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Mendoza-Jimenes v. Bonneville County

United States District Court, D. Idaho

April 25, 2018

MARIA E. MENDOZA-JIMENES, Plaintiff,
v.
BONNEVILLE COUNTY, BONNEVILLE COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS OFFICE, DANIEL R. CLARK, in his personal and official capacity, MICHAEL F. WINCHESTER, in his personal and official capacity, KOREY EDWARD PAYNE, in his personal and official capacity, KOHL'S DEPARTMENT STORES, INC., SHELLIE COUGHLAN, and JOHN DOES I-XII, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          David C. Nye, U.S. District Court Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for an Extension of Time to File Response/Reply. Dkt. 10. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Maria Mendoza-Jimenes filed this lawsuit on December 6, 2017. On March 27, 2018, certain Defendants (hereafter Defendants or “Bonneville County Defendants”) filed a Motion to Dismiss.[1] Dkt. 4. In this Motion to Dismiss, Defendants claim Mendoza-Jimenes did not properly serve them and asks the Court to dismiss the case.

         Mendoza-Jimenes did not respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, but instead filed a Notice of Intent to Take Default on April 4, 2018. Dkt. 5. In this Notice, Mendoza-Jimenes stated that she had served Defendants, but they failed to respond and as a result, she would be asking the Court to take default if Defendants did not appear within ten days from the date of that Notice. Defendants responded to Mendoza-Jimenes' Notice asserting that the Motion to Dismiss adequately addressed their position on this issue and that the Court needed to take that matter up first before taking any further action. Dkt. 6.

         It is clear from these filings that service of process is the main question at issue so far in this case.

         The time to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss came and went, as did the date that Mendoza-Jimenes stated she would move for default if Defendants did not appear.

         On April 23, 2018, the Court sent an email to Counsel noting that the various dates had passed and that the Motion to Dismiss appeared ripe for a ruling. Because of the confusion in filings, the Court asked if there was anything that it was unaware of (such as discussions between the parties regarding how to proceed).[2] In response, Plaintiff's Counsel indicated that he would like to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, but was confused about the deadline by which he was required to do so. Thereafter, Defendants filed a notice with the Court asserting that Plaintiff's failure to timely respond to the motion was consent (Dkt. 9), to which Plaintiff filed the instant Motion seeking an extension of time to file a response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 10).

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         Idaho Local District Civil Rules mandate that once a moving party has served a motion upon the opposing party, the opposing party has 21 days to respond to the motion. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(c)(1). The moving party may file a reply brief, if desired, within 14 days after receiving the non-moving party's response. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(b)(3).

         Failure to timely respond to a motion is normally a waiver of that opportunity and may be deemed consent unless an extension has been granted. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(e)(1). The standard for an extension is good cause. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 6.1(a).

         IV. ANALYSIS

         In this case, Plaintiff's Counsel indicates that a docket entry with a date in June caused him confusion and that he erroneous believed he had until that time to respond to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Counsel is referring to Docket 7. Docket 7 is a routine Notice that the Court sends out in all civil cases when-as was the case here-the Clerk of the Court assigned the case to an Article III district court judge. This Notice is a reminder that the parties can consent to have a United States Magistrate Judge in the District preside over the case. The Notice itself explain this process. In the body of Docket 7's text, the entry lists the deadline to consent as June 5, 2018. As part of this Notice, Docket 4 (the Motion to Dismiss) and Docket 1 (the Complaint) ...


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