United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
STEPHEN L. CROCKER Magistrate Judge
In this lawsuit, pro se plaintiff Joseph Reinwand claims that his disability benefits were improperly terminated by defendants National Electrical Benefit Fund and Lawrence J. Bradley, a fund trustee. Plaintiff has filed a motion for summary judgment, see dkt. 52. The court is temporarily suspending briefing on plaintiff’s motion because plaintiff’s submissions in support of his motion do not follow the court’s Procedure To Be Followed On Motions For Summary Judgment, which was attached to the September 17, 2015 preliminary pretrial conference order, dkt. 37.
In particular, plaintiff does not provide a brief in support of his motion and he does not provide the exhibits referenced in his proposed findings of fact. While plaintiff’s refers in his motion to “enclosed documents, statements and exhibits authentic, ” he did not actually file these documents with his motion and they do not appear to be anywhere else in the court’s record.
I am giving plaintiff a chance to submit both a brief in support of his motion, as required by the court’s procedures, as well as the “documents, statements and exhibits” that he has referenced. So that the court can determine the admissibility of plaintiff’s exhibits, plaintiff must submit an affidavit sworn under penalty of perjury in which he states that any exhibits he submits are authentic. Plaintiff will have until February 19, 2016 to submit these materials. For plaintiff’s convenience I have attached to this order another copy of the court’s procedure governing summary judgment.
IT IS ORDERED that briefing on plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is STAYED pending plaintiff’s submission of his materials in support of his motion. Plaintiff shall have until February 19, 2016 to submit the above-referenced materials. Defendants’ response time begins on the day that plaintiff files his additional materials.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR FILING A SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTION
Please read the attached directions carefully - doing so will save your time and the court’s.
1. All facts necessary to sustain a party’s position on a motion for summary judgment must be explicitly proposed as findings of fact. This includes facts establishing jurisdiction. (Think of your proposed findings of fact as telling a story to someone who knows nothing of the controversy.)
2. The court will not search the record for factual evidence. Even if there is evidence in the record to support your position on summary judgment, if you do not propose a finding of fact with the proper citation, the court will not consider that evidence when deciding the motion.
3. A fact properly proposed by one side will be accepted by the court as undisputed unless the other side properly responds to the proposed fact and establishes that it is in dispute.
4. Your brief is the place to make your legal argument, not to restate the facts. When you finish it, check it over with a fine tooth comb to be sure you haven’t relied upon or assumed any facts in making your legal argument that you failed to include in the separate document setting out your proposed findings of fact.
5. A chart listing the documents to be filed by the deadlines set by the court for briefing motions for summary judgment or cross-motions for summary judgment is printed on the last page of the procedures.
MEMORANDUM TO PRO SE LITIGANTS REGARDING SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS
This court expects all litigants, including persons representing themselves, to follow this court’s Procedures to be Followed on Motions for Summary Judgment. If a party does not follow the procedures, there will be no second chance to do so. Therefore, PAY ATTENTION to the following list of mistakes pro se plaintiffs tend to make when they oppose a defendant’s motion for summary judgment:
• Problem: The plaintiff does not answer the defendant’s proposed facts correctly.
Solution: To answer correctly, a plaintiff must file a document titled “Response to Defendant’s Proposed Findings of Fact.” In this document, the plaintiff must answer each numbered fact that the defendant proposes, using separate paragraphs that have the same numbers as defendant’s paragraphs. See Procedure II.D. If plaintiff does not object to a fact that the defendant proposes, he should answer, “No dispute.”
• Problem: The plaintiff submits his own set of proposed facts without answering the defendant’s facts.
Solution: Procedure II.B. allows a plaintiff to file his own set of proposed facts in response to a defendant’s motion ONLY if he thinks he needs additional facts to prove his claim.
• Problem: The plaintiff does not tell the court and the defendant where there is evidence in the record to support his version of a fact.
Solution: Plaintiff must pay attention to Procedure II.D.2., which tells him how to dispute a fact proposed by the defendant. Also, he should pay attention to Procedure I.B.2., which explains how a new proposed fact should be written.
• Problem: The plaintiff supports a fact with an exhibit that the court cannot accept as evidence because it is not authenticated.
Solution: Procedure I.C. explains what may be submitted as evidence. A copy of a document will not be accepted as evidence unless it is authenticated. That means that the plaintiff or someone else who has personal knowledge what the document is must declare under penalty of perjury in a separate affidavit that the document is a true and correct copy of what it appears to be. For example, if plaintiff wants to support a proposed fact with evidence that he received a conduct report, he must submit a copy of the conduct report, together with an affidavit in ...