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Hashi v. SEI/Aaron's, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Maine

July 13, 2017

LEYLA HASHI, Plaintiff
v.
SEI/AARON'S, INC., et al., Defendants

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION TO SCHEDULING ORDER AND DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE JURY DEMAND

          John H. Rich III United States Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Leyla Hashi objects to the court's scheduling order (ECF No. 6) on the basis that it fails to reflect her demand for a jury trial on all claims, see Plaintiff's Limited Objection to Scheduling Order (“Plaintiff's Objection”) (ECF No. 7); defendants SEI/Aaron's, Inc., and Aaron's, Inc., in turn move to strike her jury demand because she did not timely request a trial by jury following the defendants' removal of her case from state court, see [Defendants'] Motion To Strike Jury Demand (“Defendants' Motion”) (ECF No. 9). Because I conclude that, while the plaintiff's jury demand was untimely, in the circumstances her forfeiture of her right to a jury trial should be excused, I sustain the plaintiff's objection to the scheduling order and deny the defendants' motion to strike her jury demand.

         I. Procedural Background

         The plaintiff filed the instant employment discrimination complaint in the Maine Superior Court, Cumberland County, on March 9, 2017. See Affidavit of Katharine I. Rand (ECF No. 2) ¶ 2; Complaint (ECF No. 2-1), attached thereto. On April 20, 2017, the defendants simultaneously removed the case to this court and filed an answer to the complaint. See Notice of Removal (ECF No. 1); Defendants' Answer to Complaint (ECF No. 4). On May 8, 2017, this court issued its customary “Standard Track” scheduling order. See ECF No. 6. On May 18, 2017, in the context of objecting to the scheduling order, the plaintiff demanded a jury trial on all issues. See Plaintiff's Objection.

         II. Discussion

         A. Whether Jury Demand Was Timely

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 81 provides, in relevant part:

         (3) Demand for a Jury Trial.

(A) As Affected by State Law. A party who, before removal, expressly demanded a jury trial in accordance with state law need not renew the demand after removal. If the state law did not require an express demand for a jury trial, a party need not make one after removal unless the court orders the parties to do so within a specified time. The court must so order at a party's request and may so order on its own. A party who fails to make a demand when so ordered waives a jury trial.
(B) Under Rule 38. If all necessary pleadings have been served at the time of removal, a party entitled to a jury trial under Rule 38 must be given one if the party serves a demand within 14 days after:
(i) it files a notice of removal; or
(ii) it is served with a notice of removal filed by another party.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 81(c)(3).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38 ...


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