Parsons et al v. Ryan et al
ORDER: Because of the various moving parts in this case, including the Court's recent ruling on the definition of substantial noncompliance, the most prudent course is for the Court to address this topic at one of the March hearings so that the Court may hear the parties' current positions and thereupon issue its ruling. Signed by Magistrate Judge David K Duncan on 3/06/2018. (REK)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
Victor Antonio Parsons, et al.,
Charles L. Ryan, et al.,
The governing Stipulation contains a dispute resolution process.
process, Plaintiffs provide Defendants with a “Notice of Substantial Non-Compliance”
and then Defendants have 30 days to provide a written response. After receiving the
written response, the parties have 30 days to meet and confer. (Doc. 1185 at ¶ 30) If the
meet-and-confer process is not sufficient, the parties mediate their dispute. (Doc. 1185 at
¶ 31) “If the dispute has not been resolved through mediation in conformity with this
Stipulation within sixty (60) calendar days, either party may file a motion to enforce the
Stipulation in the District Court.” (Doc. 1185 at ¶ 31)
The parties disagree about what this sentence means: Defendants argue that the 60
days runs from the date of the mediation and Plaintiffs argue that the clock starts with the
date of the Notice of Substantial Non-Compliance. (Docs. 2546, 2580) Although this
issue is now moot because more than 60 days has run from both dates, the Court
concludes that it should review this question because it is capable of repetition yet
The Court agrees that both parties’ interpretation of the plain language is viable
and notes that at least one other interpretation is possible, namely that the mediation
would occur within 60 days of the meet-and-confer.
interpretations is the very definition of ambiguous.
A sentence subject to three
The Court concludes that overreliance on the reference to 60 days risks putting
form over function. Reading the two dispute resolution paragraphs together, the Court
understands that the Stipulation’s process requires all questions of non-compliance to
complete both the meet-and-confer process and the mediation process. Only when both
have occurred is a Motion to Enforce ripe.
The Court expects that the parties have been, and will be, scheduling mediations
as soon as practicable. Further, in situations where Defendants need to obtain additional
information from their contractor, the Court expects that the parties can agree to a
timetable for follow-up so that only live disputes are presented to the Court. (Doc. 2546
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that because of the various moving parts in this
case, including the Court’s recent ruling on the definition of substantial noncompliance,
the most prudent course is for the Court to address this topic at one of the March hearings
so that the Court may hear the parties’ current positions and thereupon issue its ruling.
Dated this 6th day of March, 2018.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?