United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion to Strike
Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts”
(Doc. No. 82, “Motion to Strike”), which was
filed in response to Defendants' Statement of Undisputed
Facts (Doc. No. 71) filed in support of Defendants'
Motion to Dismiss/Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 70).
Rather than respond substantively to any portion of
Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts, Plaintiff
filed the Motion to Strike and thereafter separately filed
(as a single document, Doc. No. 80), his own Statement of
Undisputed and Disputed Facts.
Doc. No. 82 is the only formal motion to strike, it is, alas,
not the only request to strike lodged in this dust-up between
the parties over their respective filings. In their brief
(Doc. No. 84) in response to the Motion to Strike, Defendants
have requested that the Court strike the portion of Doc. No.
80 containing Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Facts.
And in that same brief, Defendants request that due to
Plaintiff not responding substantively to Defendants'
Statement of Undisputed Facts, Plaintiff either be deemed to
have admitted those facts or be ordered to respond to
Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts. (Doc. No. 84
Court will address these disputes in turn.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike
to Plaintiff, Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts
should be stricken because it “flouts Local Rule
56.01(b)” which provides “any motions for summary
judgment must be accompanied by a separate, concise statement
of the material facts as to which the moving part contends
there is no genuine issue for trial.” (Doc. No. 82 at 1
(citing Local Rule 56.01(b)). Plaintiff asserts that
Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts is not a
concise statement of material facts. Specifically, Plaintiff
objects that the numbered paragraphs contain multiple
sentences that make it “impossible” for Plaintiff
“to give straightforward answers” and therefore
force Plaintiff “to do Defendants' work.”
(Doc. No. 82 at 3-4).
support of his position, Plaintiff cites to Sales v. in
Ventiv Health, Inc., No. 3:13-CV-0064, 2014 WL 1883936,
at *1 (M.D. Tenn. May 12, 2014), where this Court granted the
defendant's motion to strike the plaintiff's
statement of undisputed facts, which contained 117
paragraphs, filed in response to the defendant's
statement of undisputed facts. The Court did so because the
plaintiff's statement of undisputed facts “fail[ed]
to meet the Local Rule's requirement of brevity. . . .
include[d] at least two redundant facts . . . [and]
include[ed] a handful of speculative legal
conclusions[.]” 2014 WL 1883936, at *1. Additionally,
although not pointed out by Plaintiff here, the Court
explained that the Local Rule “does not permit a
non-moving party [(i.e., the plaintiff)] to file a
statement of additional undisputed facts” and
permits a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to
file only “additional material facts that are in
respond and argue that their Statement of Undisputed Facts
complies with Local Rule 56.01(b); therefore, Plaintiff's
Motion to Strike should be denied. Defendants cite
Thompson v. Davidson Transit Organization, 740
F.Supp.2d 938 (M.D. Tenn. 2010) (Trauger, J.), wherein this
Court denied a motion to strike the defendant's statement
of material facts, which included 241 paragraphs; because the
case was “factually rich, ” the court did not
consider the numerous paragraphs excessive. 740 F.Supp.2d at
939. Rather than striking the statement of facts, the Court
merely offered this reminder: “[i]f the plaintiff and
his counsel feel burdened by addressing the defendant's
[motion for summary judgment], the plaintiff may file a
motion for extension of time.” Id.
rely also on Day v. Finishing Brands Holdings, Inc.,
No. 13-1089, 2015 WL 2345279 (W.D. Tenn. May 14, 2015), which
denied a similar motion to strike and explained:
The local rules, and opinions from this district, do not
define “concise statement.” However, in denying a
plaintiff's motion to strike a portion of the
defendant's statement of undisputed material facts on
conciseness grounds, the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Tennessee held that the defendant did not
violate that district's similarly-worded local rule
because the employment dispute at issue involved several
incidents occurring over a period of time. See
[Thompson, 740 F.Supp.2d at 938-39]. Similarly, this
case involves allegations of employment discrimination
covering an extended period of time. Defendant's
[Statement of Undisputed Fact] is not unnecessarily
lengthy-it is seventeen pages long, and consists of
seventy-nine numbered paragraphs that address the relevant
facts underlying this lawsuit.
2015 WL 2345279, at *1.
review of Defendants' Statement of Undisputed Facts (Doc.
No. 71), the Court finds that the document is more like the
statements of facts in Thompson and Day,
where courts denied motions to strike. Plaintiff's
Complaint contains multiple claims, one of which was brought
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and alleges
discrimination over an extended period that involved multiple
disciplinary actions. (See Doc. No. 1). Therefore,
this case is “factually rich, ” and
Defendants' 21 paragraphs do not run afoul of Local Rule
56.01. Furthermore, Plaintiff's reliance on
Sales is inapt because in that case, what was
stricken was a non-moving party's statement of
undisputed facts, since the local rules allowed
non-moving parties to file only additional
statements of disputed facts. Sales, 2014
WL 1883936, at *1.
even assuming that Plaintiff is burdened by the lack of
conciseness on which the Motion to Strike is based, that
prejudice to Plaintiff is offset by the fact that any lack of
conciseness also harms Defendants. That is, to the
extent that Defendants' statement of purported undisputed
facts is not concise, it is less likely to serve for the