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Rapp v. Hampton By Hilton

United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division

December 1, 2017

JEFFREY S. RAPP, Plaintiff,



         I. Introduction

         Plaintiff Jeffrey Rapp, appearing pro se, commenced this action challenging Defendant Hampton by Hilton's conduct in allegedly making his employment with Hampton intolerable. As the Court previously summarized, Rapp generally alleges Hampton “established and maintained a hostile and unsafe work environment” that purportedly resulted in Rapp's “inability to work.”

         By Order entered October 31, 2017, the Court granted Hampton's Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e) motion for a more definite statement. The Court ordered Rapp to file, on or before November 15, 2017, a more definite statement of his pleading.

         Additionally, in the referenced Order the Court noted Rapp had not filed his preliminary pretrial statement, and had not appeared at the October 31, 2017 Fed.R.Civ.P. 16 pretrial conference, all as directed by the Court's Order entered August 30, 2017. Consequently, the Court ordered Rapp to file a brief, on or before November 15, 2017, showing cause why this action should not be dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b) for his failure to prosecute this case and failure to comply with the August 30, 2017 Order.

         On November 15, 2017, Rapp filed two documents: (1) a “Request for Summary Judgment”; and (2) his “Court Order Compliance”. In his summary judgment document Rapp requests the Court enter judgment against Hampton for the full amount he requested in his pleading. In support of the request, Rapp contends Hampton has deceived the Court to hide the truth in this case and avoid justice. He asserts Hampton's general manager, her family, and her friends engaged in unethical and unlawful actions against him. He suggests Hampton is aware of the unlawful conduct, and that Hampton refused to remedy the situation. Rapp asserts Hampton has stood by false accusations made against him and refuses to recognize the truth on various matters.

         In his second document, in an apparent attempt to file a more definite statement, Rapp merely asserts that Hampton “is well aware of the issues and circumstances” giving rise to his pleading. (Doc. 19 at 1.) He contends Hampton continues to make false representations to the Court to deny justice to Rapp. He does not, however, specify exactly which representations are false. He also asserts Hampton is in possession of documents, witness lists, and affidavits that purportedly support his claims. Rapp alleges Hampton's general manager provided Hampton with false statements about Rapp which apparently led to the difficulties he experienced at work and the ultimate discontinuation of his employment. He asserts Hampton is well aware of its own improper employment policies, the criminal conduct of its general manager, and the false statements made about Rapp. At bottom, with respect to Hampton's prior motion for a more definite statement, he contends Hampton's disingenuous argument that it needed a more definite statement of his claims demonstrates its blind ignorance of the truth and is a form of deception upon the Court.

         Additionally, in his second document Rapp explains his absence from the October 31, 2017 pretrial conference. He states he had mechanical problems with his vehicle while traveling to the conference and, therefore, was unable to get to Missoula, Montana.

         II. Discussion

         A. Motion for Summary Judgment

         Although Rapp requests summary judgment be entered in his favor against Hampton, his motion does not comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 which sets forth the procedural and substantive requirements a party must satisfy to obtain summary judgment. His motion completely fails to cite “to particular parts of materials in the record” which “show[] that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) and (c)(1)(A). “[P]ro se litigants are bound by the rules of procedure.” Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 54 (9th Cir. 1995). They must follow the same applicable rules “that govern other litigants.” King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).

         Rapp's deficient motion does not demonstrate that he is entitled to summary judgment. Rapp's ad hominem remarks in his motion and brief do not establish the existence of any facts of record which entitle him to relief. “If a moving party fails to carry its initial burden of production, the nonmoving party has no obligation to produce anything, ” and the summary judgment motion should be denied. Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co. Ltd. v. Fritz Companies, Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102-03 (9th Cir. 2000).

         B. Good Cause and Non-Compliance with the Court's Orders

         As noted, the Court afforded Rapp an opportunity to explain his failure to comply with the Court's August 30, 2017 Order, i.e. his failure to file a preliminary pretrial statement, and his failure to attend the pretrial conference. In view of Rapp's pro se status, the Court accepts his explanation of his motor vehicle mechanical ...

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