Plaintiffs' Motion for Clear Notice


     William Thomas, et. al.       |          C.A. No. 94-2742
           Plaintiffs pro se,      |          Judge Charles R. Richey
               v.                  |
     The United States, et. al.    |
           Defendants.             |



On this date, owing to what plaintiffs believe is nothing more than easily remediable misunderstandings, plaintiffs Concepcion Picciotto and Ellen Thomas were forced to file a Joint Motion for Leave to File Out of Time a Reply to the Oppositional documents filed by defendants on January 24, 1995.

In the event of future emergencies Plaintiffs would appreciate it if the Court would at least tell Ms. Woods (or whomever the Court may choose to designate as a messenger) to insure that the message which the Court intends to convey is delivered in some clearly understandable format, written messages would be preferable.


Yesterday morning,"because of the short notice," Ms. Woods called on the phone, explaining the Court instructed her to notify me the Court had issued an Order, directing plaintiffs "file their Reply to the Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider Denial of the TRO, or Alternatively to Dismiss the Complaint as Frivolous" by 4:00 p.m. on February 2, 1994.


After reflecting on what I understood Ms. Woods to have said, I realized I was confused. [1] I called back and left a message on her answering machine asking she fax a the Order. [2]

I didn't get a fax, but received the Order by mail at 3:45 this afternoon, so now, at 5:00 p.m., I think I understand a little better what Ms. Woods was trying to tell me yesterday morning.

I don't understand why, under the emergency circumstances raised by the Court's Order of February 1, 1995, the Court should

[1 Shortly before midnight on January 30, 1995 Plaintiffs filed a Second Motion for Extension of Time to file a Reply to the Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider Denial of the TRO, or Alternatively to Dismiss the Complaint as Frivolous. On January 31, 1995, I received the Court's Order of January 27, 1995, giving plaintiffs until February 3, 1995 to file their "response to the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss." This caused confusion because plaintiffs had filed their response to Defendants" Motion to Dismiss January 24, 1995. See, Plaintiffs Motion for Sanctions, para. 2.
On the 31st I called Ms. Woods in an effort to clarify my confusion and determine whether (1) the Order of January 27, 1995, extended until February 3, 1995 the time in which to file a document plaintiffs had already filed, or (2) whether the Court's date of February 3, 1995 had actually been intended as a more generous extension of time in which to file the documents addressed by plaintiffs Second Motion for an Extension of Time in Which to file a Reply to the Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Reconsider Denial of the TRO, or Alternatively to Dismiss the Complaint as Frivolous.
Ms. Woods and I had some difficulty over the phone arriving at a common understanding about which documents the Court was referring to, and ended she by advising that I "just be sure to do exactly as the judge instructed."]

[2 Experience indicates there is some risk involved in this method of communication as well. Last time Ms. Woods contacted me by phone to inform me of an emergency Order issued by the Court, at about five o'clock on January 11th, admonishing that the Court didn't like to do it, she did fax me the final page (period) of the Court's three page Order, which left much to the imagination.]


have precluded Ms. Woods from faxing me a copy of the Order. [3]

For the record, the undersigned would note that the U.S. Attorney has excused defendants' requirement for the extremely gracious extension the Court has allowed them within which to file a reply to Plaintiffs Motion for Sanctions, was justified because "counsel was in depositions' Plaintiffs don't begrudge defendants a little extra time. On the contrary, plaintiffs Motion for Extension of Time (January 30, 1995) even contains the hand-written notation, "plaintiffs don't oppose defendants' motion for an extension, filed this date." However, it appears the Court may feel that, unlike the U.S. Attorney, the undersigned hasn't anything more pressing to do than bother this honorable Court with frivolous requests for extensions, plaintiffs also hereby request a hearing to determine exactly how the undersigned might be wasting his "spare" time.


For the above stated reasons, and to facilitate a clear execution of process, plaintiffs move the Court to sign the attached Orders.

Respectfully submitted this 3rd day of February, 1995,

William Thomas, plaintiff pro se
2817 11th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 462-0757


I hereby state that, on February 3, 1995, I served a copy of the foregoing Plaintiffs' Reply to Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint as Frivolous upon the office of Assistant United States Attorney Sally Rider at 555 4th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

[3 Since, to facilitate swift and accurate litigation, plaintiffs are striving to maintain a clean, complete copy of the record in this case. Therefore, in the event that an emergency might necessitate communication by fax, plaintiffs would ask that a plain paper copy of any documents transmitted via fax also be sent to them by mail.]