United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Southern Division
March 10, 2015
AMY RACHEL, etc., Plaintiff,
CITY OF MOBILE, ALABAMA, et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM H. STEELE, Chief District Judge.
The plaintiff has filed a motion to file an omnibus response to the four remaining defendants' motions for summary judgment. (Doc. 145). The plaintiff has also filed its response, which totals 94 pages (including nine pages of tables of contents, signature page and certificate of service). The plaintiff's motion at least implicitly seeks leave to file a brief longer than the 30 pages permitted by local rule.
The plaintiff appears to assume that her 85-page brief is unobjectionable because it is shorter than the 120 pages she could have utilized had she filed four separate briefs. (Doc. 145, ¶ 6). But it is difficult to see how 85 pages could fail to be excessive, given the plaintiff's representation that "the facts are largely in common for all four briefs" filed by the defendants and that "much of the law involved in all four briefs is identical." ( Id., ¶¶ 2, 3).
Excess, however, is common in this lawsuit. The City file a proper 25-page brief, (Doc. 118), but it gamed the system by spinning off its entire statement of facts to a separate, 30-page document. ( Id. at 4; Doc. 125). The other defendants engaged in the same practice. (Docs. 124 at 2; Doc. 125; Doc. 129 at 3; Doc. 131; Doc. 134 at 2; Doc. 136). As this Court has repeatedly observed, such a practice is improper.
The Court did not notice the defendants' tactic initially, and it is too late in the day to address it now. However, having unknowingly allowed the defendants to file overly long briefs without motion, authorization or showing of true need, the Court cannot deny the plaintiff the same privilege. Accordingly, the plaintiff's motion to file an omnibus response, and her embedded motion to exceed the page limitations of Local Rule 7.1(b), is granted.
DONE and ORDERED.