United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING LEAVE FOR SUPPLEMENTAL
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court is in receipt of pro se plaintiff's letter
(Dkt. No. 55) explaining her cause for belief that she is
entitled to file several supplemental briefs (Dkt. Nos. 48,
50, 52) in support of her Rule 60 motion to vacate an order
dismissing her case (Dkt. No. 38). Though plaintiff is
mistaken, her mistake was reasonable. Leave to file these
briefs is retroactively Granted.
the third of several lawsuits plaintiff has brought against
the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The facts are set out in
prior orders (Dkt. No. 38). Following dismissal of
plaintiff's case for failure to state a claim and for
lack of subject-matter jurisdiction (ibid.),
plaintiff filed a Rule 60 motion for relief from judgment
(Dkt. No. 44). Plaintiff also requested leave to file a
supplemental brief (Dkt. No. 42).
the secretary's opposition (Dkt. No. 47), plaintiff filed
three supplemental briefs on December 7 (Dkt. No. 48),
December 11 (Dkt. No. 50), and December 12 (Dkt. No. 52). On
December 12, plaintiff also filed her reply (Dkt. No. 53). A
December 20 order (Dkt. No. 54) noted plaintiff failed to
show cause for the necessity of supplemental briefing. The
next day, plaintiff objected (Dkt. No. 55).
points to Civ. L.R. 7-3(c) in support of her three
supplemental briefs: “[a]ny reply to an opposition may
include affidavits or declarations, as well as a supplemental
brief or memorandum under Civil L.R. 7-4.” Moreover,
because Civ. L.R. 7-3(c) does not require leave of the Court,
plaintiff's three supplemental briefs, filed before and
in support of her reply are proper.
is incorrect. The Civil Local Rules provide for three-part
motion briefing. The moving party files a 25-page brief along
with the motion. Civ. L.R. 7-2(b). Then, the opposing party
files a 25-page brief in opposition to the motion. Civ. L.R.
7-3(a). Last, the moving party files a 15-page reply brief.
Civ. L.R. 7-3(c), 7-4(b). “Once a reply is filed, no
additional memoranda, papers or letters may be filed without
prior Court approval.” Civ. L.R. 7-3(d).
context, the “supplemental brief” plaintiff
points to in the first line of Civ. L.R. 7-3(c)
is the 15-page reply brief. Indeed,
it is explicitly a “supplemental brief or memorandum
under Civil L.R. 7-4.” Both Civ. L.R. 7-3(a), for an
opposition, and 7-3(c), for a reply, point to Civ. L.R. 7-4.
Subpart (a) provides for three types of briefs, those in
“support, opposition or reply to a motion . . .
.” Subpart (b) provides:
Unless the Court expressly orders otherwise pursuant to a
party's request made prior to the due date, briefs or
memoranda filed with opposition papers may not exceed 25
pages of text and the reply brief or memorandum may not
exceed 15 pages of text.
Civ. L.R. 7-4 does not contemplate supplemental briefs,
except where a “Court expressly orders otherwise
pursuant to a party's request . . . .”
important takeaway, however, is that the use of the term
“supplemental” in Civ. L.R. 7-3(c) is
confusing. Plaintiff is mistaken, her three supplemental
briefs require prior permission. But the ...