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Morris v. Quest Properties

August 9, 2006

LARNITA MORRIS, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
QUEST PROPERTIES, L.L.C., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Black, M.J.

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on a motion by Plaintiffs' counsel, Robert H. Gutzwiller, Esq., for exemption from electronic case filing requirements in this case. (Doc. 16.) In support of his motion, Mr. Gutzwiller states that he has only an occasional case in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and that he lacks a specialist work force to assist him in complying with the difficult technical requirements of electronic filing. (Id.) The undersigned is not persuaded by Mr. Gutzwiller's assertions.

First, it is noted that the motion for exemption was filed electronically. Second, contact information for Mr. Gutzwiller indicates that he has an e-mail account, a pre-requisite for electronic filing.

Third, the Court has initiated several programs, including training classes and a toll-free help line, to assist participating attorneys and their staff in complying with the Court's CM/ECF rules.

Fourth, "lawyers venturing into federal court are expected to be equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to represent their clients adequately. That includes knowledge of the local rules and . . . the ability to file and receive Court documents electronically." Smith v. Port Hope Sch. Dist., 407 F. Supp. 2d 865, 867 (E.D. Mich 2006). An attorney should not be exempted from the electronic filing requirement absent a showing of good cause:

[T[here must be evidence that unusual, unanticipated, or extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of counsel [] justifies relief from the regular practice the Court has adopted for filing and serving court papers. In addition, the applicant must account for the impact opting out of CM/ECF would have on other affected parties.

Id. That is, the attorney must demonstrate that the burden imposed by requiring him to comply with this Court's CM/ECF rules outweighs the inconvenience and added administrative expense to other counsel and to the Court. See id.

Mr. Gutzwiller has not demonstrated good cause for his motion. Accordingly, the motion is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Timothy S. Black United States Magistrate Judge

20060809

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