Swoger v. Rare Coin Wholesalers

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-08-2015
  • Case #: 13-56501
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge M. Smith for the Court; Circuit Judge N.R. Smith and Senior District Judge Lefkow; Dissent by N.R. Smith
  • Full Text Opinion

A continuance to conduct discovery is not appropriate when the party seeking the continuance had not diligently pursued the information requested.

Rare Coin Wholesalers (“RCW”) “owned a rare coin known as a ‘Brasher Doubloon.’” William Swoger, a coin expert, offered to sell proof to RCW that the coin was “the first legal tender coin to be struck” under an Act of Congress referred to as An Act Regulating Foreign Coins, and For Other Purposes (“Act”). Swoger and RCW agreed on a price for such proof, and met to allow Swoger to provide the proof. At that meeting, Swoger explained his theory of the coin to RCW. Following Swoger’s explanation, RCW refused to pay. Swoger brought suit against RCW on a variety of claims, reiterating his explanation of the coin’s origin. RCW sold the coin to a third party and Swoger sought to depose the parties involved in the sale. RCW moved for summary judgment, and Swoger moved for a continuance to hold the depositions. The district court denied Swoger’s motion for continuance and granted summary judgment, holding that the Act applied only to foreign minted coins and, therefore, the coin could not have constituted legal tender. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit decided whether a party is entitled to summary judgment when the opposing party has an outstanding discovery request but has not been diligent in pursuing it. The panel held that a continuance to conduct discovery is not appropriate when the party seeking the continuance had not diligently pursued the information requested. Here, Swoger was not eligible for a continuance because he had already successfully obtained several extensions, and the requested deposition was not likely to affect the court’s conclusion regarding the question of law. AFFIRMED.

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