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Bryant v. City of Goodyear

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 6, 2013

David Bryant and Andrea Bryant, individually and as husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
The City of Goodyear; William R. Newman, Jr. and Jane Doe Newman, husband and wife; Mark Brown and Jane Doe Brown, husband and wife; Ralph McLaughlin and Jane Doe McLaughlin, husband and wife; and Jeff Rogers and Jane Doe Rogers, husband and wife, Defendants.

JAMES A. TEILBORG, Senior District Judge.

Pending before the Court are: (1) Defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery and Dispositive Motion Deadline (Doc. 90) and (2) Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's May 6, 2013 Order or alternatively Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief Reinstating Some State Claims Against Newman, McLaughlin (Doc. 85). The Court now rules on the Motions.

I. Background

On February 15, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Defendants (Doc. 1). On June 5, 2012, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint against Defendants (Doc. 6). On June 7, 2012, the Amended Complaint was served on all Defendants, except for Defendant Brown, who waived service on June 13, 2012. (Doc. 7-15). On September 14, 2012, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 30) and a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 31). On May 6, 2013, the Court granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part and granted Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiffs' amended complaint. (Doc. 81). In that Order, the Court gave Plaintiffs leave to amend their Amended Complaint and extended the discovery deadline to August 1, 2013 and the dispositive motion deadline to August 30, 2013. ( Id. ).

On May 28, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint. On June 19, 2013, Defendants moved to dismiss twenty-three of the twenty-five counts of the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. 89).

II. Defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery and Dispositive Motion Deadline

Defendants seek a stay of the discovery and dispositive motions deadlines until the Court has ruled on their Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiffs object to a stay and an open-ended discovery extension and argue that further delay in the case would be unfair.

Defendants' request that this case be stayed is denied. However, in order to give the Court time to analyze Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, which has only been fully briefed since August 1, 2013, the Court will extend the discovery and dispositive motion deadlines as follows: all discovery, including depositions of parties, witnesses, and experts, answers to interrogatories, and supplements to interrogatories must be completed by October 30, 2013 and all dispositive motions shall be filed no later than December 6, 2013. Such motions must be, in all respects, in full compliance with the Civil Local Rules.

III. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's May 6, 2013 Order or alternatively Rule 60(b) Motion for Relief Reinstating Some State Claims Against Newman, McLaughlin

Plaintiffs seek reconsideration of part of the Court's May 6, 2013 Order. In their Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendants argued that Plaintiffs' state law claims should be dismissed against Defendants Newman and Brown because Plaintiffs failed to properly comply with Arizona's Notice of Claim Statute, Arizona Revised Statutes section 12-821.01(A). In its May 6, 2013 Order, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on that argument because Plaintiffs filed their complaint prior to serving their Notice of Claim on Defendants Newman and Brown. The Court specifically found:

Plaintiffs filed their original complaint on February 15, 2012. Plaintiffs served their notice of claim on Defendants Newman and McLaughlin on March 6, 2012. Plaintiffs argue that "[t]he original complaint in this matter was filed on February 15, 2012 as a placeholder to avoid potential statute of limitations issues while the Bryants finalized their Notice of Claim." (Doc. 40 at 3). In Reply, Defendants argue that section 12-821.01 requires that the claim be submitted and rejected before a lawsuit is filed.
Indeed, "[b]efore initiating an action for damages against a public entity, a claimant must provide a notice of claim to the entity in compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 12-821.01 (2003)." Deer Valley Unified School Dist. No. 97 v. Houser, 152 P.3d 490, 491 (Ariz. 2007). "The statutory requirements serve several important functions: They allow the public entity to investigate and assess liability, ... permit the possibility of settlement prior to litigation, and... assist the public entity in financial planning and budgeting.'" Id. at 492 (internal citations omitted) (alterations in original).
Compliance with the notice provision of ยง 12-821.01(A) is a mandatory and essential prerequisite to such an action. Failure to comply with the statute is not cured by actual notice or substantial compliance. Rather, plaintiff's failure bars any claim against the entity or employee.
Harris v. Cochise Health Systems, 160 P.3d 223, 230 (Ariz.Ct.App. 2007) (internal quotations and citations ...

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