ABORTION INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE, FLORIDA
RANEY V AWARE WOMAN
DOCKET / CHRONOLOGICAL FILE
PLAINTIFF'S RENEWED MOTION FOR JUDGEMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 97-1197-CIV-ORL-19B
MEREDITH T. RANEY, JR.,
AWARE WOMAN CENTER FOR
CHOICE, INC., a Florida
Corporation, EDWARD W.
WINDLE, JR., and PATRICIA
PLAINTIFF'S RENEWED MOTION FOR JUDGEMENT ON THE PLEADINGS AND MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT
COMES NOW Plaintiff Meredith T. Raney, by and through his counsel and moves this Honorable Court to grant this renewed Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings. In addition to the bases cited herein, Plaintiff incorporates his previous Memorandum is Support of Judgement on the Pleadings by reference.
Plaintiff respectfully requests that the Court consider Defendants' Motion for Continuance first. In the event that Defendants' Motion is granted, Plaintiff will withdraw this Motion. Should the Court, however, conclude that Defendants' Motion is not made in good faith, Plaintiff moves that Defendants' Answer be struck and Judgment entered on the Pleadings.
In support of this Motion, Plaintiff offers the following grounds:
1. Trial in this matter is set for Maxch 1, 1999.
2. At a pretrial conference, the Court ordered counsel for both sides to produce a Joint Pretrial Statement by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 1999.
3. Immediately after that conference, Attorneys Michael R. Hirsh and Christopher F. Sapp (for Plaintiff) and Attorney Roy Lucas (for Defendants) met to determine the format of the Pretrial Statement and how the two sides would complete the Statement. An agreement was reached at this time.
4. Attorney Lucas then rejoined Plaintiff's counsel in the court house parking lot and stated that he did not want to "spend the time" working on the Pretrial Statement because he felt that there was not "a chance in a million of this case going to trial."
5. Attorney Lucas subsequently filed a Motion for a Stay of proceedings in this matter.
6. During the days that followed Mr. Lucas repeatedly indicated that there was no urgency to completing the Statement, stating that he expected the granting of his request for a stay before the Pretrial Statement was due.
7. Also during the following week Attorney Lucas provided no meaningful contribution to completion of the Statement but simply e-mailed his previously stricken "statement" to Plaintiff's counsel, instructing them to "rework" it and return the finished product for his review.
8. Based on the lateness of the hour and the impending deadline for the Pretrial Statement, Plaintiff's counsel accommodated Mr. Lucas' request.
9. On Thursday, February 25, 1999, Plaintiff's Counsel Christopher Sapp drove from his office in Lehigh Acres to Melbourne to obtain Mr. Lucas' signature on the completed Joint Pretrial Statement.
10. Upon arriving in Melbourne, Mr. Sapp was advised that by Defense Attorney Susan England that Mr. Lucas was in the hospital.
11. Attorney England was contacted by Plaintiff's Counsel Michael Hirsh to confirm that Mr. Lucas was in the hospital.
12. During that conversation, Mr. Hirsh asked Ms. England to sign the Pretrial Statement. Ms. England refused to do so.
13. Mr. Lucas is admitted pro hac vice in this case. Ms. England is his local counsel.
14. Local Rule 2.02 requires that attorneys, such as Mr. Lucas, retain:
"some member of the bar of this Court, resident in Florida, upon whom all notices and papers may be served and who will be responsible for the progress of the case, including the trial in default of the non-resident attorney." (emphasis supplied)
15. Ms. England simply is fulfilling her role as local counsel in this case.
16. Plaintiff's counsel have completed the Pretrial Statement in a timely manner.
17. Plaintiff's counsel are prevented from filing the Pretrial Statement because Defendants' counsel refuses to sign it.
18. Plaintiffs have exerted Herculean efforts to facilitate completion of the Pretrial Statement in an effort to comply with the Court's Order, including offering hand delivery for signing by opposing counsel.
19. Regardless of the legitimacy of Mr. Lueas' current situation, Ms. England has no basis for excusing herself from complying with the Rules and Orders of this Court.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff moves this Court to grant Plaintiff's Motion on the Pleadings.
Christopher F. Sapp <signed>
PO Box 1012
Lehigh Acres, Florida 33970
Florida Bar Number 0097823
Michael R. Hirsh
Hirsh & Heuser
125 Townpark Drive, Suite 300
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144
Attorneys for the Plaintiff
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I HEREBY CERTIFY that a true and correct copy of the foregoing has been furnished by U.S. Mail to Roy Lucas, Esquire, Post Office Box 1433, Melbourne, Florida 32902, Susan England, Esquire, 2805 Lakeview Drive, Fern Park, Florida 32730 and to Lawrence M. Siff, Esquire, O'Connor & Meyers, PA, 2801 Ponce de Leon Blvd., 9th Floor, (Coral Gables) Miami, Florida 33134 this 25th day of February, 1999.
Christopher F. Sapp <signed>
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