United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND/OR FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO POST
ADDITIONAL UNDERTAKING RE: DKT. NO. 81
case involves a dispute between Plaintiff Arabian Gas and Oil
Development Company (“Plaintiff”) and Defendants
Wisdom Marine Lines, S.A. and Wisdom Marine Lines Co.
(“Defendants”). Plaintiff filed a motion for
leave to file a motion for reconsideration of the May 25,
2017 order. That order denied Plaintiff's motion to stay
a March 30, 2017 order that required Plaintiff to increase
the undertaking currently posted with the court by an
additional $171, 804.05 by no later than April 13,
2017. Plf's Mot. [Docket No. 84].
seeks reconsideration of the portion of the court's order
striking Plaintiff's reply brief because the brief was
untimely and contained new arguments. Plaintiff argues that
in Defendants' opposition to the motion to stay,
Defendants requested civil contempt sanctions for
Plaintiff's failure to comply with the court's March
30, 2017 order to increase the undertaking. Plaintiff
contends that Defendants should have raised the request for
civil contempt sanctions as an independent motion, which
would have given Plaintiff fourteen days to respond. Instead,
Plaintiff was forced to respond to the civil contempt
argument within the seven day deadline for reply briefs.
See Civ. L.R. 7-3 (setting forth deadlines for
opposition and reply briefs).
alternative, Plaintiff seeks additional time to post the
increased undertaking due to “the official observance
of Ramadan in Plaintiff's home country of Bahrain.”
Plf's Mot. at 2.
to Civil Local Rule 7-9, a party may seek leave to file a
motion for reconsideration of an interlocutory order at any
time before judgment. Civ. L.R. 7-9(a). A motion for
reconsideration may be made on one of three grounds: (1) a
material difference in fact or law exists from that which was
presented to the court, which, in the exercise of reasonable
diligence, the party applying for reconsideration did not
know at the time of the order for which reconsideration is
sought; (2) the emergence of new material facts or a change
of law; or (3) a manifest failure by the court to consider
material facts or dispositive legal arguments presented
before such order. Civ. L.R. 7-9(b)(1)-(3). The moving party
may not reargue any written or oral argument previously
asserted to the court. Civ. L.R. 7-9(c). Whether to grant
leave to file a motion for reconsideration under Rule 7-9 is
committed to the court's sound discretion. See
Montebueno Mktg., Inc. v. Del Monte Corp.-USA, 570 F.
App'x 675, 676 (9th Cir. 2014) (citing Bias v.
Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1223 (9th Cir. 2007)).
asserts that it is entitled to reconsideration under Rule
7-9(b)(3), because the court's “refusal to hear
Plaintiff's arguments [on Defendants' request for
civil contempt sanctions] amounted to a ‘manifest
failure by the Court to consider material facts or
dispositive legal arguments which were presented to the Court
before such interlocutory order.'” Plf's Mot.
Plaintiff's Request for Reconsideration
does not and cannot dispute that its reply brief was both
untimely and contained new arguments. The court struck the
reply brief for both reasons. June 1, 2017 Order at 8-9.
Plaintiff offers no argument to suggest that the court acted
improperly in striking the reply brief based on those
reasons. Therefore, Plaintiff has failed to make a showing
under Civil Local Rule 7-9 to justify reconsideration of the
court's decision to strike Plaintiff's reply brief.
Its request for leave to file a motion for reconsideration is
though the court has denied Plaintiff's motion, it
nevertheless considers Plaintiff's contention that it has
not been given sufficient opportunity to address
Defendants' request for civil contempt sanctions. This is
a curious contention, for a number of reasons. To begin with,
Plaintiff never raised the issue until the instant motion.
Plaintiff did not mention it in its reply brief on its motion
to stay. Indeed, Plaintiff did not devote any of its reply
brief to responding to Defendants' request for civil
contempt sanctions. At the very least, if Plaintiff believed
it needed or was entitled to additional time to respond, it
should have so noted in its reply brief, or in a separate
motion for administrative relief. See Civ. L.R.
7-11. Inexplicably, Plaintiff also failed to raise the point
at the May 25, 2017 hearing. The court has not yet ruled on
the request for civil contempt sanctions. It held the request
in abeyance, and gave Plaintiff one more chance to avoid such
sanctions by posting the increased undertaking by June 1,
2017. Plaintiff did not take advantage of that opportunity.
Therefore, the court will now consider Defendants'
request for civil contempt sanctions. Although Plaintiff
completely failed to address the request for civil contempt
sanctions in its reply brief, the court will give Plaintiff
the opportunity to file a responsive brief so that the court
will have the benefit of a full record. Plaintiff's
opposition brief is due on June 16, 2017. Defendants may file
a reply brief by June 23, 2017.
has already conceded that it violated the court's March
30, 2017 order by failing to post the increased undertaking
by April 13, 2017. June 1, 2017 Order at 8. Plaintiff remains
in violation of that order. The fact that Plaintiff has been
granted permission to file an opposition brief does not stay
the court's March 30, 2017 order. In light of
Plaintiff's actions to date, Plaintiff is also forewarned
that any argument that it should not be subject to sanctions
during the briefing period will be met with deep skepticism
by the court.
Plaintiff's Request for Additional Time to Post the
alternative, Plaintiff asks for unspecified additional time
to post the increased undertaking due to the “official
observance of Ramadan in Plaintiff's home country of
Bahrain.” Plf's Mot. at 2. Ramadan began on May 26,
2017. On May 25, 2017, the court gave Plaintiff until June 1,
2017 to post the increased undertaking in order to avoid
civil contempt sanctions. According to Plaintiff, this order
“requiring Plaintiff's speedy response”
should be “relaxed only slightly, in light of the
additional obstacles posed by the Ramadan holiday, in order
to allow Plaintiff additional time to coordinate the
logistics of obtaining a surety, furnishing collateral,
securing a bond, and posting the bond with the Court in
compliance with its order.” Plf s Mot. at 4-5.
circumstances, the court would find it appropriate to
entertain such a request. However, in this case, Plaintiffs
request is both late and vague, and smacks of foot-dragging.
Plaintiff has known since the issuance of the March 30, 2017
order that it was required to post an increased undertaking
by April 13, 2017. In other words, it was on notice of its
obligation a full eight weeks before the May 25,
2017 hearing, and had been in violation of the
court's order for a full six weeks before that
hearing. At that hearing, the court did not change the