United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JUBAR T. HOLLEY, Petitioner,
WARDEN ANNE COURNOYER, Respondent.
RULINGS ON PENDING MOTIONS
A. BOLDEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 10, 2017, Jubar T. Holley (“Petitioner” or
“Mr. Holley”), then an inmate confined at Enfield
Correctional Institution in Enfield, Connecticut, filed a
petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 against Warden Anne Cournoyer. Mr. Holley contends that
his state convictions for criminal possession of a firearm
were obtained without probable cause, violate his Fifth
Amendment protection against double jeopardy, and violate the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. He seeks
an order vacating his sentences.
13, 2017, this Court issued an order for Warden Cournoyer to
show cause why the relief prayed for in the petition should
not be granted. Order to Show Cause, ECF No. 10. After
seeking two extensions of time, Warden Cournoyer submitted
her response to the petition, a motion to dismiss, ECF No.
21, on December 11, 2017.
Holley has filed seven motions currently pending before this
Court: (1) a motion to enter a default judgment, ECF No. 11;
(2) a motion for summary judgment, ECF No.12; (3) a motion
for “expedited calendaring” of the petition, ECF
No. 13; (4) a motion for a temporary restraining order and/or
preliminary injunction, ECF No. 19; (5) a motion for a
default judgment, ECF No. 23; (6) a motion to set aside this
Court's order granting Warden Cournoyer an extension
until December 11, 2017 to file her response, ECF No. 24; (7)
and a motion to strike Warden Cournoyer's motion to
dismiss (ECF No. 25).
reasons stated below, these motions are
MOTIONS FOR ENTRY OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND MOTION TO SET ASIDE
SECOND EXTENSION OF TIME AND MOTION TO STRIKE
Second Circuit has expressed a strong preference for
resolving disputes on the merits. New York v. Green,
420 F.3d 99, 104 (2d Cir. 2005). “A default judgment is
the most severe sanction which the court may apply . . .
[and] all doubts must be resolved in favor of the party
seeking relief from the default judgment.” Id.
(internal quotation marks omitted); Abreu v.
Nicholls, 368 F. App'x 191, 192 (2d Cir. 2010);
see also Theilmann v. Rutland Hospital, Inc., 455
F.2d 853, 855 (2d Cir. 1972) (“Dismissal with prejudice
is a harsh remedy to be utilized only in extreme
support of his first motion for a default judgment, Mr.
Holley argues that Warden Cournoyer has waived her right to
respond to the petition after the Court gave her adequate
time to do so. Mot. for Default J., ECF No. 11. On October
20, 2017, however, the Court granted Cournoyer's motion
for extension of time until December 8, 2017 to respond to
the petition. And, although Mr. Holley is correct that Warden
Cournoyer failed to timely submit her response after the
Court granted her first request for an extension of time,
Mot. for Default J., ECF No. 23, an entry of default would
again be moot. The Court already granted Warden
Cournoyer's second request for an extension of time until
December 11, 2017 to submit her response to the petition, and
Warden Cournoyer, indeed, submitted her response on that
date. See Order, ECF No. 22.
Mr. Holley's motion to set aside the order granting the
second extension of time and his supporting memorandum do not
explain how Warden Cournoyer's failure to timely respond
has prejudiced him. He seems to rely solely on the delay
caused by Warden Cournoyer, which is an insufficient basis
for entering a default judgment. See Davis v.
Musler, 713 F.2d 907, 916 (2d Cir. 1983) (“D]elay
alone is not a sufficient basis for establishing prejudice .
. . [r]ather, it must be shown that delay will result in the
loss of evidence, create difficulties of discovery, or
provide greater opportunity for fraud or collusion”
(internal quotation marks omitted)).
Mr. Holley has failed to show any prejudice resulting from
Warden Cournoyer's failure to timely respond to the
petition, and Warden Cournoyer has now submitted her
response, Mr. Holley's motions for default judgment, ECF
No. 11 and 23 are DENIED as moot. The motion
to set aside the order granting an extension of time, ECF No.
24, and motion to strike Warden Cournoyer's motion to
dismiss, ECF No. 25, are also DENIED.
Holley's response to the motion to dismiss was due on
January 1, 2018, but the Court, sua sponte, will
extend this deadline until February 2, 2018. To the extent
any additional time is required, Mr. Holley should file a
motion for extension of time with this Court on or before
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
support of his motion for summary judgment, Mr. Holley argues
that the record shows no genuine issue of material fact and
that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Mot. for
Summ. J., ECF No. 12. Because Warden Cournoyer has now filed
her response to the petition, summary judgment is premature.
The Court will deny the motion without prejudice to Mr.
Holley's refiling at a later stage of litigation. See
Delinois v. Wiley, 98 Civ. 84, 2000 WL 33767754 at *2
(N.D.N.Y. Feb. 2, 2000) (denying summary judgment filed
before time to file response to petition was due).
MOTION FOR ...