Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hayes v. Nettles

United States District Court, D. Idaho

January 7, 2020

MICHAEL T. HAYES, Plaintiff,
v.
RACHEL NETTLES, MICHAEL MONTGOMERY, CHARLES JOHANNESSEN, AND FELIX DIAZ, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

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

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendants Rachel Nettles, Michael Montgomery, Charles Johannessen, and Felix Diaz's (collectively “Defendants”) Motion to Amend Admissions by Default. Dkt. 80. 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)(1)(B). For reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Hayes filed his pro se original complaint on December 12, 2016. Dkt. 1. After an initial review, the Court permitted Hayes to proceed with some of his claims on March 6, 2017. Dkt 11.

         Defendants then filed a motion to dismiss the case on May 4, 2017, arguing that some or all of Hayes' claims were barred by the doctrine in Heck v. Humphry, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). Dkt. 17. On October 11, 2017, the Court denied that motion (Dkt. 34) and set a scheduling order a few days later (Dkt. 35). Pursuant to that scheduling order, discovery was to close on April 11, 2018, and the dispositive motion deadline was May 9, 2018.

         On December 19, 2017, Hayes filed a motion to amend his complaint to add additional defendants and additional claims. Dkt. 38. On May 9, 2018, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of Hayes' original complaint. Dkt. 60. On September 27, 2018, the Court granted Hayes' motion to amend his complaint and dismissed Defendants' motion for summary judgment as moot. Dkt. 69. On March 26, 2019, the Court reviewed the amended complaint and permitted Hayes to proceed against one additional defendant (Felix Diaz) and on one additional claim (due process). Dkt. 70.

         Hayes subsequently filed a motion to reopen discovery related to the new claim on April 10, 2019. Dkt. 71. Defendants' counsel received a letter from Hayes containing discovery requests on August 12, 2019. Two days later, on August 14, 2019, the Court granted Hayes' motion to reopen discovery and entered a new scheduling order. Dkt. 78.

         Defendants failed to answer Hayes' requests for admission within 30 days of the date that discovery was reopened. On October 7, 2019, Defendants' counsel received a follow-up letter from Hayes asking for responses. On November 5, 2019, Defendants filed the pending motion to amend their admissions. Dkt. 80. Hayes never responded to Defendants' motion to amend admissions.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         When a party fails to timely respond to requests for admissions, those requests are automatically deemed admitted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 36(a). “Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the Court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission.” Id. The Court has discretion to grant relief from an admission made under Rule 36(a) if (1) “it would promote the presentation of the merits of the action” and (2) “the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice that party in maintaining the action or defense on the merits.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b); Conlon v. United States, 474 F.3d 616, 621 (9th Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         “The first half of the test in Rule 36(b) is satisfied when upholding the admission would practically eliminate any presentation of the merits of the case.” Hadley v. United States, 45 F.3d 1345, 1348 (9th Cir. 1995). Under the second half of the Rule 36(b) test, “[t]he party relying on the deemed admission has the burden of proving prejudice.” Conlon, 474 F.3d at 622. “The prejudice contemplated by Rule 36(b) is ‘not simply that the party who obtained the admission will now have to convince the factfinder of its truth. Rather, it relates to the difficulty a party may face in proving its case, e.g., caused by the unavailability of key witnesses, because of the sudden need to obtain evidence' with respect to the questions previously deemed admitted.” Hadley, 45 F.3d at 1348, (quoting Brook Village N. Assocs. v. General Elec. Co., 686 F.2d 66, 70 (1st Cir. 1982)).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Defendants seek to amend five admissions made by default. Defendants state that their failure to respond to the requests was the result of clerical oversight; their counsel reportedly failed to calendar a deadline 30 days from when the discovery date was reopened on August 14, 2019, and only realized the mistake on October 7, 2019, when Defendants received a letter from Hayes asking for responses. Dkt. 80-1, at 4. Defendants argue that their motion “should be granted because ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.