If a defendant does not timely reply to a response, then a judge orders the defendant to file a reply within x amount of days; is that prejudicial to the responding party?

Prejudicial to plaintiff because: The defendant lost the opportunity to file a reply by not filing a reply timely. The defendant lost the opportunity to file a reply by not filing a good faith request for extension of time to file a reply showing good cause for not timely filing that reply. Judge did not order defendant to show good cause for not timely filing a reply before ordering a reply be filed. No good cause has been shown for why defendant did not make a timely reply prior to the issuing of an order for defendant to reply. The defendant is being given x amount of more days to prepare a reply than the plaintiff is being offered to make a sur-reply.


Most courts and tribunals have an overriding duty to serve the interests of justice. For example, s58 of the Civil Procedure Act (NSW) 2005 states: "the court must seek to act in accordance with the dictates of justice". Similarly, s18 of the Commercial Arbitration Act (NSW) 2010 says "each party must be given a reasonable opportunity of presenting the party’s case."

While it may be frustrating if a party misses a deadline, that does not, of itself, cause injustice. Preventing a party from fully presenting their case because of a missed deadline does cause injustice.

Ultimately, if there is a pattern of behaviour that suggests to the court or tribunal that missing deadlines is capricious, malicious or tactical, they may decide that the interests of justice lie elsewhere.


Thank you for the response and I agree deadlines should be met and deadlines should rigidly rule the lawsuit.

Federal rules of procedure requires a judge allow time for a party to make a response to a motion. Federal rules of procedure do not require a judge to allow a reply or sur-reply before making a ruling on the related motion.

There are no rules that I am aware of which require a party to make a reply or sur-reply. So, if a party does not "timely file a reply" - meaning they do not file a reply as in no reply is filed: under what authority does a judge order a party to file a reply when that party has obviously chosen to not file a reply?

If after months of not filing a reply a judge orders a party to file a reply does that prejudice the other party because it gives an unfair advantage of time to the party ordered to reply months after they had a response to study and long after the deadline?

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