United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
4SEES, LLC., a Utah Limited Liability Company; JANE SEE, an individual; and JILL THOMAS an individual, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
N. Parrish District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Judge Jill N. Parrish referred this case to Chief Magistrate
Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court is a motion for extension
of time to hire new counsel and to extend the remaining
deadlines in the scheduling order (the
“Motion”) filed by Plaintiff Jill Thomas on May 17,
2019. Defendant the United States of America
(“Defendant” or “United States”)
opposes the Motion.
to Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[a] schedule may be modified only for good cause and
with the judge's consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4).
“The district court exercises its sound discretion when
deciding whether to modify a Scheduling Order.”
Little v. Budd Co., No. 16-4170-DDC-KGG, 2018 WL
836292, at *2 (D. Kan. Feb. 13, 2018) (citing Rimbert v.
Eli Lilly & Co., 647 F.3d 1247, 1254 (10th Cir.
2011)). And, “[t]he district court has broad discretion
over the control of discovery, and [the Tenth Circuit] will
not set aside discovery rulings absent an abuse of that
discretion.” Sec. & Exch. Comm'n v. Merrill
Scott & Assocs., Ltd., 600 F.3d 1262, 1271 (10th
Cir. 2010) (quotations and citations omitted).
Motion seeks first, a ninety-day extension of the deadline
for Plaintiffs 4Sees, LLC., Jane See, and Jill Thomas
(collectively, “Plaintiffs”) to file a notice of
appearance or substitution of counsel. The original deadline,
May 24, 2019, was set by this court's order granting
Plaintiffs' former counsel's motion to
withdraw. Second, the Motion seeks an extension of
all remaining deadlines in this case. The Motion asserts that
Plaintiffs “have had a difficult time finding and
retaining competent, stable legal advice” despite the
efforts recited in the Motion. The Motion cites “the
nature of the complaint and the amount the new attorneys must
review and inspect” and the need for representation
during depositions as support for the request to extend the
remaining deadlines in the scheduling order.
for its part, does not oppose a thirty-day extension of
Plaintiffs' deadline to file substitution of counsel,
until June 24, 2019. Defendant does oppose a ninety-day
extension, however. Defendant argues that a ninety-day
extension of this deadline would “disadvantage the
United States” because “[t]he primary witnesses
in this case are seasonal wildland firefighters, many of whom
have left or will leave federal service, or have left
Utah.” Moreover, the United States argues that
“as the case ages, witnesses' memories will
continue to fade, making defense of this matter more
court concludes that the Motion demonstrates good cause for
extending the deadline to obtain new counsel. Moreover,
Defendant's arguments of prejudice are merely
speculative. Defendant has produced no evidence that
witnesses will leave federal service or the state of Utah in
the next sixty (60) days, or that witnesses' memories are
more likely to fade any more in the next sixty (60) days than
they have in the last three years, since the commencement of
this action. Accordingly, with respect to the request for an
extension of the deadline to obtain new counsel, the Motion
the Motion's request for an extension of the remaining
deadlines in the scheduling order, that request is denied.
After Plaintiffs have retained new counsel, their new counsel
may review the scheduling order and file any motion for
extension of the remaining deadlines as they see fit.
summary, the Motion is hereby GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART as set forth above. Accordingly, the
court hereby ORDERS that Plaintiffs'
deadline to file a notice of appearance or substitution of
counsel is extended ninety (90) days from the original
deadline, to August 22, 2019.
IS SO ORDERED
 See docket no. 22.
See docket no. 61.