United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division
PRISCILLA BLUNT, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
FINANCIAL BUSINESS AND CONSUMER SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendant.
S. MOODY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE comes before Plaintiff's Second Motion for
Extension of Time to File Motion for Class Certification
(Dkt. 23) and Defendant's Response in Opposition (Dkt.
25). Upon review of the motion, response, and being otherwise
advised in the premises, the Court denies Plaintiff's
request for an extension.
August 24, 2016, Plaintiff Priscilla Blunt, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, brought this
putative class action against Defendant Financial Business
and Consumer Solutions, Inc. for alleged violations of the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692,
et seq. (“FDCPA”) predicated on
Defendant's collection letter. Specifically, Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant's collection letter offered to
resolve Plaintiff's time-barred debt without disclosing
that the obligation was beyond the applicable statute of
limitations. Plaintiff also contends that the collection
letter neglected to inform Plaintiff that if she made a
partial payment on the debt, “the applicable statute of
limitations could reset or begin anew.” (Dkt. 1).
November 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed her first motion to extend
Local Rule 4.04(b)'s ninety-day deadline to file a Rule 23
class certification motion and for leave to conduct class
discovery. (Dkt. 4). On November 22, 2016, the Court denied
the motion without prejudice because Defendant had not yet
appeared in the case. The Order stated that “Plaintiff
may refile her motion after Defendant has appeared and after
Plaintiff's counsel has adequately conferred with
Defendant's counsel on the issues contained in the
motion. The deadline to file any motion for class
certification is stayed during this time.”
(Dkt. 5) (emphasis added).
November 30, 2016, Defendant filed its answer, which was its
first appearance in this case. (Dkt. 6). On December 15,
2016, Plaintiff filed a “Notice of Compliance, ”
which indicated that Defendant did not agree with
Plaintiff's request to seek an extension of time to file
a motion for class certification. (Dkt. 10). However,
contrary to the Court's November 22, 2016 Order,
Plaintiff did not “refile her motion” to extend
the deadline to file a motion for class certification,
despite the fact that the stay to file the motion had
expired. Nor did Plaintiff file a motion to conduct class
discovery prior to the case management meeting. Instead, this
litigation proceeded for over five months. During this time,
there were several filings.
December, Defendant moved to stay this action pending the
resolution of appeals before the Eleventh Circuit that
Defendant believed involved substantially similar allegations
to the facts of this case. (Dkt. 9). The Court denied
Defendant's motion on January 13, 2017. (Dkt. 18).
February 24, 2017, the parties filed their joint Case
Management Report (the “CMR”). (Dkt. 20). The CMR
was silent as to any issues related to class discovery, or
the deadline to file a motion for class certification. The
CMR also informed the Court that the parties did not have
“any disagreement or unresolved issues concerning
discovery at this time.” Id. (emphasis
February 28, 2017, the Court entered the Case Management and
Scheduling Order (the “Scheduling Order”). (Dkt.
21). The Scheduling Order set forth the following deadlines:
Third-Party Joinder Cut-Off - March 24, 2017; Plaintiff's
Expert Disclosure - June 23, 2017; Defendant's Expert
Disclosure - July 24, 2017; Discovery Deadline - August 25,
2017; and Dispositive Motion Deadline - September 25, 2017.
April 20, 2017, Defendant provided discovery responses to
Plaintiff. Notably, Defendant objected to any class-related
discovery based on Plaintiff's failure to timely move,
under Rule 23, for class certification.
31, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion, requesting an
extension of time to file a motion for class certification.
(Dkt. 23). Acknowledging that her motion is untimely,
Plaintiff argues “excusable neglect, ” stating
that Defendant never moved to strike Plaintiff's class
allegations; Defendant cannot establish prejudice; and that
any delay was made in good faith. (Dkt. 23). Based on the
facts of this case, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has
not met her burden to establish excusable neglect.
request for an extension of time is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P.
6(b) because the deadline to move for class certification has
expired. Rule 6(b) provides, “[w]hen an act may or must
be done within a specified time, the court may, for good
cause, extend the time . . . on motion made after the time
has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable
neglect.” Determining excusable neglect requires
consideration of the following four factors: (1) the danger
of prejudice to the nonmovant; (2) the length of delay and
its potential impact on judicial proceedings; (3) the reason
for the delay, including whether it was within the reasonable
control of the movant; and (4) whether the movant acted in
good faith. See Adv. Estimating System, Inc. v.
Riney, 130 F.3d 996, 997-98 (11th Cir. 1997).
consideration of the four factors shows a lack of excusable
neglect. Plaintiff failed to timely refile her motion despite
the Court's specific instruction to do so after
Plaintiff's counsel and Defendant's counsel conferred
on the matter. Plaintiff knew, as early as December 15, 2016,
that Defendant ...