The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Black
This civil action is before the Court on a motion by defendant Deaconess Hospital (doc. 50) to strike the documents submitted by plaintiff Sharon Bonadies as exhibits to her memorandum in opposition (doc. 46) to defendant's motion for summary judgment (doc. 40).
On April 26, 2004, plaintiff filed her initial complaint composed of six counts of allegedly unlawful actions taken against her by defendant (doc. 1). On April 6, 2005, both parties filed for a joint motion to vacate scheduling order and set new trial date (doc. 18), which motion the Court granted (doc. 19).
Ultimately, on December 1, 2005, defendant filed a motion for summary judgment (doc. 40), whereupon plaintiff filed her memorandum in opposition (doc. 46), attaching thereto exhibits "A" through "I" as evidence of disputed material facts that would prevent the granting of the motion for summary judgment.
This Court now addresses defendant's current motion to strike exhibits "A" through "I" of plaintiff's memorandum in opposition.
Defendant claims that plaintiff's exhibits "A" through "I" are unauthenticated documents, and, thus, may not be considered by the Court in considering the propriety of granting defendant's motion for summary judgment. See Hal Roach Studios v. Feiner, 896 F.2d 1524, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989) ("It is well established that unauthenticated documents cannot be considered on a motion for summary judgment. ... To be considered by the court 'documents must be authenticated by and attached to an affidavit that meets the requirements of [Rule] 56(e), and the affiant must be a person through whom the exhibits could be admitted into evidence." ' Id. (quoting Canada v. Blain's Helicopters, Inc., 831 F.2d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 1987)).
The decision to grant or deny a motion to strike is a matter within the discretion of the District Court. See Collazos-Cruz v. United States, 1997 WL 377037, at *2 (6th Cir. July 3, 1997) (citing Whitted v. Gen. Motors Corp., 58 F.3d 1200, 1203 (7th Cir. 1995)). Here, given that courts prefer to consider cases on the merits, see, e.g., Berthelsen v. Kane, 907 F.2d 617, 620 (6th Cir. 1990), this Court is inclined to grant plaintiff's motion for limited additional discovery to authenticate her documents.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT plaintiff is granted leave to propound within 30 days a set of Requests for Admissions to defendant seeking to authenticate the challenged exhibits; and the motion to strike (doc. 50) remains under consideration.
Timothy S. Black United States Magistrate Judge
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