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Henry Holesapple, Anthony Nastasi, and Mark Emory Washington v. E-Mortgage Management

December 29, 2011

HENRY HOLESAPPLE, ANTHONY NASTASI, AND MARK EMORY WASHINGTON, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
E-MORTGAGE MANAGEMENT, LLC, GREG ENGLESBE, AND BRIAN KRASNER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hillman, District Judge

OPINION

Before the Court is plaintiffs' motion for conditional class certification pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). Also before the Court is defendants' motion for reconsideration of the Court's Order granting an extension of time to file a reply brief. For reasons explained below, plaintiffs' motion for conditional class certification will be denied without prejudice, and defendants' motion for reconsideration will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs were former employees of defendant E-Mortgage Management, LLC ("E-Mortgage"). E-Mortgage is a mortgage lending and brokerage company that operates approximately eight offices in at least four states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine and Delaware. There is no dispute that E-Mortgage is an employer within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 203(d).*fn1 Plaintiffs worked as "loan officers" or "customer service representatives."*fn2 Their primary job duties were to solicit mortgage loans and oversee the loan applications until they were sent to processing and closing. Plaintiffs were paid on a commission only basis. Plaintiffs allege that they were not paid the minimum wage, and that they routinely worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but did not receive overtime compensation.

Plaintiffs allege that defendants violated FLSA Section 206(a) which requires employers to pay employees the current minimum wage*fn3 , and FLSA Section 207(a)(1) which requires employers to pay overtime to employees who work in excess of 40 hours in a workweek at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed. Plaintiffs seek for themselves and similarly situated employees declaratory and compensatory relief, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and reasonable costs and attorneys' fees. Plaintiffs filed a motion for conditional class certification under the FLSA. Defendants oppose plaintiffs' motion and argue that plaintiffs' declarations submitted in support of their motion were inadequate and factually incorrect. Plaintiffs sought and were granted an extension to file a reply brief attaching revised affidavits. Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's Order granting the extension.

II. JURISDICTION

Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and others "similarly situated" to remedy alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., and therefore this Court exercises subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question jurisdiction).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Motion for Reconsideration

Plaintiffs filed their motion for conditional class certification on May 18, 2011. According to Local Rule 78.1, the motion day for the hearing was set for June 20, 2011, which date was entered by the Clerk of Court on the Court's official docket. See L.Civ.R. 78.1. The deadline for opposition briefs is fourteen days before the motion day, or June 6, 2011, and the deadline for reply briefs is seven days before the motion day, or June 13, 2011. See id. When plaintiffs filed their motion for conditional class certification, they erroneously stated on their docket entry that the opposition brief was due on June 13, 2011, rather than June 6, 2011. Defendants filed their opposition brief on June 13, 2011, presumably according to the date entered by plaintiffs which was seven days after the deadline.

Realizing the error with regard to the opposition deadline, on June 20, 2011, plaintiffs filed a motion for extension of time to file a reply. The extension was necessary because the defendants did not file their opposition until June 13, 2011, which was the original deadline for the reply under the Local Rules. The Court granted plaintiffs' motion for extension on June 29, 2011. Defendants filed a motion for reconsideration because the Order granting the extension was entered prior to the date their opposition brief to the motion for extension was due, on July 5, 2011.

This Court has discretion to extend a deadline after the time has expired upon a showing of good cause if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B); Drippe v. Tobelinski, 604 F.3d 778, 782 (3d Cir. 2010). Although defendants accurately recite the procedural history surrounding the filing of the motion for extension, they do not argue that they have been prejudiced in any way by the filing of plaintiffs' reply seven days after the deadline, which was necessitated by the fact that defendants filed their response late, without requesting an extension. Here, the interests of justice would favor allowing defendants to file a late response, without having requested an extension due to the erroneous deadline stated by plaintiffs, and allow plaintiffs, upon motion for extension, a seven day extension to file their reply.

Accordingly, defendants' motion for reconsideration ...


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