Hummel v. Hall, No. 6:2011cv00012 - Document 26 (W.D. Va. 2012)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Norman K. Moon on September 6, 2012. (sfc)
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I THE U NI N TED STATES D I STRI C OURT CT FOR THE W ESTERN D I STRI OF V I NI CT RGI A r APQOvM k QZ. DI X UG I A o qv . à s& 26 2 1 92 L> CHBURG D I SI VI ON JU BK . i ! - CAS N O. 11 c 0001 E 6: - v2 MI CHAEL J. UMM EL, H èlit anf MEVORANDUM OPI ON NI DAVI W . L,TACOUNTRY M OTOR SALES D HAL / , Dee d n. fn a t J UDGEN ORMAN K . OON M Thi ma tri b f r t eCo r o amo int sta i ed f ut ud me tfldb Da i s te .s e o e h u t n to o è sd ea lj g n ie y vd ' , Hal (: fnda , . I hi moton,Deenda cont nds t the < r got a lttr,certje( l ( e nt, l n s i' f nt e De ) ha ç neve ee jy j . lte ,ors poe t a e tr ub na o ppea i c tf i t sm at n' Thus De e ntma nt ns he ha d r n our o hi te ' , f nda i ai , d t no knowldgeoft co tpr e ngsora tmet g t(qlwye . e he ur oce di ny i o e a a r' 'Acc di y,Dee n as or ngl fnda t ks met t b t'te d fulj d me tt tle trd i fv rofM ih e Hu l(E anif)o o t ae' h ea t u g n ha n ee n a o a c a l mme t itf ' n pl J e 1 ,201 . Afe r viwi t bre stld by t pa teszand f t r s t tf l , I 9 2 tr e e ng he i f ie he ri , or he ea ons ha olow V w ilde D e e nt sm o i n. l ny f nda ' t o I.PROCEDUI L H I U STORY On M ay 2,2011,Pl i if fl d hi c antf ie s ompl i ,as e tng a va i y of cli s agans ant s ri ret am i t De e nt a 1ofwhi r aed t De e nts s l of a ve de t Pl i if On J y 6,2011 f nda , 1 ch elt o f nda ' ae hi o antf . ul , De e ntwaspe s naly s r ed wih t s f nda ro l e v t he umm o athi busne s Count y M ot Sal s,w hi h ns s i s, r or e c 'On orabo J y l8, 201 1r ceve alte s ntfom Defnda t my at i . ut ul 2, e i d e tr e r e nt o tenton Isu eque l c tu t bs nty onsr ed he lte a apr s moin t sta ie d futj d me tpts n t Rue 55c oft F d rlRue o Ci l etr s o e to o e sd ea l u g n t ua t o l () he e ea ls f vi r Pr e e. Defnda pur re y frts ntt lte by r arm alo J 11 201 and t a r ty r s nt oc dur e nt po tdl is e he etr egul i n une , 2, hen ppaenl e-e i byce tfe m alonJ y l , 201 Thelte r es sDe e ntsfrta r ncei t sma tr t riid i ul 3 2. etr epr ent f nda ' is ppea a n hi te . 2 I a or ener on Augus 6, n n der t ed t 2 2 l i sr c e Dee d n t fl a r p y brel r s ndn t Plitf s 01 , n tu td f n a t o ie e l i t e po ig o an if oppostonbref onorbef eSe embe 4, 201 Deenda declne t do s ii i, or pt r 2. f nt i d o o. i aus d ca de e s p i Lync g, r ni Thes s e r alr hi n hbur Vigi a. umm o explcty wa ne De e antt t ns i il r d f nd ha , i h dd n t e p n t t ec mplitsalg to wihnt ny-neda s j d me tb d fut f e i o r s o d o h o an ' l ains t i we t o e y ,u g n y ea l woul be e e e ag ns hi f t r le de a d by Pli ifi t c pl nt De e nt d nt r d ai t m or he e if m nde a ntf n he om ai . f nda f iedt