United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
MIRANDO United States Magistrate Judge.
matter comes before the Court upon review of Defendant's
Final Request to Extend Mediation Deadline (Doc. 37) filed on
May 1, 2017. Defendant seeks to extend the mediation deadline
of April 28, 2017 to June 14, 2017 because Defendant recently
received his expert's report. Doc. 37 at 1-2. Plaintiff
opposes the requested relief. Doc. 38.
March 7, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendant
on the ground that Defendant violated Title III of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Doc. 1
¶ 4. Plaintiff alleges that she is an individual with
disabilities within the definition of the ADA. Id.
¶ 1. Defendant owns and leases a place of public
accommodation known as Indian Creek Plaza in Lee County,
Florida. Id. ¶ 2. Plaintiff argues that the
subject property's facilities do not comply with the ADA
because they are not readily accessible and usable by
disabled people. Id. ¶ 7. Defendant filed an
Answer and Affirmative Defenses on June 27, 2016. Doc. 12.
August 23, 2016, United States District Judge Sheri Polster
Chappell entered an ADA Scheduling Order (“Scheduling
Order”), directing Plaintiff to answer the Court's
interrogatories by September 22, 2016, Defendant to serve a
written response by October 22, 2016, and the parties to
mediate by November 21, 2016 and to jointly file a status
report by December 5, 2016. Doc. 19 at 2. Judge Chappell
ordered that if the parties do not settle, they must file
immediately a Case Management Report. Id. at 3.
Despite directives in the Scheduling Order, the parties did
not file a joint status report on or before December 5, 2016.
December 6, 2016, Judge Chappell directed the parties to file
a joint status report or to show cause in writing why they
had not complied with the Scheduling Order. Doc. 30. On
December 8, 2016, Plaintiff moved to extend the mediation
deadline to February 15, 2017, alleging that the parties
selected a mediator and expected to complete mediation no
later than February 15, 2017. Doc. 31 at 2. Judge Chappell
granted Plaintiff's request to extend the mediation
deadline and directed the parties to file a joint status
report on or before February 22, 2017. On February 10, 2017,
Defendant requested to further extend the mediation deadline
because Defendant recently had obtained an ADA expert to
inspect Defendant's property and needed time to analyze
the expert's report before mediation. Doc. 33. Judge
Chappell granted the second request for extension and
extended the mediation deadline to March 28, 2017. Doc. 34.
March 23, 2013, Defendant requested a third extension of the
mediation deadline because Defendant's ADA expert was not
able to complete the report, and Defendant needed the report
to effectively mediate this case. Doc. 35. Defendant also
noted that the parties selected a mediator, and that
Defendant expected to analyze his expert's report and
complete mediation by April 28, 2017. Id. at 2.
Defendant stated that he “will request no further
extension.” Id. On April 7, 2017, the Court
granted the requested extension and extended the mediation
deadline to April 28, 2017. Doc. 36. The Court also noted
that it “will not be inclined to grant additional
extensions of the mediation deadline beyond that provided by
this Order absent extenuating circumstances.”
Id. at 2.
the mediation deadline was extended three times, on May 1,
2017, Defendant requested a fourth extension of the mediation
deadline because his ADA expert experienced medical issues
and did not produce a report until April 8, 2017. Doc. 37 at
1-2. Defendant alleged that his expert's belated
production of the report did not provide sufficient time
between Defendant's receipt of the report and the
mediation deadline of April 28, 2017. Id. at 2.
Defendant filed his motion three days after the mediation
deadline expired. Id.
opposes the requested relief because Defendant received the
expert report three weeks prior to the mediation deadline.
Doc. 38 at 2. Yet, Plaintiff asserts that Defendant does not
explain why mediation could not have been scheduled during
that period of three weeks. Id. Plaintiff also
claims that Defendant waited until February 10, 2017 to
obtain an expert, although Defendant received Plaintiff's
expert report on September 19, 2016. Id. at 3. As a
result, Plaintiff argues that Defendant does not show
extenuating circumstances warranting another extension of the
mediation deadline. Id. at 4.
courts have broad discretion when managing their cases in
order to ensure that the cases move to a timely and orderly
conclusion. Chrysler Int'l Corp. v. Chemaly, 280
F.3d 1358, 1360 (11th Cir. 2002). The standards for
modification of deadlines are set forth in Rules 6 and 16 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 6 requires a
showing of excusable neglect when, as here, a party files a
motion after the time for filing such motion has expired.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B). Rule 16 requires a showing of good
cause for modification of a court's scheduling order.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). Thus, a party must demonstrate both
good cause and excusable neglect for filing an untimely
motion. Estate of Mi ler v. Thrifty Rent-A-Car Sys.,
Inc., 609 F.Supp.2d 1235, 1252 (M.D. Fla. 2009).
“Th[e] good cause standard precludes modification
unless the schedule cannot be met despite the diligence of
the party seeking the extension.” Sosa v. Airprint
Sys., Inc., 133 F.3d 1417, 1418 (11th Cir. 1998)
(internal quotations and citations omitted).
Defendant does not show good cause or excusable neglect.
Estate of Miller, 609 F.Supp.2d at 1252. Although
Defendant filed the present motion three days after the
mediation deadline expired, Defendant does not explain why he
could not have filed his motion within the Court-ordered
deadline. Doc. 37. Furthermore, as Plaintiff argues,
Defendant received his expert's report three weeks prior
to the mediation deadline. Id. at 1. Because the
mediation deadline already was extended three times, and
Defendant had three weeks to examine the exert report, the
Court does not find good cause for extension and will not
extend the mediation deadline. Docs. 32, 34, 36, 37.
it is hereby
Defendant's Final Request to Extend Mediation Deadline
(Doc. 37) is DENIED.
parties shall have up to and including May 12, 2017 to file a
Case Management Report pursuant to ...