United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Agri-Labs' Motion To Strike
TapLogic's Motion For Summary Judgment, Request Under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(d) and Request For Court
Ordered Mediation [ECF No. 133], filed on July 18, 2017, and
Agri-Labs' Motion To Strike TapLogic's Motion For
Summary Judgment, Request Under Federal Rules Of Civil
Procedure 56(d) [ECF No. 135], filed on August 4, 2017. The
Plaintiff moves to strike the entirety of the Defendant's
two Summary Judgment Motions [ECF Nos. 129, 131] on the
grounds that the Defendant did not comply with Local Rule
56-1(a) because it failed to include a Statement of Material
Facts either in the memorandum or attached as an appendix.
The Plaintiff also argues that the facts the Defendant did
include in its first Motion [ECF No. 129] do not appear to
have any relation to the subject matter of the Motion. Thus,
the Plaintiff argues, both of the Defendant's Motions for
Summary Judgment should be stricken.
Plaintiff further argues that it requires additional time to
conduct discovery prior to responding to the Defendant's
Motions for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(d) and asks the Court to extend the period
for responding to the Defendant's Motions. Alternatively,
the Plaintiff asks the Court to deny the Defendant's
Motions for Summary Judgment. Finally, the Plaintiff asks the
Court to order the parties to engage in non-binding
reasons set forth below, the Court denies Agri-Labs'
Motions to Strike TapLogic's Motions For Summary
Judgment, denies the Plaintiff's Requests Under Federal
Rules Of Civil Procedure 56(d), and denies the
Plaintiff's Request For Court Ordered Mediation.
January 22, 2015, Agri-Labs Holdings LLC filed a Complaint
against TapLogic LLC, alleging that TapLogic's “Ag
PhD Soil Test” product infringed Agri-Labs' U.S.
Patent No. 8, 286, 857. TapLogic counterclaimed for
invalidity and asserted various affirmative defenses,
including noninfringement and lack of personal jurisdiction
by the Court.
21, 2017, the Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
[ECF No. 129] on its invalidity counterclaim and lack of
jurisdiction defense. On July 6, 2017, the Defendant filed a
Second Motion for Summary Judgment on its noninfringement
defense [ECF No. 131]. The Plaintiff moved to strike the
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment on invalidity and
lack of jurisdiction on July 18, 2017, arguing that the
Defendant failed to include a statement of material facts in
accordance with Local Rule 56-1(a). The Plaintiff also argues
that none of the facts included in the Defendant's Motion
were in any way related to the patent invalidity issue- one
of the subjects of the Motion. The Defendant responded to the
Plaintiff's first Motion to Strike on July 31, 2017 [ECF
No. 134]. Although the Defendant disputed the Plaintiff's
characterization of the fact section of its Motion, the
Defendant appended a Statement of Material Facts [ECF No.
134-3] to its Response to the Plaintiff's Motion to
Strike. The Plaintiff has not filed a reply.
Plaintiff also moved to strike the Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment for noninfringment on August 4, 2017, again
arguing that the Defendant failed to include a Statement of
Material Facts pursuant to Local Rule 56-1(a). The Defendant
responded to the Plaintiff's Motion on August 28, 2017
[ECF No. 136], incorporating by reference its arguments in
its July 31, 2017 Response.
of its Motions to Strike, the Plaintiff also requested
additional time to conduct discovery pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(d) in order to adequately respond to the Defendant's
Motions for Summary Judgment. The Plaintiff argues that it
has not yet had the opportunity to depose Hoyt Choate-a key
witness according to the Plaintiff-due to previous discovery
disputes. In its Response to the Plaintiff's First Motion
to Strike, the Defendant argues that further discovery under
56(d) is unwarranted because the Plaintiff “has had
over 2 1/2 years to depose Hoyt Choate, ” that the
Plaintiff “will gain nothing from deposing Mr. Choate,
” that the “alleged discovery dispute was
resolved on or before March 22, 2017, ” and that the
Plaintiff was “not serious about wanting [Mr.
Choate's] deposition” because it had not yet
noticed a date to take Mr. Choate's deposition. (Def.
Resp. to Pl.'s First Mot. to Strike 2, ECF No. 134.) As
of the filing of the Plaintiff's Second Motion to Strike,
Mr. Choate's deposition had been scheduled for August 17,
2017. In the Defendant's Response to the Plaintiff's
Second Motion to Strike, the Defendant informed the Court
that the “Plaintiff chose not to take Hoyt Choate's
deposition on August 17th and has not rescheduled.”
(Def. Resp. to Pl.'s Sec. Motion to Strike 1, ECF No.
in its First Motion to Strike, the Plaintiff asks this Court
to order the parties to engage in non-binding mediation. The
Defendant did not respond to this request.
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike For Failure To Comply With
The Local Rules
Rule 56-1(a) for the Northern District of Indiana provides
that “[t]he brief supporting a summary-judgment motion
or the brief's appendix must include a section labeled
‘Statement of Material Facts' that identifies the
facts that the moving party contends are not genuinely
disputed.” It is within the Court's discretion
“whether to apply a local rule strictly or to overlook
any transgression.” Peele v. Burch, 722 F.3d
956, 961 (7th Cir. 2013); see also Stanciel v.
Gramley, 267 F.3d 575, 579 (7th Cir. 2001); Little
v. Cox's Supermarkets, 71 F.3d 637, 640 (7th Cir.
1995). The Defendant has now filed with the Court a Statement
of Material Facts, albeit, unattached to either of its
Summary Judgment Motions. “While [the Plaintiff]
arguably has a point about the manner in which [the
Defendant] filed [its] Statement of Facts, and whether it
strictly complies with the Local Rule 56-1(a), this amounts
to ‘much ado about nothing . . . .'”
Canen v. Chapman, No. 3:14-CV-315, 2016 WL 695970,
at *2 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 22, 2016) (quoting Nabors v. Wells
Fargo, No. 1:11-CV-273, 2013 WL 3013353, at *15 (N.D.
Ind. June 17, 2013)). The Defendant has now filed a Statement
of Material Facts, and the Plaintiff will not be prejudiced
by the late filing considering it was filed well over a month
ago, which exceeds the time in which the Plaintiff should
have responded to the Defendant's Motions under the Local
Rules in the first place. The Court therefore denies the
Plaintiff's Motions to Strike. In the interest of a clear
and complete record, the Court will permit the Defendant to
supplement its Motions for Summary Judgment by appending the
Statement of Material Facts [ECF No. 134-3].
Court declines to consider the relevancy or adequacy of the
facts as stated in the Defendant's Motions. The parties
are aware of their respective summary judgment burdens and