c al o ompl wih t sdie tve,a no a we orr s nsvepl a ng hasbe n fl d t da e. y t hi r c i nd ns r e po i e di e ie o t Atan unsa e poi i tme a trPli iffl d hi c t t d nt n i fe antf ie s ompli , hepa i se de l be n ant t rte vi nty ga dic sng a pot nta s tlm e of Pli ifs c am s On J y 1 2011,c ms lf Pl i if s us i e il e te nt antf l i . ul 5, ot e or antf f xed a e a ld a copy of a s tl me ofe t Def nda . I t l te ,Pl i ifs co e a nd m ie e te nt f r o e nt n he et r antf ' uns l ma i a de t bunda l clart tt ofe woul onl r m an o n f s ve da . Alhough t nty e ha he f r d y e i pe or e n ys t he pr ie or r of e nt t t f l wed i uncl r i a ecs de ve s ha olo s ea , t ppea s t t De e ant de lne t ac e r ha f nd ci d o c pt Pli ifsofe , i t d s antf f r and nsea ubmit ac e ofe on Augus 1 2011.Howe ,on Aug t8 ted ount r f r t , ver us , 2 l , anif ee tdDe e d n ' c u tr fr 0 1 Plitf rj ce fn a ts o neofe . Afe f ii t a a , e orot nviedef ag ns t a i n,De endu tsde aul tr alng o ppe r plad, he s end ai t he cto f ' f t wase e ed by t Cl k oft Cour on Augus 31 2011. A c rii d c oft Clr se r ntr he er he t t , e tfe opy he e k' nty ofde a twa ma ld t De e nta t add e sf Co r M ot Saes whi h De e ntha f ul s ie o f nda t he r s or unty or l , c f nda s snc i cae t t Cour i hi pr f re a es f r c vi core ponde i e ndi t d o he t s s e e r d ddr s or e ei ng rs nce s nt i e n c onne ton wih t s m a tr Ats ci t hi te . ome uns ciid poi a tr t e r of de a t Def nda pe fe nt fe he nty f ul, e nt r ne d hi efors t r a h a s tl me of t ma tr On Se ember 1 2011 Pl i ifs e we s f t o e c e te nt he te . pt 6, , antf c ouns le l De e e maied f ndan t expr s hi opi on t tar s na e oferha bee e e d,but to e s s ni ha ea o bl f d n xtnde rj ce Co n e f rP an ifa d d:û y us w fo temo tr c n n tc t y u t ecek ee td. u s l o litf d e i o a r m h s e e t o ie o o , h lr As h sn tdt ed futo y u p r. I s tlme ti (ilc n o ber a h d, wi ne dt mo e a oe h e a l n o r a t f et n s sc n n t e c e I l e o v e l t co tfrDea tJ he ur o ful udgme on ( aitfl' cai . Plas ltme kno yourposto o nt Pl nit s l ms e e e w iin n po e i lt r sof s tl m ent' How e r t pa tesdi notr ac a s tl m e . t nta e m e te . ' ve , he r i d e h e te nt On Ma c 1 2 2,P an iffld amo in f rd f utj d me ta d mald ac p t r h 3, 01 litf ie to o ea l u g n n ie o y o Defnda ta t s me a es t whih al c r s e n t he a ddr s o c l ore ponde e ha pr vi l bee s nt De e nt nc d e ousy n e . f nda di notr s nd t t moton,a he di nota d e po o he i nd d ppea a t he rng I c r t he a i onduce on Pli if s td a ntf moton on M a 24,201 de piet f c t tPl ntf scou els nthi a notc de c i ngt i y 2, s t he a t ha ai if ns e m ie s rbi he da e of t he zng,t tm e atwhi i woul t ke pl c a whe e i woul oc lr I a t he a i he i ch t d a a e, nd r t d cz. n me a mor ndum opi on a or daed Jme 1 201 l g a