United States District Court, D. Montana, Butte Division
Kathleen L. DeSoto United States Magistrate Judge
Cattail Creek Community Association, Cattail Creek Community
Association(s) of Phase I, II, and III & of the 2008
Combined Covenant Association, Cattail Creek Community
Association, Incorporated, At Your Service Cleaning & HOA
Management, Inc., Jaymie Larsen, Sue Greeno, Katerina Freche,
Angie Matsen, Jay Blaske, Neil Ramhorst, Joseph Sands, Peter
Noreen, Randy Sullivan, Lola Jeffers, Sandi Rummel, Sandi
Hamilton, Jeremy May, Tyler Powell, Melinda Maze-Talarico,
Daniel Madison, Callie Miller, Sandy Feeney, Darrin
Strosnider, Amy Hanson, John Hansen, Travis Munter, Sandy
Sanders, and Rob Pertzborn (“Cattail Creek
Defendants”) have filed a Motion to Strike Plaintiff
Peter Thompson's (“Thompson”) response to
their Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for
More Definite Statement. (Doc. 85).
Creek Defendants argue that Thompson's response brief
(Doc. 84) violates L.R. 7.1(d)(2)(A), and 7.1(d)(2)(C) for
exceeding the applicable word limit and for failing to
contain a Table of Contents and Table of Authorities. Cattail
Creek Defendants further note that Thompson's response
moves the Court to order that certain of the corporate
Cattail Creek Defendants have separate counsel from
individual Cattail Creek Defendants, without filing a
separate motion and brief as required by L.R. 7.1(a) and
7.1(d)(1)(A). For these reasons, the Cattail Creek Defendants
ask the Court to strike Doc. 84 in its entirety, allowing
Thompson further time to file a brief that complies with the
Local Rules and to stay Cattail Creek Defendants'
deadline for filing their reply brief until fourteen (14)
days after Thompson files a compliant brief. In the
alternative, if the Court does not strike Doc. 84, Cattail
Creek Defendants ask the Court to grant them twenty-one (21)
days from the denial of their Motion to Strike to file their
appears to concede that Doc. 84, which is 2, 443 words over
the 6500 word limit imposed by L.R. 7.1(d)(2)(A), is in
violation of the local rules but argues that it was intended
in good-faith to bring before the Court certain matters he
feels need to be addressed, resulting in both an over-long
brief and a brief that impermissibly contains a separate
motion. Thompson's counter-proposal to Cattail Creek
Defendants' suggested remedies is that the Court overlook
the violations of the local rules, and allow his response to
stand, while granting Cattail Creek Defendants an additional
21 days to (1) file a reply in support of their Motion to
Dismiss and (2) file a response brief to the separate motion
in Thompson's response regarding the alleged conflict of
counsel for Cattail Creek Defendants. Thompson further notes
that he has a busy litigation calendar and, should the Court
grant Cattail Creek Defendants' Motion to Strike,
requests 21 days to redraft and refile the compound document
filings within Doc. 84.
83 vests the Court with the authority to enact local rules
and to regulate practice in conformity with the local rules
adopted by the Court. “Local rules have the
‘force of law' and are binding upon the parties and
upon the court . . ..” Prof. Programs Grp. v.
Dep't. of Commerce, 29 F.3d 1349, 1353 (9th Cir.
1994) (citation omitted). Departure from the local rules
“is justified only if the effect is ‘so slight
and unimportant that the sensible treatment is to overlook
[it].'” Prof. Programs, 29 F.3d at 1353
(citations omitted). The Court's Local Rules are an
“attempt to promote orderly and efficient process to
all parties who come before the Court.” Briese v.
Montana, CV-09-146-BLG-RFC-CSO, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
148999, * 27 (D. Mont. October 16, 2012). The Court has
“inherent power to strike a party's
submissions” based on its ability to enforce rules it
has enacted for the management of litigation. Mazzeo v.
Gibbons, CV-08-1387-RLH-PAL, 2010 LEXIS 105798, * 8 (D.
Nev. September 30, 2010) (citations omitted).
response brief violates several local rules, and the
inclusion of a motion within his response brief prejudices
Cattail Creek Defendants, who are limited to 3250 words for
their reply brief per L.R. 7.1(d)(2)(B). However, the
remedies suggested by Cattail Creek Defendants would further
delay the determination of their Motion to Dismiss and would
unnecessarily require Thompson to refile that portion of the
responsive brief without the additional motion. Conversely,
the remedy suggested by Thompson would reward his violation
of the local rules, of which he is clearly aware, and would
also delay determination of Cattail Creek Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss.
these reasons, the Court grants Cattail Creek Defendants'
Motion to Strike to the extent it seeks to strike that
portion of Thompson's response brief which raises a new
motion, and denies the Motion in all other respects. Although
the Court does not condone Thompson's violation of local
rules governing word count and required Tables, it must
balance the need to enforce the local rules with the need to
promote orderly and efficient determination of the issues
raised by the parties in this case. Accordingly, Cattail
Creek Defendants' Motion to Strike is
GRANTED in part, and DENIED
in part. The portion of Doc. 84 that raises a new motion is
hereby stricken, and Cattail Creek Defendants shall ...