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GoDaddy.com LLC v. RPost Communications Ltd.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

June 1, 2016

GoDaddy.com, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
RPost Communications Limited, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JAMES A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff GoDaddy.com, LLC (“GoDaddy”)’s Motion to Strike RPost’s Rule 56.1 Reply Statement of Facts, (Doc. 322), Defendants’[1] Motion to Strike, or in the Alternative Seal, Exhibit 40 to GoDaddy’s Reply in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. 324), and two motions to seal filed by RPost, (Docs. 305, 319). The Court now rules on the motions.

         I. Motions to Strike

         A. GoDaddy’s Motion to Strike

         After GoDaddy filed its controverting and supplemental statements of facts (“CSOF”), (Docs. 307, 308), RPost filed a “Rule 56.1 Reply Statement of Facts in Support of its Statement of Material Facts and Controverting Statement of Facts to GoDaddy’s Additional Statement of Statement of Facts” (“RSOF”), (Doc. 316). GoDaddy moves to strike RPost’s RSOF and its attached exhibits as improperly filed in violation of the Local Rules of Civil Procedure for the District of Arizona (“Local Rules”). (Doc. 322). GoDaddy does not oppose or object to RPost correcting errors in the record, but insists that RPost must do so by filing a Notice of Errata. (Id. at 3).

         In response, RPost (1) filed a Notice of Errata to correct several errors in the record, (Doc. 330); (2) argued that it should be allowed to provide evidence to rebut two false statements made by GoDaddy in its CSOF, (Doc. 331 at 4-5); (3) contended that it should be permitted to file additional documents to cure evidentiary objections made by GoDaddy to RPost’s original statement of facts (“SOF”), (id. at 6-7); and (4) rescinded the remainder of its RSOF, (id. at 7).

         In reply, GoDaddy argued that RPost failed to set forth sufficient reasons to deviate from the Local Rules and should have objected to GoDaddy’s CSOF in the body of RPost’s reply brief and attached the proper documentation to its opening brief. (Doc. 335 at 2-4).

         1. Legal Standard

         The Local Rules do not permit a party moving for summary judgment to file a separate statement of facts in response to the non-moving party’s statement of facts. See Isom v. JDA Software Inc., 2015 WL 3953852, at *1-2 (D. Ariz. June 29, 2015); LRCiv 7.2(m)(2). As the Court has explained,

Local Rule of Civil Procedure 56.1(a) requires the party moving for summary judgment to file a separate statement of facts with its motion. The non-moving party must then file a statement, separate from its memo, that specifically responds to each of the moving party’s statements of fact and that sets forth any additional facts that make summary judgment inappropriate. Local Rule 56.1 does not provide for a reply statement of facts or a response to the non-moving party’s separate statement of facts.
In fact, Local Rule 7.2(m)(2) provides that any objection to the non-moving party’s statement of facts must be made in a reply memorandum, and cannot be presented in a separate responsive memorandum. . . .
The Local Rules do not contemplate attaching additional exhibits to replies in support of summary judgments or filing a separate response to the non-moving party’s statement of facts. This is consistent with the moving party’s need to show no genuine issue of material facts exists and that there is no need for a trier of fact to weigh conflicting evidence, assuming the non-moving party’s evidence is true.

Kinnally v. Rogers Corp., 2008 WL 5272870, at *1-2 (D. Ariz. Dec. 12, 2008) (internal citations and quotations omitted). The Court described the rationale behind Local Rule 7.2(m)(2) as follows:

Explicating the logical possibilities for a supplemental statement of facts demonstrates why Defendant’s argument must fail. Each of Plaintiff’s supplemental facts necessarily must fall into one of the following categories: (1) not material to deciding the motion, (2) material to deciding the motion and disputed, or (3) material to deciding the motion and undisputed. A movant is not prejudiced by not responding to facts falling into the first category because a court does not consider immaterial facts in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Nor is a movant prejudiced by not responding to facts falling into the second category because disputed facts serve to defeat the motion for summary judgment. Defendant in its unauthorized response disputes a number of Plaintiff’s supplemental facts; if just one of these facts is material to deciding the motion, then Defendant has necessarily defeated its own motion. Thus, Defendant can gain nothing by disputing ...

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