ed Pl i ifs moton f de a t ni nd der t t 9, 2, r nt antf i or f ul j d me t a d ao wi ij n tv rle ,a r e Plitf da g s i te a u t o u g n n , lng t nu cie eif wad d an if ma e n h mo n f h $2, 0 44. The e tr Pli if fl d a moton f c t a a t ney' f s o J y 2,201 1 6. r afe , antf ie i or oss nd tor s ee n ul 2. Be or r cevi t l te fom De e ntt t1ha snce co tue as a m oto t s tasde f e e i ng he e tr r f nda ha ve i nsr d in o e i d fut u g n,1g a tdPlitf' mo ina da r e hm c ssmz a tr y' fe o J l ea lj d me t rn e an ifs to n wad d i o t d tone s e s n uy 18, 201 3 2. I L EGAL STANDARD L Un e t eFe e a Rulso Ci l o e u e a& o r .. ma s ta iead f ut u g n d r h d r l e f viPr c d r , l u t . y e sd ea lj d me t c u d rRul 6 ()' F d R. v. 5 () Ru e6 ( )st f rh sx go nd pzs a tt wh c a n e e 0b . e . Ci P. 5 c . l 0 b es o t i r u s l u n o ih ' r c u t yrle eap ry fo afn l ud me t Ho v r i o d rt o ti r le u d rRue o r ma eiv a t r m i a j g n . we e , n r e o b an eif n e l 4 60( ,t movi pa t mus c os a (niilt es d, Dowel v St eFar Fie t Cas b) he ng ry t r s n l ta hr hol ' i ' l . at m r t . Auo I s Co, 9 F.d46 48 (t Ci.1 9 ) whc r q ie hm t s o ih th smoi ni t . n . .9 3 2 , 4 h r 9 3 , ih e ur s i o h w i a i to s t 3Forar t ementoft r lva f t bac ound oft sc e, s eH u melv.Hal,--F.Supp.2d - , o.6: 1 esat he ee nt acual kgr hi as e m l N 1- CV-0 2 2 2W L2 3 9 0 a *1 ( . Va Jme1 2 2 . 0 01 , 01 3 5 5 , t -2 W D. . t 9, 01 ) 4Thesxgr undsf r i ae: i o or elef r ()mitk ,n d etn e sr rs, re c sben ge t 1 sa e ia v re c , up ie o x ua l e lc' , ( )n wl ds o ee e ie c t a,wi r a o a l d l e e c ud n th v b e d s o e e i 2 e y ic v r d vd n e h t t e s n be ii nc , o l o a e e n ic v rd n h g tmet mov frane til n e Rul 5 ( ) i o e o w ra u d r e 9 b, ' ()fa d. . mirpe e tto , rmic n u t ya o p sn p ry; 3 ru . , se rsnain o so d c b n p o ig at ()tej d me ti v i 4 h u g n s od; ()tej d me th sb e s tsid rlae o dsh re . . o 5 h u g n a e n aife ,ee sd r ic ag d . ; r ()a yohe rao ta j siisr l f 6 n t r e s n h tu tfe ei . e Fe R. v P. 0b) d. Ci. 6 ( . tm ey,t the ha a m e iorousde e et t a ton,a t tt opposng pa t woul notbe i l ha s rt i f ns o he c i nd ha he i ry d u f il p eu ie by h vn tej g n s ta ie'Pa k Cop.v fe n o I s Co,81 n ary rj d c d a ig h ud me t e sd , r r . xigtn n . . 2 ' F. 89 896( hCi.1 7) 2d 4, 4t r 98 . û h n ma i g a moin u d r Rue 6 ( ) t e pat mo n f r rle mu tce ry l e kn W to n e l 0 b , h ry vig o eif s la l e tbl ht eg o nd t rf rgi)t tes tsa to o t dsrc c u t... n s c g o d sa i h ru s heeo sc o h aif ci n f he itit o r s a d u h run s mus beclal s t taedby a quaepr . n r Bur e 988 F. 1 3 ( h Ci.1 2) t e ry ubsanit de t oof' 'l e nly, 2d , 4t r 99 (i to sa d itr a q o ai n mak o te ) Rue 6 ( )d e no p o ie p riswih a ct in n n en l u tto r s mi d . l 0 b o s t r vd a t a t e t n opport t t pur ueis snotpr ousy ltg t d, i i no am e ha s f rt r ii to t y o s s ue mi evi l ii a e and t s t c nim o he eltga in of is s unf vo abl de de Se CNF Consr t s I .v Donohoe Consr Co ,57 F. s ue a r y ci d. e tucor , nc . t. . 