United States District Court, E.D. New York
VINCENT CHIARELLI, PHILIP DRAGONETTI, MICHELE MASZON, TODD MASZON, CHRIS SANTMAURO, LISA SUROWEIC, and JOHN COMPTON, individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NICHOLAS G. GARAUFIS, United States District Judge.
Vincent Chiarelli, Philip Dragonetti, Michele Maszon, Lisa
Suroweic, and John Compton bring this putative class action
against Defendant Nissan North America, Inc.
("Nissan"). (See Am. Compl. (Dkt. 5).)
Plaintiffs allege that Nissan installed a defective timing
chain system in various models of Nissan vehicles, causing
Plaintiffs to pay for repairs after the expiration of their
otherwise applicable Nissan warranties. Plaintiffs assert
causes of action under the consumer protection laws of New
York, Florida, and Maryland, as well as breach of contract
claims pursuant to New York, Florida, Maryland, and New
Jersey law. Defendant has moved for partial summary
judgment, requesting that the court dismiss all but one of
Plaintiffs' claims. (Mot. for Partial Summ. J.
("Mot.") (Dkt. 40).) The court hereby DENIES
Nissan's Motion WITHOUT PREJUDICE because it is
failed to submit a statement of undisputed material facts (a
"Rule 56.1 Statement") with its Motion, in clear
violation of this court's Local Rules. Local Civil Rule
56.1 states that
[u]pon any motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, there shall be
annexed to the notice of motion a separate, short and concise
statement, in numbered paragraphs, of the material facts as
to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue
to be tried. Failure to submit such a statement may
constitute grounds for denial of the motion.
(emphases added); cf T.Y. v. N.Y.C. Dep't of
Educ. 584 F.3d 412, 417 (2d Cir. 2009) (noting that
Local Civil Rule 56.1 imposes a "strict"
Rule 56.1 is designed to place the responsibility on the
parties to clarify the elements of the substantive law which
remain at issue because they turn on contested facts."
Monahan v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Corrs.. 214 F.3d 275,
292 (2d Cir. 2000). It is not the court's responsibility
to "hunt through voluminous records without guidance
from the parties." Holtz v. Rockefeller & Co.,
Inc., 258 F.3d 62, 74 (2d Cir. 2001). The movant's
submission of a Rule 56.1 Statement is meant "to
streamline the [court's] consideration of summary
judgment motions." Id. As such, "[w]hile
the trial court has discretion to conduct an assiduous review
of the record in an effort to weigh the propriety of granting
a summary judgment motion, it is not required to consider
what the parties fail to point out." Monahan,
214 F.3d at 292.
a Rule 56.1 Statement from Defendant (and a response from
Plaintiffs), the court cannot adequately assess whether there
exist any genuine issues of material fact, which would
preclude entry of summary judgment in favor of Defendant.
Accordingly, Defendant's Motion is denied without
prejudice. See, e.g., Barklev v. Olympia Mortg.
Co., Nos. 04-CV-875 (KAM) (RLM), 05-CV-187 (KAM) (RLM),
05-CV-4386 (KAM) (RLM), 05-CV-5302 (KAM) (RLM), 05-CV-5362
(KAM) (RLM), 05-CV-5679 (KAM) (RLM), 2010 WL 3709278, at *14
(E.D.N.Y. Sept. 13, 2010) (denying summary judgment motion
based on movant's failure to submit a Rule 56.1
Statement); MSF Holding Ltd. v. Fiduciary Trust Co.
Int'l 435 F.Supp.2d 285, 304 (S.D.N.Y. 2006) (same);
Searight v. Dohert v Enters., Inc., No. 02-CV-0604
(SJF) (JO), 2005 WL 2413590, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2005)
addition to being procedurally defective, Defendant's
Motion may well be premature. Plaintiffs submit that merits
and expert discovery has not yet commenced in this action and
that "the minimal discovery" that has been taken
"has only related to class discovery issues."
(See Decl. of Gary Graifman in Opp'n to Mot.
("Graifman Decl.") (Dkt. 42) ¶¶ 16, 18,
19.)Defendant responds that "[a]ny
classwide conduct pertinent to Plaintiffs' claims ... was
subject to discovery during the [class] certification stage
[of discovery]." (Def.'s Reply Mem. in Supp. of Mot.
("Def. Reply") (Dkt. 48) at 3.) Because the Motion
is procedurally defective due to Defendant's failure to
file a Rule 56.1 Statement, the court need not decide whether
Defendant's Motion is also premature.
the court cautions the parties that it will not adjudicate
summary judgment motions until the non-moving party has had
"adequate time for discovery." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett. 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also
Hellstrom v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs. 201
F.3d 94, 97 (2d Cir. 2000) ("[S]ummary judgment should
only be granted mf after discovery, the nonmoving
party has failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential
element of [its] case with respect to which [it] has the
burden of proof." (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted)); Trebor Sportswear Co.. Inc. v. The Ltd.
Stores. Inc., 865 F.2d 506, 511 (2d Cir. 1989) (holding
that the non-moving party "should not be
'railroaded' into his offer of proof in opposition to
summary judgment" and "must have 'had the
opportunity to discover information that is essential to his
opposition' to the motion for summary judgment")
(citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 326, and Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 n.5 (1986)).
Defendant failed to file the required Rule 56.1 Statement,
Defendant's Motion (Dkt. 40) is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Should Defendant decide to re-file its Motion with a Rule
56.1 Statement, it must first obtain a certification from
Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo that fact discovery is complete.
The court expects that any renewed motion filed by Defendant
will comply with the Local Rules and the court's
Individual Rules, including the page limits prescribed
Clerk of Court is respectfully DIRECTED to amend the case
caption to reflect the fact that Todd Maszon and Chris
Santimauro have been removed as putative class