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Jones v. Ohio State University

October 24, 2006

TODD A. JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Graham

ORDER

On October 13, 2006, Plaintiff filed a document styled "Request Clarity on Motions and Filings" (Doc. 54.). Plaintiff states that he was confused by the Court's Order (Doc. 53) denying his "Motion to Request Denial of Defendants [sic] Motion to Amend Case Schedule As Well As Proposed Order" (Doc. 52.). The Court will treat this document as a Motion for Reconsideration of this Court's previous Order denying his first Motion for Reconsideration.

The procedural background of this matter relevant to Plaintiff's pending Motion is as follows: Defendants moved to amend the case schedule (Doc. 50) on September 27, 2006, three days before the close of discovery. Defendants stated that discovery in this matter had been ongoing, however, the schedules of several individual defendants in this action as well as their counsel precipitated their request to amend the case schedule.

On September 28, 2006, the Magistrate Judge granted that request in part, extending the discovery deadline from September 30, 2006, to January 31, 2007, and the dispositive motion deadline to February 28, 2007 (Doc. 51). Plaintiff filed a document styled

"Motion to Request Denial of Defendants [sic] Motion to Amend Case Schedule as Well as Proposed Order" that consisted of objections to Defendants' Motion to Amend on September 29, 2006 (Doc. 52). Plaintiff argued that Defendants' request to amend the case schedule was an attempt to avoid compliance with the schedule and to "hold up proceedings."

On October 5, 2006, upon considering the merits of Plaintiff's objections and treating his objections to Defendants' Motion as a Motion for Reconsideration under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), this Court denied Plaintiff's Motion on the grounds that the Magistrate Judge's order was neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law.

In his pending Motion, Plaintiff states that "[t]ransaction was received from bw and entered on 10/5/06 at 9:29 why the court received it 8 days after it was filed I don't know . . . . [t]he clerk's stamp on my copy is 9/29/06 at 12:24." It appears Plaintiff has confused the docketing of his first Motion, which was indeed filed by the Clerk on September 29, 2006, with this Court's Order denying that Motion, filed on October 5, 2006. This issue is moot. In deeming his objections a motion for reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's Order amending the case schedule, the Court considered the merits of Plaintiff's objections to Defendants' Motion to Amend articulated in the document he filed on September 29, 2006.

Plaintiff also states that there was no signature by any Judge or date in the space allotted on the "court order" that Defendants' attorney Christopher Hogan sent to him. The Court presumes this was a proposed Order for the Court's consideration submitted with Defendants' Motion to Amend. This argument is also moot as any proposed Order would not have affected the ruling on the merits of Defendants' Motion, or on Plaintiff's objections to that Motion.

Plaintiff's main argument is that he never requested reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's decision, but that in filing his objections to Defendants' Motion he was attempting to comply with the Magistrate Judge's Order of March 22, 2006 (Doc. 42). That Preliminary Pretrial Order stated that Plaintiff would have twenty-four days to respond to any of Defendants' motions with which he disagreed.

The Court has entertained the merits of Plaintiff's objections to the Magistrate Judge's ruling extending the discovery and dispositive motion deadlines, as it previously did upon Plaintiff's first Motion for Reconsideration. Again, the Court finds that Plaintiff's objections to Defendants' Motion to Amend the case schedule are not well taken. Defendants proffered reasonable grounds to extend these deadlines, namely the schedules of both Defendants' counsel and several individual Defendants themselves, and the Court further finds that Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by the extension of these deadlines.

The Court additionally finds that Plaintiff was not prejudiced by the Magistrate Judge's ruling on Defendants Motion to Amend prior to the expiration of the twenty-four day deadline given in the Preliminary Pretrial Order. In this situation, the former discovery deadline set forth in the Preliminary Pretrial Order was imminent and due to expire on September 30, 2006. For the Magistrate Judge to rule on Defendants' Motion before the time for discovery expired, a deviation from the twenty-four day response time set forth in the Preliminary Pretrial Order was required.

While the Court does not look favorably on motions to extend or amend the case schedule filed just before a deadline is set to expire, in this instance, Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by the extension.

In summary, the Court has considered Plaintiff's various objections to Defendants' Motion to Amend, to the Magistrate Judge's ruling on the Motion, and to this Court's ruling on Plaintiff's first Motion for Reconsideration. The Court finds the substantive objections to Defendants' Motion to Amend to be without merit, and further finds that Plaintiff was not prejudiced by the timing of the Magistrate ...


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