945).
Because the JOAs and
authority to enter and operate upon the Belle Unit wells, the
plaintiff’s trespass claim fails.
Conversion under West Virginia
law is “[a]ny distinct act of dominion wrongfully exerted over the
property of another, and in denial of his rights, or inconsistent
therewith, may be treated as a conversion and it is not necessary
that the wrongdoer apply the property to his own use.”
Rodgers, 399 S.E.2d 664, 677 (W. Va. 1990).
The plaintiff’s claim
for conversion also fails because, under the terms of the JOAs
executed by the parties, the plaintiff’s mineral interest is
treated as leased to the defendant.
Thus, there was no act of
wrongful dominion of the plaintiff’s property by the defendant.
The plaintiff’s alternative claim for an accounting in Count
II also fails because she is not entitled to an accounting under
the terms of the JOAs as a Non-Consenting Party. Article XVI.J. of
each JOA sets forth as follows:
The rights of a defaulting party that may be suspended
hereunder at the election of the non-defaulting parties
shall include, without limitation, the right to receive
information as to any operation conducted hereunder
during the period of such default.
Although not required to do so under the terms of the JOAs,
the Court notes that the defendant nonetheless voluntarily provided
the plaintiff with an accounting of actual costs for the Belle Unit
wells on June 21, 2016.
This accounting included vendor names,
descriptions of services, dates, invoice numbers, amounts per well,
and total amounts.
The defendant is further entitled to summary judgment on its
counterclaim for declaratory judgment.
Declaratory judgment “is
appropriate ‘when the judgment will serve a useful purpose in
clarifying and settling the legal relations in issue, and . . .
when it will terminate and afford relief from the uncertainty,
Centennial Life Ins. Co. v. Poston, 88 F.3d 255, 256 (4th Cir.
1996) (quoting Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Quarles, 92 F.2d 321, 325
(4th Cir. 1937)). Here, the plain language of the JOAs governs the
interest in the Belle Unit wells, and granting declaratory judgment
to the plaintiff will serve the useful purpose of clarifying and
settling that legal relationship.
Additionally, the plaintiff did
not address the defendant’s counterclaim for declaratory judgment
in her response in opposition to the defendant’s motion for summary
Thus, the defendant is entitled to declaratory judgment as
pled in its counterclaim and as is plainly set forth in the JOAs.
Specifically, the defendant is entitled to declaratory judgment
that the plaintiff’s mineral interest in the Belle Unit wells is
leased to the defendant under the terms and conditions set forth in
Exhibit B to the JOAs; that the defendant has the right to operate
the Belle Unit wells, including the plaintiff’s mineral interest;
and that the plaintiff is entitled to only a one-eighth royalty for
her mineral interest, subject to Article VI.B.2.(b) and the other
terms and conditions of the JOAs.
Plaintiff’s Motion for Extension of Time to Complete Discovery
After a review of the case history and the arguments advanced
by the plaintiff and the defendant, this Court finds it clear that
the plaintiff has failed to show good cause to extend discovery in
discovery was November 22, 2016, by the present motion to extend
As discussed previously, the plaintiff’s
failure to provide timely, sufficient responses resulted in her
constructive admission of the defendant’s requests for admission
pursuant to Rule 36(b).
The plaintiff does not overcome these
admissions by her affidavit citing “personal and logistic” reasons
for her inability to appropriately respond to discovery requests.
Thus, this Court finds that the plaintiff was not diligent in
seeking to abide by the applicable deadlines as required by Cook,
484 F. App’x at 815, and, thus, cannot satisfy the good cause
Additionally, the plaintiff has not served any discovery on
the defendant and does not specify in her motion what discovery is
necessary or how long it would take to obtain such discovery.
Accordingly, as there is no way to tell how lengthy or expensive
the delay would be, granting the extension would result in “danger
of prejudice to the non-moving party.” Tawwaab, 729 F. Supp. 2d at
agreement to provide documents and alleges that the defendant did
previously, the defendant did voluntarily provide the plaintiff
with an accounting of actual costs for the Belle Unit wells.
expressed dissatisfaction with the accounting provided to her.
Accordingly, the Court finds that the plaintiff has not shown
good cause to extend the discovery deadline.
See Pony Computer,
Inc. v. Equus Computer Sys. of Mo., Inc., 162 F.3d 991, 996-97 (8th
Cir. 1998) (affirming district court’s denial of extension of
discovery deadline as “an unbounded fishing expedition” and noting
that “[i]nadequate discovery cannot be a shield against summary
judgment without a showing of a meritorious opposition”).
Defendant’s Motions in Limine
Following the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the
defendant filed several motions in limine.
ECF Nos. 66-73.
Because this Court grants the defendant’s motion for summary
Accordingly, the pending motions in limine are denied as moot.
For the reasons set forth above, the defendant’s motion for
summary judgment (ECF No. 56) is GRANTED. Accordingly, the pending
motions in limine (ECF Nos. 66-73) are hereby DENIED AS MOOT.
Further, the plaintiff’s motion for extension of time to complete
discovery (ECF No. 54) is DENIED.
Additionally, the defendant’s counterclaim for declaratory
obligations of the plaintiff and the defendant in the Belle Unit 1H
Well, the Belle Unit 2H Well, and the Belle Unit 3H Well, under the
terms of the Joint Operating Agreements relevant thereto, as
that the plaintiff is a Non-Consenting Party as to each well;
defendant as to each well;
according to the terms and conditions set forth in the respective
Joint Operating Agreements; and
that the defendant is forever released and discharged from any
and all liability of any kind or nature whatsoever relating in any
way to this dispute.
It is further ORDERED that this civil action be DISMISSED and
STRICKEN from the active docket of this Court.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
The Clerk is DIRECTED to transmit a copy of this memorandum
opinion and order to counsel of record herein. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 58, the Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment
on this matter.
April 7, 2017
/s/ Frederick P. Stamp, Jr.
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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