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Hansen v. Central Management Services

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

July 16, 2018

STEWART HANSEN, Plaintiff,
v.
CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, BRYON MEUNCH, and DEB HARVEY, Defendants.

          OPINION

          TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Stewart Hansen's Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 18) and Motion for Sanctions (d/e 31); and Defendants' Motion to Stay its Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 29) (Second Motion to Stay). The parties consented to proceed before this Court. Consent to the Exercise of Jurisdiction by a United States Magistrate Judge and Reference Order entered May 25, 2018 (d/e 16). For the reasons set forth below, the Motions are all DENIED.

         Procedurally, Hansen filed the Motion for Summary Judgment first. The Defendants responded with their First Motion to Stay (d/e 27). The Court denied the first Motion to Stay because Defendants failed to include the affidavit or declaration required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d). Text order entered July 3, 2018. The Defendants responded with the Second Motion to Stay. Hansen responded by asking for sanctions for filing the Second Motion to Stay.

         Hansen's request for sanctions is denied. A party responding to a motion for summary judgment may ask for a delay in responding to the Motion. Federal Rule 56(d) states:

(d) When Facts Are Unavailable to the Nonmovant. If a nonmovant shows by affidavit or declaration that, for specified reasons, it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition, the court may:
(1) defer considering the motion or deny it;
(2) allow time to obtain affidavits or declarations or to take discovery; or
(3) issue any other appropriate order.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(d). The Defendants' Second Motion to Stay asks the Court to stay, or delay, consideration of Hansen's Motion for Summary Judgment and includes an affidavit stating reasons for the need for delay. The Defendants, therefore, have complied with Rule 56(d). Sanctions are not appropriate. The request for sanctions is denied.[1]

         The Second Motion to Stay is also denied. Rule 56(d) requires a party seeking delay in the consideration of a motion for summary judgment to set forth “specified reasons” why they cannot respond to the motion for summary judgment. The Affidavit attached to the Second Motion to Stay states as the reasons for the requested stay:

5. The Parties and Court have not conducted a scheduling conference or set a discovery schedule pursuant to Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
6. Further, no discovery has been undertaken by any Party.
7. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment will require the exchange of discovery to garner facts required for Defendants to respond.

Second Motion to Stay, attached Rule 56(d) of Andrew J. McGinley, ΒΆΒΆ 5-7. The declaration is insufficient because the declarant does not specify the information needed to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment. He only states that Defendants want to conduct discovery before responding. The Court sees no reasons for discovery to respond to the Motion for Summary Judgment. As explained below, the Motion for Summary ...


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