United States District Court, D. Idaho
JAMES M. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
HENRY ATENCIO; WARDEN YORDY; LT. AIELLO; SGT. LEE; SGT MARTIN; C/O LILLY; SGT NICODEMUSL and CORIZON MEDICAL AND CORIZON STAFF, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge.
before the Court are numerous motions filed by the parties.
Some of the motions are not ripe for review as briefing is
still underway; however, because deadlines on some of the
motions will expire before briefing can be complete on the
other motions-and because it appears Davis has had a
difficult time receiving Defendants' papers-the Court
will intervene to set an appropriate schedule in this case.
December 11, 2017, Plaintiff Davis filed the instant case
against numerous defendants alleging various violations of
his civil rights. Defendants accepted service of
Plaintiff's Complaint on June 1, 2018. Dkt. 12.
Defendants filed their Answer on June 20, 2018. Dkt. 13. On
July 5, 2018, and again on July 16, 2018, Davis filed Notices
with the Court requesting that Defendants serve him with
their Answer as he had not-as of those dates-received
anything. Dkts. 16, 18. On July 26, 2018, Davis filed a
Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. 20. On August 9, 2018,
Defendants filed a Motion for Extension of Time requesting
that the Court either deny Davis's Motion for Summary
Judgment at this time, or at a minimum, delay consideration
on the motion until a later date under Federal Rule of Civil
for summary judgment are governed by Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56, which provides that judgment shall be rendered
“if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A
party may move for summary judgment at any time until thirty
days after the close of all discovery. Id. While the
court must consider the facts in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party and give that party the benefit of any
reasonable inferences, see, e.g., Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
587 (1986), summary judgment is not a “disfavored
procedural shortcut, ” but rather one of the chief
mechanisms by which “factually insufficient claims or
defenses [can] be isolated and prevented from going to trial
with the attendant unwarranted consumption of public and
private resources.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). The initial burden is on the moving
party to show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Steckl v. Motorola,
Inc., 703 F.2d 392, 393 (9th Cir.1983).
party opposing a motion for summary judgment cannot present
“facts essential to justify his opposition” to
the motion, Rule 56(d) permits the party to submit an
affidavit or declaration stating the reasons the party is
unable to present the evidence, and the court may continue or
deny the motion if the opposing party needs to discover
essential facts. The burden is on the party seeking
additional discovery pursuant to Rule 56(d) to demonstrate
that (1) the information sought would prevent summary
judgment, and (2) that the information sought exists.
Blough v. Holland Realty, Inc., 574 F.3d 1084 (9th
Cir.2009); Izaguirre v. Greenwood Motor Lines, Inc.,
2011 WL 5325658 at * 6 (D.Idaho 2011). Rule 56(d) requires
that a non-movant “show[ ] by affidavit or declaration
that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts
essential to justify its opposition.” Id.,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d). It is critical that the non-moving party
explain why he or she cannot oppose the motion via means of
an affidavit or declaration. Explanations that are merely
contained in a memorandum are not sufficient. Brae
Transp. Inc. v. Coopers & Lybrand, 790 F.2d 1439,
1443 (9th Cir.1986).
threshold matter it appears that Davis did eventually receive
a copy of Defendants' Answer. See Dkt. 19.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Notices requesting service of
Defendants' Answer (Dkts. 16, 18) are deemed moot.
although Davis has not had an opportunity to respond to
Defendants' Motion for an Extension of Time, the Court
will not wait for a response for two reasons. First,
Defendant's response to Davis's Motion for Summary
Judgment is due August 16, 2018. Davis's response to
Defendants' Motion for Extension is not due until August
30, 2018. In other words, if the Court were to wait for
Davis's response-and subsequently deny Defendants'
Motion, their deadline will have long passed in the other
Motion. Second, and more importantly, Davis's Motion for
Summary Judgment is premature and nothing he could raise in
his response to Defendants' 56(d) Motion would change the
Court's decision outlined below.
Court does not accept early motions for summary judgment
except in limited circumstances, none of which are present
here. This case is in the beginning stages. Discovery has
only just begun. Although Davis asserts that there are no
facts in dispute, it is impossible for the Court to know if
this is accurate. Davis cannot simply say there are no
disputes, he must have evidence to support this proposition
so that the Court can accurately determine if there are any
factual disputes or not.
it appears that Davis's Motion is something of a response
to Defendants' Answer. In other words, Davis slightly
misunderstands the purpose of summary judgment and believes
that because Defendants have not “factually”
addressed his allegations in their Answer there is no dispute
as to any material fact and summary judgment is appropriate
in his favor. This simply is not correct. The way
Defendants Answered Davis's Complaint is consistent with
the Rules. Defendants' failure to provide facts at this
time is not an indication, or admission, that there are no
disputed facts in this case, but rather that the parties must
engage in discovery to appropriately address all of
Rule 56(d) a party seeking an extension must (1) set forth in
affidavit form the specific facts they hope to elicit from
further discovery, (2) show that the facts sought exist, and
(3) show that the sought-after facts are essential to oppose
summary judgment. See Family Home & Fin. ...