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Hill v. Derrick

January 10, 2006

JEFFREY D. HILL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EVELYN DERRICK, RICHARD SUTTON, JANE STUGART-OTTERBEIN, AND LORI CRESSMAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge McClure

ORDER

BACKGROUND

On June 20, 2005, plaintiff Jeffrey D. Hill commenced the instant litigation by filing a pro se complaint in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The complaint arises out of plaintiff's banishment from the Muncy Public Library. On November 3, 2005, we granted defendants' motion to dismiss in part, but allowed plaintiff's section 1983 claims, liberally construed as alleging violations of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, to remain against defendants Derrick and Cressman. (Rec. Doc. No. 20.)

On November 22, 2005, defendants Derrick and Cressman answered the complaint. Over the next several weeks plaintiff filed a litany of motions, all of which lack supporting briefs as contemplated by Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 7(b)(1) and M.D. Pa. Local Rule 7.5. Under the Local Rule Hill's failure to file a timely brief deems those motions withdrawn. As Hill is proceeding pro se we will also address why Hill's motions have no merit. Finally, we note that Hill is an experienced litigator in the courts of Pennsylvania and this district and that he must adhere to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure as well as the Middle District of Pennsylvania's Local Rules.

I. Hill's November 28, 2005 Motion for Summary Judgment

On November 28, 2005, Hill filed a motion for summary judgment without a brief in support and without a separate statement of material facts. In his motion Hill asserts that the defendants' answer serves as a basis for summary judgment and makes several conclusory allegations. Unfortunately Hill has also chosen to use his motion to vitriolically attack the defendants and the court. In our November 3, 2005 order we denied an earlier motion for summary judgment filed by Hill. In that order we reminded the litigants of their obligation to file a separate statement of material facts under Local Rule 56.1 (Rec. Doc. No. 21, at 3); Hill has not filed a separate statement with his motion.

In the closing paragraph of his motion Hill baldly states that "I'm entitled to summary judgment by law or a 12 member jury trial ASAP." (Rec. Doc. No. 25, at 12.) As we noted in our November 3, 2005 order "[a]t the summary judgment stage . . . the moving party must come forward with uncontroverted admissible evidence that demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." (Rec. Doc. No. 21, at 2-3.) We deny Hill's motion for summary judgment because he has failed to file a brief in support and it is therefore deemed withdrawn. We also note that he failed to file a separate statement of material facts pursuant to M.D. Pa. Local Rule 56.1. Finally, we note that Hill's motion fails on the merits because it is supported only by the repeated assertion that defense counsel is a perjurer because of the affirmative defenses he raised in his November 22, 2005 answer.

II. Hill's December 6, 2005 Motion for Default Judgment

On December 6, 2005, Hill filed a motion for default judgment (Rec. Doc. No. 28) and a "Request for Default Judgment by the Court (Notice of Motion for Default Judgment)" (Rec. Doc. No. 27). Hill has not filed a brief in support of his motion. Hill asserts that he is entitled to entry of default because at that time the defendants had not responded to his discovery requests, see discussion infra, and the defendants had failed to file a "responsive" pleading to his complaint.*fn1 (Rec. Doc. No. 27.)

Hill is not entitled to a default judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). As we have already noted, Hill has failed to file a brief in support his motion and it will therefore be withdrawn. Furthermore, on the merits we note that defendants did file an answer and at the time Hill had filed his motion for default judgment the defendants had answered his discovery requests through the mail. (Defs. Mot. Strike, Rec. Doc. No. 29, Ex. A.) We also agree with defendants that Hill failed to comply with M.D. Pa. Local Rule 26.3 by failing to confer with opposing counsel in a good faith effort to resolve the discovery issue before resorting to the courts. Furthermore, for the reasons set forth in defendants' brief in support of their motion to strike, Hill miscalculated when the defendants' discovery responses were due under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Rec. Doc. No. 32.)

III. Hill's December 6, 2005 Motion to Compel Discovery

Contemporaneously with his motion for default judgment Hill filed a motion to compel discovery. As with his other motions, Hill has failed to file a brief in support of his motion to compel. Nevertheless, as indicated above, the motion which was premature when filed, is now moot because defendants mailed their responses on December 5, 2005. (Rec. Doc. No. 29, Ex. A.)

IV. Hill's December 14, 2005 Motion for Reconsideration of Our November 3, 2005 Order Dismissing Defendant Jane Stugart-Otterbein

On December 14, 2005, Hill filed a motion for reconsideration of our November 3, 2005 order. Hill has not filed a brief in support. In his motion Hill unfortunately asserts that we have a history of abusing our discretion in cases involving him and that we are intellectually dishonest. Hill baldly states that it was clearly erroneous for ...


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