3d 3 5 4 ( t Ci.1 9 ) Atb to rle u d rRu e6 ( )i a t xr o dn r r me y'ha 9 , 01 4h r 9 5 . o tm, eif n e l 0 b s n t ta r ia y e d 't t e ç sonl t be gr nt d i e eptonalcic sanc . Wis v Thomps 1 F.App' 556, t i y o a e n xc i r um t es' lon . ' on, 38 x 5 7(t Ci. 0 5 (iigCo o v Alo S..Co, 0 F.d 9 ,1 2( t Ci.1 7 :. 5 4h r 2 0 ) ctn mptn . tn S .6 8 2 6 0 4h r 9 9 11 D l 1. scussl oN A .Threshol lnqui y d r Att oute ,lfnd t tDef nda ha pl nl me t tm ei s e e tt tr pr s nt he s t i ha e nt s ai y t he i lne s l men ha e e e s t tr tpr of t t e pa tt e hol t tari ul t d by t U nie St t Cour ofA ppe l he i s ong he hr e- r hr s d es tc a e he t d a es t as f rteF u t Cic i.Asp e iusyd s rb d 1e trdd fut ud me ta an t fnd n o o h o rh rut rv o l e cie , n ee e a lj g n g is Dee a t n Jme 1 201 a he s eque l movedt ha i s ta i a oxi t y onem ont l t .A t 9, 2, nd ubs nty o ve t e sde ppr ma el h aer motonma unde Rul 60( mus bema t t n ar a o bl tme, a f c ran oft i de r e b) t de t hi e s na e i ' nd, or e ti he wi ' pe misbl g o r s i e r undsf r le lse unde t ts e ton,t mor t n ayea a trt e r of or ei f it d r ha ubs c i Gno e ha r fe he nty tej d me t. .. Fe .R. v P. 0 c( ) Th f c ta Dee d n fldhi moin wihn a h u g n . ' d Ci . 6 ()1. e a t h t fn a t ie s to ti ' fw we k o e tyo t ed fut u g n idc t st t ea td wihn s c ara o a etme e e s f n r f h e a lj d me t n iae ha h ce ti u h e s n bl i . 4 S eAu sa Fiegls Co ig , n .v Fo o Co r tn Co p. 8 3 F.d 8 8 8 2 ( t Ci. e gu t b r a s at s I c . d r ntacig r , 4 2 0 , 1 4h r n 1 )(oncudi t tt tlng ofamoton frr i wihi t we ksoft cour' enty of 988 c l ng ha he ii i o elef t n wo e he ts r d futj d me t wa s f inl p o t me tt e frt ee n o t e Fo rh Cic i' ea l u g n s u fce ty r mpt o e h is lme t f h u t ruts tles dts) lr hol et. W ih r pe tt Def nda ' oblg i t s t es c o e nts i aton o how am e iorousde e e,t Fourh Cicui rt i f ns he t r t has sa e t t a t e iorous de e e r quies a pr f r of e de tt d ha d rt i m f ns e r of e vi nce whih wo d pe mi a c ul r t tndi f t de a tng pa t or whih woul esa ih a vald count r l i .' 1 l hi s ng or he f uli ry c d t bls i e c am ' d. n s m o i Def nta g st tPl ntf di i f c ,sg a1 oft r e ntpa r r r aed t ton, enda r ue ha ai if d, n a t i n l he elva pe wo k elt o hi pur has oft ve c e fom County M ot Sa e . Cores s c e he hil r r or l s r pondi y,De e ntm ant ns ngl f nda i ai t t c nta y t Pli if sa lga i n,Pl ntf wa a e oft a i a e i e es r t te t ha , o r r o antf le to ai if s war he pplc bl nt r t aes i d o hi pur ha eoft ve ce. Ac ptng t s f t astue i i i pos i e f m et s y, t ut s c s he hi l ce i he