and similar procedural requirements are unclear or not readily available, relief from their strict application may be considered under Bowen v. City of New York, 476 U.S. 467, 90 L. Ed. 2d 462, 106 S. Ct. 2022 (1986). As stated in Malkan FM Associates v. FCC, 290 U.S. App. D.C. 194, 935 F.2d 1313, 1318-19 (D.C. Cir. 1991), quoting Salzer v. FCC, 250 U.S. App. D.C. 248, 778 F.2d 869, 871-71 (D.C. Cir. 1985), ". . . fundamental fairness requires that an exacting . . . standard, enforced by the severe sanction of dismissal without consideration on the merits, be accompanied by full and explicit notice of all prerequisites for such consideration." (emphasis in original).
Similarly, where governmental behavior may have caused delay or led a private party to postpone action later claimed to be untimely, relief may be considered under the circumstances defined in Irwin v. Veterans Administration, 498 U.S. 89, 111 S. Ct. 453, 112 L. Ed. 2d 435 (1991); see generally Rys v. United States Postal Service, 886 F.2d 443, 445 (1st Cir. 1989).
Likewise, where a party does all it can to comply with a time limit, its efforts may be deemed sufficient as indicated by Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 101 L. Ed. 2d 245, 108 S. Ct. 2379 (1988); Ortiz v. Cornetta, 867 F.2d 146 (2d Cir. 1989).
At the same time, time limits such as that invoked here reflect the reality that one with a meritorious complaint concerning violation of a well-known right will ordinarily act promptly, and that failure to do so risks loss of fresh recollection and other information about the events in question, especially in a rapidly-moving employment situation.
Plaintiff has provided no explanation for a delay approximately sixteen (16) times the length of the applicable time limit. Nor has there been any attempt to show that information about the applicable deadline, albeit contained in a sub-subsection of the multivolume Code of Federal Regulations, was not widely known and readily available by consulting any equal opportunity counsellor or any one of numerous advocacy agencies.
In my order of September 25, 1992, I allowed plaintiff 30 days to respond to defendant's motion to dismiss, filed in October 1992, but as of this date he has made no response at all.
The clerk is directed to close this case.
Dated: White Plains, New York
January 19, 1993
VINCENT L. BRODERICK, U.S.D.J.
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