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Institute for Policy Studies v. United States Central Intelligence Agency

December 18, 2007

INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNITED STATES CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John M. Facciola United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case has been referred to me for resolution of Plaintiff's Notice of Motion and Motion to Stay Summary Judgment Briefing and to Permit Limited Discovery and Supporting Memorandum of Points and Authorities, and Motion to Shorten Time and Supporting Memorandum ("Motion"), insofar as it seeks permission to conduct discovery.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Institute for Policy Studies ("IPS") moves to stay the summary judgment briefing schedule in this action for a period of sixty (60) days and to permit Plaintiff to undertake limited discovery related to material facts presented in Defendant Central Intelligence Agency's ("CIA") Supplemental Motion for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting declarations.*fn1 Motion at 1.

Plaintiff filed its Motion on September 13, 2007. Defendant therefore had eleven (11) days, or until September 24, 2007, within which to serve and file a memorandum of points and authorities in opposition to the motion. See LCvR 7(b). This deadline would have been extended three days to September 27, 2007, if defendant had filed and served its opposition electronically. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d).*fn2 Any opposition filed after that date would have required a motion for enlargement evidencing excusable neglect. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(1)(B).

Defendant's Opposition to Discovery ("Opposition") was filed on October 1, 2007. This court struck the Opposition, noting that it was untimely and not accompanied by a motion for enlargement evidencing excusable neglect pursuant to what was then Rule 6(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Smith v. District of Columbia, 430 F.3d 450, 457 (D.C. Cir. 2005). Minute Order, Oct. 9, 2007 ("Order").

On October 9, 2007, in response to the Order, defendant filed its Unopposed Motion to Extend Nunc Pro Tunc ("Consent Motion"). Defendant proffered in its Consent Motion that its Opposition was untimely because of an "inadvertent[] miscalendaring*fn3 of the due date." Consent Motion at 1. In further support, defendant states that "Plaintiff will not opposed (sic) Defendant's request for relief." Id.

DISCUSSION

a. Rule 6(b)

"[D]elays are a particularly abhorrent feature of today's trial practice. They increase the cost of litigation, to the detriment of the parties enmeshed in it; they are one factor causing disrespect for lawyers and the judicial process; and they fuel the increasing resort to means of non-judicial dispute resolution. Adherence to reasonable deadlines is critical to restoring integrity in court proceedings." Geiserman v. MacDonald, 893 F.2d 787, 790 (5th Cir. 1990).

A district court may not consider a late-filed response that falls short of the requirements of Rule 6(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Smith, 430 F.3d at 457. Rule 6(b) states, in relevant part:

(b) Extending Time

(1) In General. When an act may or must be done within a specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time:

(A) with or without motion or notice if the court acts, or if a request is made, before the original time ...


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