e acs r , t s m sbl or o a wiho f rhe f c ua deveopm e ,t tDe e ut r at l l nt ha f ndan wou d bei pa eofm ountng al gii aede e e t l nca bl i e tm t f ns t Pl ntf s c a m t tD e e ntf ie t pr de r ui ie di c osz e i vi a i oft Tr t o ai i f l i ha f nda a l d o ovi eq s t s l tr s n ol ton he u h i Le ng Ac (t LA', 1 U. C.j1 e s q. and t Pl ntf s cam t tDee nt n ndi tt TI ' 5 S. ) 601 / e , o ai if li ha fnda c r d a us i i e es r t i vi aton ofVigi a l w. M or ove ,De e nts c t nton ha ge urous nt r t ae n ol i r ni a e r f nda ' on e i t t Pli if wa tyi t t le ' t ve cl i c t s t t we e 1 t s tasde t de a t ha antf s r ng o < f r' he hi e ndia e ha , r o e i he f ul pi j d me t Dee d n mih v r welld e a c u tr li a ans Plitf. Ag i,wih u u g n , fn a t g t ey l o g o ne cam g i t an if an t o t mor I c mot s a a m a tr of lw, t t De e nt woul be i pa e of sa i a e, ar ay, s te a ha f nda d nca bl ttng c t r l i a i tPli if The ef r ,Ifnd t tDe e ntha s tsi d t s cond a pe tof oun e c am gans antf . r o e i ha f nda s ai fe he e s c t t es di uiyf Rul 60( motons he hr hol nq r or e b) i . Ac o dn t t eFo rh Cic i,hels ee n ,p eu iet t ep an if i o ûe sr c r ig o h u t rut t at lme t rj dc o h litf, s f l se l i pora .' Nat1 Cr t Uni A dmi #t v. Gry,1F.d26 26 (t Ci.1 9 ) s eas m t nce ' edi on n. f a 3 2, 5 4 h r 9 3 ; e lo Compt 608F. a 1 (t c ts d i e r ca egi s on, 2d t 02 t The our houl n vey s ve ome,t hough notc r lng, ontoli c nsd rto t t e q sin whehe te p ry i wh s fv rt ej d me th sb e e trd o ieain o h ueto t r h a t n o e a o h u g n a e n n ee wilb u fil p eu ie by te v c to o hsj d me t). W hl s ti a iet ed fut l e nary rj d c d h a ai n f i u g n . ' ie etng sd h e a l j d me th r wo l c rany b a u wec meo to fo Plitf' pes cie i c nn t u g n ee ud e ti l e n n lo u c me ' m an ifs rpe tv , t a o r b s i t a i wo l rp e e tuf rp eu ie t h m. I d e ,e e y tme a c u tv c tsa e ad h t t u d e r s n nai rj dc o i n e d v r i o r a ae j d me t a i v ra l c nsqu n e i ta ap ry i p eu ie ,b tta i t o te tp o u g n, n n aibe o e e c s h t a t s rj dc d u h t s l t h y e f n p eu ie c ne ltd b te r l. Wene v Ca b ,7 F. 2 4,2 7 (t Ci.1 8 ) rj dc o tmpae y h ue' r r . r o 31 2d 0 0 4h r 9 4 . ' Tho g sti a iet d fut u g n h r wo l rq iePlitf t e p ndtmea d ic r u h et sd he e a lj d me t e e ud e ur an if o x e i n n u ng c ss i a ef r t s c r t e rle s fro tie ,t ee c ud b n u f i p eu ie i o t n n fo t o e u e h eif o a b an d h r o l e o n ar rj dc n rquii hi t pr hi ca e a ns Dee nt(r i oblgi hi t dee agans a e rng m o ove s s gai t fnda o n i ng m o fnd i t ny counecai ase t by De e nt. Fi ng t tDeenda haspased t t es d ts,I trl m s red f nda ) ndi ha f nt s he hr hol et pr ee t a a l i of whe he he ha de oc d o n na yss t r s monsr t d t he i e ild t ha t de a t ta e hat s ntte o ve he f ul j d me t a