United States District Court, D. New Mexico
CHERYL M. DORADO and JOHN E. DORADO, Plaintiffs,
JAMES CAMPOS, ALICE MONK, and JOHN DOE CAMPOS, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. BRACK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment, filed on December 8, 2017. (Doc. 42.)
Jurisdiction arises under 28 U.S.C. § 1332. (See Doc. 1
at 2.) Having considered the submissions of counsel and
relevant law, the Court will GRANT the motion.
December 12, 2013, Plaintiff Cheryl Dorado (Ms. Dorado) was
driving in Carlsbad, New Mexico. (Doc. 1-3
(“Compl.”) ¶ 1.) Ms. Dorado approached the
intersection of Pecos Acres and Westridge and saw a
dark-colored Maxima sitting at a stop sign at the
intersection. (Docs. 42-C at 23:4-15, 46:5-8; 43-2 at 1.) Ms.
Dorado did not have a stop sign, and she continued through
the intersection. (Doc. 42-C at 37:11-15.) The driver of the
Maxima accelerated and entered the intersection at the same
time as Ms. Dorado, hitting her vehicle. (Id. at
37:12-15.) The driver then pulled away from the scene of the
accident, only stopping when Ms. Dorado pursued him.
(Id. at 37:15-38:7.) Ms. Dorado spoke to the driver,
a man she described as white,  skinny, and “[m]aybe in his
20s.” (Id. at 39:10-23.) The man told her that
it was his mother's car. (Id. at 38:9-10.) Ms.
Dorado told him she was calling the police, and he
“freaked out” and started to leave. (Id.
at 38:23- 25.) Ms. Dorado took pictures of his car and
license plate before he left the scene. (Id. at
39:1-5; Doc. 43-1.) The police arrived and made a report.
(See Doc. 43-2.) The police officers ran the Colorado license
plate shown in Ms. Dorado's picture and traced the plate
to Defendant James Campos (Mr. Campos) as owner of the
Maxima. (See Id. at 1.)
December 12, 2013, Mr. Campos and Defendant Alice Monk (Ms.
Monk) lived in Craig, Colorado. (Docs. 42-A ¶ 2; 42-B
¶ 2.) Both Mr. Campos and Ms. Monk submitted affidavits
attesting that they were not in Carlsbad, New Mexico on
December 12, 2013, nor were either of them involved in the
motor vehicle accident at issue here. (See Docs. 42-A
¶¶ 3-5; 42-B ¶¶ 3-5.) Mr. Campos adds
that he is not in his twenties. (Doc. 42-A ¶ 6.)
assert in their Complaint that the unidentified driver
“was a member of the household of the Defendants and
was using the subject automobile for the use, benefit, and
enjoyment of the Defendants or the members of the household
and the Defendants are thus liable to the Plaintiffs pursuant
to the Family Purpose Doctrine.” (Compl. ¶ 4.)
Summary Judgment Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate when the Court, viewing the record in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, determines
“that there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Garrison v.
Gambro, Inc., 428 F.3d 933, 935 (10th Cir. 2005). A fact
is “material” if it could influence the
determination of the suit. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute over a
material fact is “genuine” if a reasonable trier
of fact could return a verdict for either party. Id.
The moving party bears the initial responsibility of
“show[ing] that there is an absence of evidence to
support the nonmoving party's case.” Bacchus
Indus., Inc. v. Arvin Indus., Inc., 939 F.2d 887, 891
(10th Cir. 1991) (quoting Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986)).
the moving party meets this burden, Rule 56(e)
“requires the nonmoving party to go beyond the
pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (quotation marks omitted). The party
opposing a motion for summary judgment “must set forth
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial as to those dispositive matters for which it carries
the burden of proof.” Applied Genetics Int'l,
Inc. v. First Affiliated Sec., Inc., 912 F.2d 1238, 1241
(10th Cir. 1990) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324).
Rule 56(c) provides that “[a] party asserting that a
fact . . . is genuinely disputed must support the assertion
by . . . citing to particular parts of materials in the
record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials . . .
.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). The respondent may not
simply “rest on mere allegations or denials of [her]
pleadings.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 259; see
also Otteson v. United States, 622 F.2d 516, 519
(10th Cir. 1980) (“However, once a properly supported
summary judgment motion is made, the opposing party may not
rest on the allegations contained in his complaint, but must
respond with specific facts showing the existence of a
genuine factual issue to be tried.”) (quotation
omitted)). Nor can a party “avoid summary judgment by
repeating conclusory opinions, allegations unsupported by
specific facts, or speculation.” Colony Nat'l
Ins. Co. v. Omer, No. 07-2123-JAR, 2008 WL 2309005, at
*1 (D. Kan. June 2, 2008) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e);
Argo v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kan., Inc., 452
F.3d 1193, 1199 (10th Cir. 2006)). “In a response to a
motion for summary judgment, a party cannot rest on ignorance
of facts, on speculation, or on suspicion and may not escape
summary judgment in the mere hope that something will turn up
at trial.” Conaway v. Smith, 853 F.2d 789, 794
(10th Cir. 1988) (citations omitted).
Counsel for both parties have failed to follow Local Rules.
Court begins by noting that Defendants filed their motion one
week after the deadline for pretrial motions had passed. On
July 21, 2017, in response to Plaintiffs' unopposed
Motion to Extend Scheduling Order Deadlines by 90-Days (Doc.
35), the Court entered an order resetting the pretrial
motions deadline to December 1, 2017. (Doc. 36 at 1.)
Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on
December 8, 2017, one week after the Court-imposed deadline
had expired. (See Doc. 42.) Local Rule 16.1 provides that
“[m]odification of deadlines in the Court's
scheduling orders . . ., whether or not opposed, requires a
showing of good cause and Court approval.” D.N.M.
LR-Civ. 16.1. Moreover, Local Rule 56.1 specifically states
that “[m]otions for summary judgment will not be
considered unless filed within the deadline set in the Joint
Status Report to allow sufficient time for the opposing party
to file counter-affidavits and responses thereto, and to
permit the Court reasonable time to hear arguments, if
granted, and to consider the merits.” D.N.M. LR-Civ.
56.1(a) (emphasis added). Defendants have neither shown good
cause for missing the pretrial motion deadline, nor have they
sought Court approval for filing their motion outside of the
while both parties cite authority for the summary judgment
standard, neither party cites a single case related to
Plaintiffs' actual claim. (See Docs. 42-44.)
Plaintiffs' Complaint makes clear that they have brought
suit pursuant to the “family purpose doctrine, ”
yet neither party offers the Court any authority on point.
Local Rule 7.3 provides that “[a] motion, response or
reply must cite authority in support of the legal positions
advanced.” D.N.M. LR-Civ. 7.3(a). Failing to cite