United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER RE EXCUSABLE NEGLECT (ECF Nos. 57, 59, 121, 129, 131, 134) FOURTEEN DAY DEADLINE
STANLEY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.
On December 2, 2014, the Ninth Circuit remanded this case to this Court to address three issues. (ECF No. 121.) First, the Court is to address if the Court should exercise its discretion as to whether Plaintiff Keith Warkentin ("Plaintiff") established excusable neglect for his late-filed opposition. Second, if the first issue is answered in the negative, the Court is to address if it should exercise its discretion as to whether to deem Defendant Federated Life Insurance Company's ("Defendant") proposed undisputed facts as admitted or take other action, such as allowing the entry of late-submitted factual material while providing Defendant with time to respond. Third, the Court is to decide whether Defendant is entitled to summary judgment on its rescission claim.
Oral argument on the matter was held on April 8, 2015. (ECF No. 138.) Counsel Geni Krogstad and Wade Hansard appeared for Plaintiff and counsel Daniel Costa appeared for Defendant. (Id.) Having considered the moving, opposition and reply papers, the declarations and exhibits attached thereto, arguments presented at the April 8, 2015 hearing, as well as the Court's file, the Court issues the following order regarding the first two issues.
The operative complaint in this action is the First Amended Complaint filed on January 18, 2012. (ECF No. 39.) Plaintiff alleges that he purchased a disability insurance policy from Defendant on or around September 28, 2005. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 23.) Plaintiff began experiencing back pain and numbness in his left leg and foot around September 2007. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff was placed on a modified work schedule in November 2007. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 6.) Plaintiff filed a claim with Defendant for disability benefits on or around December 31, 2007. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 8.) Defendant initially approved Plaintiff's claim on or around April 30, 2008. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 10.)
On or around February 12, 2009, Defendant ceased payments on Plaintiff's claim and notified Plaintiff that the claim was denied. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 28.) Plaintiff raises six causes of action against Defendant: 1) for breach of the insurance agreement; 2) for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; 3) for unfair business practices under California Business & Professions Code § 17200; 4) for unfair business practices under California Business & Professions Code § 17500; 5) for negligent misrepresentation; and 6) for fraud.
On February 14, 2012, Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 45.) The hearing on the motion for summary judgment was set for March 23, 2012. Under Local Rule 230(c), Plaintiff's opposition to the motion was due on March 9, 2012. Plaintiff did not file a timely opposition, which Defendant noted in its March 16, 2012 reply. (ECF No. 56.) On March 22, 2012, Plaintiff filed an opposition, which stated that he was misinformed by a legal research website, "www.jurisearch.com" regarding the due date for his opposition. (ECF Nos. 57-59.)
The hearing on Defendant's motion for summary judgment took place on March 23, 2012. On March 28, 2012, the Court issued its written order granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant on all claims. (ECF No. 62.)
The Ninth Circuit construed Plaintiff's late filed opposition as a motion to extend the time for filing an opposition pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b). By this order, the Court shall address the first two issues on remand, whether Plaintiff demonstrated excusable neglect for his late filed opposition, and if not, whether the Court should exercise its discretion to consider Plaintiff's opposition.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(b)(1)(B) governs extensions of time after the relevant deadline has expired and states, in pertinent part:
(b) Extending Time.
(1) In General. When an act may or must be done within a specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time:
(B) on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect.
"This rule... [is] to be liberally construed to effectuate the general purpose of seeing that cases are tried on the merits.'" Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., 624 F.3d 1253, 1258-59 (9th Cir. 2010) ...