The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
Presently before the Court are Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 128 and 130) filed on behalf of the various Defendants to this litigation. Those motions hinge to a great extent on the argument that Plaintiffs' claims are barred by the six-month statute of limitations applicable to actions governed by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 141, et seq. ("LMRA").
Aside from the bare argument that Section 301 precludes Plaintiffs' claims, the moving papers make no effort to delineate how that six-month period applies to each of the Plaintiffs' various claim.
That dearth of any individual analysis prompted Plaintiffs, in opposition, to point out that Defendants had not adequately demonstrated any expiration of the limitations period, and accordingly had not met their burden of establishing the propriety of summary judgment. Then, in reply, for the first time, Defendants cited authority for the proposition that an LMRA claim accrues for statute of limitations purposes when a plaintiff first learns of the wrongful conduct for which he or she complains. Defendants went on to explain how that deadline barred each of the Plaintiffs' individual claims.
It is improper to introduce new facts and/or legal arguments for the first time by way of reply, as opposed to the initial moving papers. See Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Federation, 497 U.S. 871, 894-95 (1990). Indeed, the "district court need not consider arguments raised for the first time in a reply brief." Zamani v. Carnes, 491 F.3d 990, 997 (9th Cir. 2007). It would therefore be improper for this Court to rule upon Defendants' Motions without affording Plaintiffs the opportunity to respond to the limitations arguments now articulated in Defendants' reply.
The hearing on the present Motions, now set for May 5, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., is hereby continued to June 9, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. in order to facilitate the needed additional briefing. The parties should address not only how the applicable statute of limitations is triggered in cases of this nature and how the limitations period applies to Plaintiffs' particular claims, but also whether the filing of a timely discrimination complaint may toll or otherwise affect claims also subject to the LMRA.
Plaintiffs' supplemental brief, not to exceed ten (10) pages in length, must be filed not later than May 19, 2011. Defendants may file a reply to that briefing, no longer than five (5) pages in length, by June 2, 2011.
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