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Miller v. City of Fort Myers

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

October 9, 2019

DERETHA MILLER, TAMBITHA BLANKS and WILLIE BLANKS, individually, and on behalf of a class of persons similarly situated Plaintiffs,
v.
THE CITY OF FORT MYERS, RANDALL P. HENDERSON, JR. and SAEED KAZEMI, Defendants.

          ORDER [1]

          SHERI POLSTER CHAPPELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendants' Dual Summary Judgment Motions (Doc. 118). Defendants opposes the Motion. (Doc. 120).

         Defendants jointly filed two Motions for Summary Judgment. (Docs. 115; 116). The Middle District not only frowns on filing multiple summary judgment motions without leave, the Local Rules prohibit it. See M.D. Fla. R. 3.01(a); 3.01(d). The Case Management Scheduling Order echoes the Local Rule. (Doc. 35 at 6 (“A motion for summary judgment shall include [all requirements] . . . in a single document not to exceed 25 pages.”). Courts here interpret that Rule to prohibit filing multiple motions absent leave. E.g., Benhassine v. Star Transp. Mgmt., Inc., No. 6:12-cv-1508-Orl-37GJK, 2013 WL 12164716, at *1-2 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 29, 2013); Se. Metals Mfg. Co. v. Fla. Metal Prods., Inc., No. 3:09-cv-1250-J-25TEM, 2011 WL 833260, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 7, 2011). Multiple summary judgment motions are not a matter of right, so a party must seek leave before filing them. E.g., Fernandez v. Bankers Nat'l Life Ins., 906 F.2d 559, 569 (11th Cir. 1990); Essex Ins. v. Foley, 827 F.Supp.2d 1326, 1329 n.2 (S.D. Ala. 2011). And if multiple motions are filed without leave, striking them may be proper. McKenzie-Wharton v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 8:15-cv-114-17MAP, 2016 WL 5346948, at *7-8 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 23, 2016).

         Although Plaintiffs are correct that the Court could strike both Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court will accept them, nevertheless. This case is complex, and the typical page limit is likely not enough to address all the issues. So while Defendants should have sought leave to file separate motions, that request may have been granted. At a minimum, Defendants should have requested additional pages for a single motion, which would have been granted. In either situation, the parties would be in essentially the same position as now with these two pending Motions. And waiting for all the briefing on those motions would add unnecessary time and expense only to end up at the same place. To expedite the disposition of summary judgment, therefore, the Court will accept the Motions (Docs. 115; 116).[2] But out of fairness to Plaintiffs, the Court extends the deadline for both Plaintiffs' responses to fourteen days from today. To be clear, Plaintiffs must respond to each summary judgment motion; and each response should follow the normal page limit (twenty pages each) or request additional pages, if necessary.

         Accordingly, it is now

         ORDERED:

1. Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendants' Dual Summary Judgment Motions (Doc. 118) is DENIED.
2. Plaintiffs' Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Defendants' Summary Judgment Motions Pending Ruling on Plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendants' Dual Summary Judgment Motions (Doc. 119) is DENIED as moot.
3. Plaintiffs' must FILE responses to Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on RCRA (Doc. 115) and Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs' Individual State-Law Claims (Doc. 116) on or before October 23, 2019.

         DONE and ORDERED.

---------

Notes:

[1] Disclaimer: Documents filed in CM/ECF may contain hyperlinks to other documents or websites. These hyperlinks are provided only for users' convenience. Users are cautioned that hyperlinked documents in CM/ECF are subject to PACER fees. By allowing hyperlinks to other websites, this Court does not endorse, recommend, approve, or guarantee any third parties or the services or products they provide on their websites. Likewise, the Court has no agreements with any of these third parties or their websites. The Court accepts no responsibility for the availability or functionality of any hyperlink. Thus, the fact that a hyperlink ceases to work or directs the user to some other site does not affect the opinion of the Court.

[2] In the future, the Court will not be as lenient on this issue because the Local Rules and Middle District caselaw are clear. However, as explained, under the circumstances the Court accepts these ...


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