Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fuller v. Lion Oil Trading & Transportation, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division

September 27, 2019

THURMAN FULLER, et al. PLAINTIFFS
v.
LION OIL TRADING & TRANSPORTATION, LLC DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          Susan O. Hickey Chief United States District Judge

         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation filed September 9, 2019, by the Honorable Barry A. Bryant, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Arkansas. (ECF No. 28). Judge Bryant recommends that the Court deny Plaintiffs’ pending motion for class certification. Plaintiffs have not filed objections to the Report and Recommendation, and the time to object has passed. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         Also before the Court is Plaintiffs’ motion for extension of time to respond. (ECF No. 29). The Court finds that no response is necessary. The Court finds that the above-listed matters are ripe for consideration.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 15, 2019, Plaintiffs, seven siblings who are each representing him or herself pro se, brought this action. Plaintiffs seek, inter alia, to recover unpaid royalties from Defendant that were allegedly paid to Plaintiffs’ other siblings, who are not parties to this case. On August 14, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, seeming to request that the Court certify a class consisting of themselves. (ECF No. 24). On August 28, 2019, Defendant responded, indicating that it opposes the motion.

         On September 9, 2019, Judge Bryant issued the instant Report and Recommendation, in which he recommends that the Court deny Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. On September 25, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a sixty-day extension of time to respond to Defendant’s opposition to their class certification motion. (ECF No. 29).

         II. DISCUSSION

         As a preliminary matter, the Court wishes to note that Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and motion for extension of time were signed only by Plaintiff Clara Fuller. “Every pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record” or, alternatively, by every self-represented party filing the paper. Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a). Additionally, the paper must state all signers’ addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers. Id. Importantly, a pro se party cannot sign a document on behalf of another pro se party. Alexander v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 2:12-CV-4104-NKL, 2012 WL 2049827, at *2 (W.D. Mo. June 6, 2012). An unsigned paper that violates Rule 11 must be stricken unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the attorney or party’s attention. Id.

         Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and motion for extension of time were docketed as filed by all Plaintiffs. However, only Plaintiff Clara Fuller, a non-lawyer as far as the Court can tell, signed the motions. She is not the other Plaintiffs’ attorney and her own signature does not suffice for them for purposes of Rule 11(a).[1] Ordinarily in situations like this, the Court would direct the Clerk of Court to mail copies of the motions to all Plaintiffs who have not signed them and grant them an opportunity to sign and return the motions. See Becker v. Montgomery, 532 U.S. 757, 760 (2001) (noting that “Rule 11(a) permits [a litigant] to submit a duplicate containing his signature” to remedy noncompliance with Rule 11(a)’s signature requirement). The Court will not do so in this instance because it would only serve to delay the resolution of the instant motions. As will be detailed below, the Court’s analysis and rulings would be the same regardless of whether or not all Plaintiffs have signed the pending motions. However, Plaintiffs should ensure that all future filings in this case are signed by all Plaintiffs to avoid any further issues under Rule 11(a).

         The Court will now address Plaintiffs’ motion for an extension of time. Then the Court will take up Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation.

         A. Motion for Extension of Time

         As discussed above, Plaintiffs request a sixty-day extension of time to “respond to Defendant’s motion in opposition to [Plaintiffs’] motion to request class action certification.” (ECF No. 29). They indicate that they have other, pending deadlines in cases filed in various jurisdictions throughout the country and, thus, need more time to research the issues in this case. Importantly, Plaintiffs do not request an extension of time to object to Judge Bryant’s Report and Recommendation.

         Defendant has not filed a motion opposing Plaintiffs’ class certification motion but, rather, it filed a response brief opposing the motion. Thus, the Court construes the instant motion solely as seeking an extension of time to file a reply brief in further support of Plaintiffs’ class certification motion. In the Western District of Arkansas, reply briefs are not allowed as a matter of right for any motion other than motions for summary judgment. Local Rule 7.2(b). Plaintiffs’ class certification motion is not a summary judgment motion, so Plaintiffs are not entitled to file a reply brief unless the Court grants leave to do so. Plaintiffs have not provided the Court with a proposed reply brief, nor have they discussed what specifically in Defendant’s response brief they wish to address or what issues they need sixty days’ time to research. The Court sees no basis to grant Plaintiffs leave to file a reply brief and, thus, the Court declines to do so.

         Even assuming arguendo that Local Rule 7.2(b) contemplated a reply brief in this situation and that leave from the Court is not required, the reply brief would have been due seven days after Defendant filed its response on August 28, 2019. Plaintiffs did not file ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.