ae pu s n t teg omd stfrhi Ru e6 ( ) u g n v c td rua t o h rt s e o t n l 0 b . B.Excusabl N egl e ect D e e nt r pr s nt t t afe Pl i if f l d t com pl i aga ns hi ,he s ught t f nda e e e s ha , t r a ntf ie he a nt i t m o he s r i e ofa a r y. Thus De e n ,who doesnotdiput t the wasper o ly s r d e vc s n ho ne , f nda t s e ha s nal e ve wih t s t he ummons i t s ma t , a t t t he kne of t a ton pendi agans hi . n hi ter dmis ha w he c i ng i t m A c r ng t D e e nt t a t ne he co a t d co d notr pr enthi be aus of a c l c , co di o f nda , he tor y nt c e ul e es m c e ont i t a s De e nti ta l ti d t obt n dif e cot e,butuli ael dec de t pr e nd o f nda nii ly re o ai fer nt ms l tm t y i d o oc edrr o ea t , h rv o sy e cie s ,j ta h d e f rp r s so t e i tn mo in. Ther fer te p e i u l d s rb d e us s e o s o u po e f h nsa t to S s tl m e neg i tons be w e n D e e nt a Pl i if s co el com m e d. D ef nd nt e te nt ota i t e f nda nd a ntf uns nce e a c endst thene rr c ve a notcet a a i c ti conne ton wih t i t ntm a tr ont ha ve e ei d i o ppe r n our n ci t he nsa te . 5I hi moton, Defnda a s t t thedi nothaves f enttmet r t n a lwye a rhi i ta atempt t n s i e nt s ers ha d ufki i o eai a r Re s niil t s o o ti rp ee tto fi d Ho v r ln t ta Panifddn tmo efre ty o d fut u g n u tlmo e ban e rsnain al . we e, oe h t litf i o v o nr f ea lj d me t ni r c t sx mont atrt Clr oft Cour e e e Defndantsdeaul Fu te,Idi n te trd fulj d me t han i hs fe he ek he t ntr d e ' f t rh r d o ne ea t u g n . a ns De e nt untl mor t n o yea a tr Pli if fld hi c ai . The ef e,t r or bei gai t f nda i e ha ne r fe antf ie s ompl nt r or he ec d les D ee tsc e i t thehadi ufk inttm et hiealwye . fndan ' ontnton ha ns t e i o r a r 6 Ba ed on t f e ng r pr s nt i by De e nt 1 wil c tue hi as e to a a s he or goi e e e atons f nda , l onsr s s ri ns s n ag me tt th i e t ld t ha e te d f utj d me ts ta ie pu s n t Ru e 6 ()1, r u n ha e s ni e o v h ea l u g n e sd rua t o l 0b () t whc pe isc u t t v c t j d me t u nafndn o d sa e i d re e s r rs , r ih nnt o rs o a ae u g ns po i ig f ç tk ,na vetnc , u p ie o mi e us l ne ec- Fed.R.Ci P.60( () xc abe gl t' ' v. b)1. ltrtobs ve t tDe e ntdoe nota es t f tt ta1 cores is er ha f nda s ddr s he ac ha 1 r ponde 9om t nce he Co r,a wela alc mmu c to fo P an ifsc u e (n l i a n tc o h a ig , u t s l s 1 o niains rm litf o nsl i cudng o ie f e rn ) w e e m aie t Def nda a t s r ld o e nt t he mne a r s whe e he w a pe s ly s r ed w ih t dd e s r s r ona l e v t he sl o . W ha i m o e,t a e s a s ha nst be t a e s f hi busne s a t lmm ns t s r hat ddr s lo ppe o he ddr s or s i s nd he a r st ther c nty pr vi d t t Cour ast a es a whih hewihed t r c vef t e dd es ha e e l o de o he t he ddr s t c s o e ei uur c rs ore ponde . 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