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G.P.P., Inc. v. Guardian Protection Products, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

March 30, 2017

G.P.P., INC. d/b/a GUARDIAN INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, Plaintiff,
v.
GUARDIAN PROTECTION PRODUCTS, INC., RPM WOOD FINISHES GROUP, INC., Defendants. GUARDIAN PROTECTION PRODUCTS, INC., Counterclaimant,
v.
G.P.P., INC. d/b/a GUARDIAN INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS, Counter-defendant.

          ORDER PERMITTING LIMITED SUCCESSIVE SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS

          SHEILA K. OBERTO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         On March 24, 2017, Defendants sent a letter to the Court (the “Letter”), in which they request, in relevant part, a second round of “dispositive motion[s]” in this case. Plaintiff G.P.P., Inc., d/b/a Guardian Innovative Solutions (“GIS”) sent its response to the Letter to the Court on March 27, 2017. The Court then held an informal conference regarding the Letter on March 28, 2017. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS GIS's request in the Letter for a second round of summary judgment motions, subject to the limitations provided herein.

         “District courts have discretion in determining whether to permit successive motions for summary judgment.” Brazill v. Cal. Northstate Coll. of Pharmacy, LLC, No. CIV. 2:12-1218 WBS GGH, 2013 WL 4500667, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 22, 2013) (citing Hoffman v. Tonnemacher, 593 F.3d 908, 911 (9th Cir. 2010)). “A successive motion for summary judgment is particularly appropriate on an expanded factual record and to foster the ‘just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution' of lawsuits.” Rodriguez v. Ryan, No. CV-11-1373-PHX-NVW (JFM), 2013 WL 11311297, at *1 (D. Ariz. Nov. 12, 2013) (quoting Hoffman, 593 F.3d at 911-12).

         Nonetheless, the Ninth Circuit cautioned that second or successive motions for summary judgment present “the potential for abuse of the procedure.” Hoffman, 593 F.3d at 911. As such, courts “retain discretion to weed out frivolous or simply repetitive motions.” Id. (citation omitted). Further, courts have declined to permit second or successive motions for summary judgment where the motion was based on “evidence that could . . . have been obtained and included in [the] first motion for summary judgment.” Armentero v. Willis, No. CIV S-08-2790 GGH P, 2013 WL 144253, at *2 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 11, 2013).

         In this case, the Court permitted limited “Additional Discovery, ” as defined and delineated in the Court's March 14, 2017 order.[1] (See Doc. 177 at 3.) As such, there is an expanded factual summary judgment motions shall be specifically tailored to the expanded factual record in this case relating to the Additional Discovery. record in this case and, consequently, a limited additional opportunity for summary judgment motions may foster the just, speedy, and comparatively inexpensive resolution of this matter. The Court therefore finds that an opportunity for a second round of summary judgment motions is appropriate. See, e.g., Hoffman, 593 F.3d at 911 (“[A] successive motion for summary judgment is particularly appropriate on an expanded factual record.” (citations omitted)). Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Defendants' request in the Letter for a second round of summary judgment motions, subject to the limitations provided herein.

         The Court ORDERS the following regarding the schedule for this potential second round of summary judgment motions, as well as other relevant dates in this matter:

(1) the deadline for any additional motion for summary judgment is April 20, 2017;
(2) the deadline for an opposition to any additional motion for summary judgment is April 27, 2017;
(3) the deadline for a reply in support of any additional motion for summary judgment is May 2, 2017;
(4) if a party files an additional motion for summary judgment, the Court shall hold a hearing regarding these additional motions―if such will aid the Court in the decisional process―on May 4, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.;
(5) the deadline for the parties to submit their joint pretrial statement is continued to May 12, 2017; and
(6) to afford an opportunity for potential additional motions for summary judgment, the trial date in this matter is continued to June 20, 2017.

         The Court CAUTIONS the parties that it will not entertain requests to continue or extend any deadlines associated with potential additional motions for summary judgment.

         This additional opportunity for summary judgment motions shall be limited―it is not an opportunity for summary judgment motions on any topic. Instead, this opportunity for additional Agreements, as well as the meaning of “Guardian Labeled Distributor Products” under ...


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