United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO EXTEND DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS
Williams Chief United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the Court pursuant to defendant Evoqua Water
Technologies LLC's (Evoqua) unresisted motion to extend
the deadline for completing discovery and filing dispositive
motions. (Doc. 36). Evoqua seeks an extension of the deadline
for completing discovery from March 13, 2017, to March 23,
2017, and to extend the deadline for filing dispositive
motions from March 13, 2017, to March 31, 2017. Id.
Plaintiff represents that the other parties do not object to
the requested extensions. Id. For the reasons that
follow, the Court grants defendant's motion.
trial in this case is scheduled for July 17, 2017. (Doc. 25).
Pursuant to the Court's scheduling order, the deadline
for completing discovery and filing dispositive motions is
March 13, 2017. (Doc. 24). The Court requires 180 days
between the filing of dispositive motions and the trial ready
moving to modify a scheduling order bears the burden of
showing “diligence in attempting to meet the
order's requirement.” Rahn v. Hawkins, 464
F.3d 813, 822 (8th Cir. 2006). See also Fed. R. Civ.
P. 16(b)(4); Local Rule 16(f) (“The deadlines
established by the Rule 16(b) and 26(f) scheduling order and
discovery plan will be extended only upon written motion and
a showing of good cause.”). The Eighth Circuit Court of
Appeals has explained the Rule 16(b) “good cause”
standard as follows:
“The primary measure of good cause is the movant's
diligence in attempting to meet the order's
requirements.” Rahn v. Hawkins, 464 F.3d 813,
822 (8th Cir. 2006); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b),
advisory committee note (1983 Amendment) (“[T]he court
may modify the schedule on a showing of good cause if it
cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party
seeking the extension.”). While the prejudice to the
nonmovant resulting from modification of the scheduling order
may also be a relevant factor, generally, we will not
consider prejudice if the movant has not been diligent in
meeting the scheduling order's deadlines. See
Bradford v. DANA Corp., 249 F.3d 807, 809 (8th Cir.
2001) (concluding that there was “no need to explore
beyond the first criterion, [diligence, ] because the record
clearly demonstrate[d] that Bradford made only minimal
efforts to satisfy the [scheduling order's]
requirements”). Our cases reviewing Rule 16(b) rulings
focus in the first instance (and usually solely) on the
diligence of the party who sought modification of the order.
See, e.g., Rahn, 464 F.3d at 822
(affirming the district court's denial of Rahn's
request for a modification of the scheduling order because
the record made clear that Rahn did not act diligently to
meet the order's deadlines); Barstad v. Murray
County, 420 F.3d 880, 883 (8th Cir. 2005) (affirming the
district court's denial of leave to amend the
Barstads' complaint under Rule 16(b) because the Barstads
had eight months to request an amendment of the scheduling
order and “knew of the claims they sought to add when
they filed the original complaint”); Freeman v.
Busch, 349 F.3d 582, 589 (8th Cir. 2003) (affirming,
under Rule 16(b), the district court's denial of
Freeman's motion to amend her complaint because she
provided no reasons why the amendment could not have been
made earlier or why her motion to amend was filed so late).
Sherman v. Winco Fireworks, Inc., 532 F.3d 709,
716-17 (8th Cir. 2008). Thus, the movant's diligence in
attempting to comply with the scheduling order is the
explains that an extension is needed because the depositions
of plaintiff's employees that had been scheduled for
March 13, 2017, “had to be rescheduled after the
current discovery deadline because Plaintiff has not yet
responded to written discovery and document requests that are
overdue.” (Doc. 36, at 2). Evoqua asserts that granting
the extensions “will not result in a continuance of the
trial or otherwise affect the Court's pretrial deadlines
in this matter.” (Id.). But that is not
accurate. As noted, the Court requires 180 days between the
filing of dispositive motions and the trial date to allow
ample time for the full briefing of dispositive motions and
for the Court to hold hearings, if necessary, and rule on the
pleadings sufficiently in advance of trial to avoid having
the parties expend resources preparing for a trial that may
not occur, should the Court grant a dispositive motion.
Extending the deadlines in this case shortens that window by
the other parties have not objected to this extension and so
the Court will grant it, recognizing that the parties may
bear the consequences of a later ruling on any dispositive
motions. No further extensions of these deadlines will,
however, be granted.
the Court grants Evoqua's motion to extend the deadlines
for completing discovery and filing dispositive motions (Doc.
36). All discovery must be completed by March 23, 2017. Any
dispositive motions must be filed by March ...