United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Augusta Division
SUSAN G. MARTIN, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Defendant.
K. EPPS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
has paid the $400.00 filing fee in the above-captioned case.
Because she is proceeding pro se, the Court will
provide Plaintiff with some basic instructions regarding the
development and progression of this case.
Plaintiff is responsible for serving Defendant. For agencies,
corporations, officers, or employees of the United States
subject to service under Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i), Plaintiff must
first obtain from the Clerk of Court an appropriate summons
for Defendant and deliver a copy of the summons and the
original complaint, via registered or certified mail, to (1)
the civil process clerk at the office of the United States
Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia; (2) Jeff
Sessions, the Attorney General of the United States,
Washington, D.C.; and (3) the officer or agency being sued.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(i)(1)-(3). Generally, Plaintiff must serve
Defendant within 90 days from the date her complaint was
filed, and failure to do so may result in the dismissal of
Defendant or the entire case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(m). As the time
for service has nearly expired, the Court EXTENDS the
deadline for service to ninety days from the date of this
ORDERED THAT Plaintiff shall serve upon Defendant, or upon
its attorney if appearance has been entered by counsel, a
copy of every further pleading or other document submitted to
the Court. Plaintiff shall include with the papers to be
filed a certificate stating the date a true and correct copy
of any document was mailed to Defendant or its counsel.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 5; Loc. R. 5.1. Every pleading shall contain a
caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the
action, and the file number. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(a). Any paper
received by a District Judge or Magistrate Judge that has not
been properly filed with the Clerk of Court or that fails to
include a caption or certificate of service will be returned.
Plaintiff's duty to cooperate fully in any discovery that
may be initiated by Defendant. Upon being given at least five
days notice of the scheduled deposition date, Plaintiff shall
appear and permit her deposition to be taken and shall
answer, under oath and solemn affirmation, any question that
seeks information relevant to the subject matter of the
pending action. Failing to answer questions at the deposition
or giving evasive or incomplete responses to questions will
not be tolerated and may subject Plaintiff to severe
sanctions, including dismissal of this case.
Defendant shall ensure that Plaintiff's deposition and
any other depositions in the case are taken within the
140-day discovery period allowed by this Court's
this action is pending, Plaintiff shall immediately inform
this Court and opposing counsel of any change of address.
Failure to do so will result in dismissal of this case.
must pursue this case and failure to do so may result in
dismissal for want of prosecution. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41; Loc. R.
41.1. If Plaintiff wishes to obtain facts and information
about the case from Defendant, Plaintiff must initiate
discovery. See generally Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 through 37
(containing the rules governing discovery and providing for
the basic methods of discovery). Plaintiff should begin
discovery promptly and complete it within the time limit set
forth in Local Rule 26.1(d).
are a practical method of discovery for pro se
litigants. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 33. Interrogatories
shall not contain more than twenty-five questions.
Id. Plaintiff must have the Court's permission
to propound more than one set of interrogatories to a party.
Discovery materials should not be filed routinely with the
Clerk of Court. Exceptions include when the Court directs
filing; when a party needs such materials in connection with
a motion or response, and then only to the extent necessary;
and when needed for use at trial. If Plaintiff wishes to file
a motion to compel pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37, she should
first contact the attorney for Defendant and try to work out
the problem. If Plaintiff proceeds with the motion to compel,
she should file therewith a statement certifying that she has
contacted opposing counsel in a good faith effort to resolve
any dispute about discovery. Loc. R. 26.5.
must maintain a set of records for the case. If papers are
lost and new copies are required, these may be obtained from
the Clerk of the Court at the standard cost of fifty cents
this Court's Local Rules, a party opposing a motion to
dismiss shall file and serve his or her response to the
motion within fourteen days of its service. “Failure to
respond within the applicable time period shall indicate that
there is no opposition to a motion.” Loc. R. 7.5.
Therefore, if Plaintiff fails to respond to a motion to
dismiss, the Court will assume that there is no opposition to
the motion and will grant the dismissal.
response to a motion for summary judgment must be filed
within twenty-one days after service of the motion. Loc. R.
7.5, 56.1. A failure to respond shall indicate that there is
no opposition to the motion. Loc. R. 7.5. Furthermore, each
material fact set forth in Defendant's statement of
material facts will be deemed admitted unless specifically
controverted by a statement filed by Plaintiff. Loc. R. 56.1.
Should Defendant file a motion for summary judgment,
Plaintiff is advised that she will have the burden of
establishing the existence of a genuine issue as to any
material fact in this case. That burden cannot be carried by
reliance on the conclusory allegations contained within the
complaint. Should a factual assertion in a defendant's
motion for summary judgment be supported by affidavits or
other materials in the record as provided in Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c), Plaintiff must respond in kind with counter-affidavits
or other such materials, if she desires to contest
Defendant's factual assertion. Should Plaintiff fail to
properly address Defendant's factual assertions and show
that there is a genuine issue for trial, the factual
assertions made in Defendant's motion which are properly
supported will be accepted as undisputed and, if Defendant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law, summary judgment
will be entered against Plaintiff pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.