Sequoia ForestKeeper, et al. v. Elliott, et al.

Filing 13

SCHEDULING ORDER, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 12/9/2013. Administrative Record Deadlines: Filing 1/24/2014; Informal Objections 2/7/2014. Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Plaintiff's Opening Brief 2/28/2014; Defendant's Opposition/Cross Motion 3/28/2014; Plaintiff's Reply/Opposition to Cross Motion 4/11/2014; Defendant Reply to Cross Motion 4/25/2014; Hearing 6/16/2014. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 SEQUOIA FORESTKEEPER, et al., 11 Plaintiffs, 12 13 v. KEVIN ELLIOTT, et al., 14 Defendants. 15 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 1:13-cv-01721 AWI JLT SCHEDULING ORDER (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16) Answer: 1/3/2014 Administrative Record Deadlines: Filing: 1/24/2014 Informal objections: 2/7/2014 Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Plaintiff’s Opening Brief: 2/28/2014 Defendant’s Opposition /Cross motion: 3/28/2014 Plaintiff’s Reply/Opposition to Cross Motion: 4/11/2014 Defendant’s Reply to Cross Motion: 4/25/14 Hearing: 6/16/141, 1:30 p.m. 16 17 18 19 20 21 I. 22 23 Date of Scheduling Conference December 9, 2013. II. 24 Appearances of Counsel Rene Voss appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. 25 26 27 28 1 This is not a date proposed by the parties. However, Judge Ishii needs at least a seven-week interval between the date of the last filing and the hearing date. If this is not acceptable to the parties, they may contact the Court at 661-326-6620 to set a telephonic conference to discuss the matter further. While the parties are absolutely free to decline Magistrate Judge jurisdiction, the Magistrate Judge would be able to hear the matter within the time period proposed by the parties. Otherwise, to preserve the proposed hearing date, Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment would have to be filed no later than January 20, 2014. 1 Stuart Gillespie appeared on behalf of Defendants. 1 2 3 III. Information Concerning the Court’s Schedule Out of fairness, the Court believes it is necessary to forewarn litigants that the Fresno Division 4 of the Eastern District of California now has the heaviest District Court Judge caseload in the entire 5 nation. While the Court will use its best efforts to resolve this case and all other civil cases in a timely 6 manner, the parties are admonished that not all of the parties’ needs and expectations may be met as 7 expeditiously as desired. As multiple trials are now being set to begin upon the same date, parties may 8 find their case trailing with little notice before the trial begins. The law requires that the Court give any 9 criminal trial priority over civil trials or any other matter. The Court must proceed with a criminal trial 10 even if a civil trial was filed earlier and set for trial first. Continuances of any civil trial under these 11 circumstances will no longer be entertained, absent a specific and stated finding of good cause. All 12 parties should be informed that any civil trial set to begin during the time a criminal trial is proceeding 13 will trail the completion of the criminal trial. 14 The parties are reminded of the availability of a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all 15 proceedings in this action. A United States Magistrate Judge is available to conduct trials, including 16 entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 28 U.S.C. 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, 17 and Local Rule 305. The same jury pool is used by both United States Magistrate Judges and United 18 States District Court Judges. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a United States Magistrate Judge 19 is taken directly to the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. However, the parties are 20 hereby informed that no substantive rulings or decisions will be affected by whether a party chooses to 21 consent. 22 Finally, the Fresno Division of the Eastern District of California, whenever possible, is utilizing 23 United States Article III District Court Judges from throughout the nation as Visiting Judges. Pursuant 24 to the Local Rules, Appendix A, reassignments will be random, and the parties will receive no advance 25 notice before their case is reassigned to an Article III District Court Judge from outside of the Eastern 26 District of California. 27 28 Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to conduct all further proceedings, including trial. Within 10 days of the date of this order, counsel 2 1 SHALL file a consent/decline form (provided by the Court at the inception of this case) indicating 2 whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge. 3 IV. The parties do not anticipate that need to amend any pleading. 4 5 Pleading Amendment Deadline V. Administrative record Defendants SHALL file the administrative record no later than January 24, 2014. Due to the 6 7 voluminous nature of the record, Defendants need not provide a courtesy paper copy but SHALL 8 provide a searchable, electronic copy to the chambers of Judge Ishii. Moreover, the parties SHALL 9 file excerpts of the record in connection with their motion/cross motion for summary judgment. 10 Informal objections to Defendants SHALL be lodged no later than February 7, 2014. In the 11 event the objections cannot be resolved informally, a motion to amend the record SHALL be filed no 12 later than February 28, 2014 and heard no later than March 28, 2014. 13 No objections or motion to supplement shall be filed without the prior approval of the assigned 14 Magistrate Judge. Plaintiff SHALL confer with the opposing party in a good faith effort to resolve the 15 issues in dispute. If that good faith effort is unsuccessful, Plaintiff promptly SHALL seek a telephonic 16 hearing with all involved parties and the Magistrate Judge. It is the obligation of Plaintiff to arrange 17 and originate the conference call to the Court. To schedule this telephonic hearing, the parties are 18 ordered to contact Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Susan Hall at (661) 326-6620 or via email at 19 20 VI. Motions for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication 21 Prior to filing a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary adjudication the parties 22 are ORDERED to meet, in person or by telephone, and confer to discuss the issues to be raised in the 23 motion at least 14 days prior to the filing of the motion. 24 The purpose of the meeting shall be to: 1) avoid filing motions for summary judgment where a 25 question of fact exists; 2) determine whether the respondent agrees that the motion has merit in whole 26 or in part; 3) discuss whether issues can be resolved without the necessity of briefing; 4) narrow the 27 issues for review by the court; 5) explore the possibility of settlement before the parties incur the 28 expense of briefing a summary judgment motion; 6) to arrive at a joint statement of undisputed facts. 3 In addition to the requirements of Local Rule 260, the moving party SHALL file a joint 1 2 statement of undisputed facts and each party SHALL file excerpts of the record which are cited in each 3 party’s briefs. The parties are strongly encouraged to file a joint excerpt. In the notice of motion, the moving party SHALL certify that the parties have met and 4 5 conferred as ordered above, or set forth a statement of good cause for the failure to meet and confer. Each side may file briefs not to exceed 35 pages in total. They have the discretion to choose 6 7 how to divide the page allotment between the opening/responsive brief and the reply brief. The parties 8 SHALL provide a courtesy copy of the briefs and excerpts of the record to Judge Ishii’s chambers at 9 the time of the filing. 10 The briefing scheduling for the motion/cross motion for summary judgment is as follows: 11 1. 12 judgment; 13 2. 14 No later than March 28, 2014, Defendant SHALL file their cross-motion for summary judgment and responsive brief; 3. No later than April 11, 2014, Plaintiffs SHALL file their responsive brief and reply 4. 15 16 No later than February 28, 2014, Plaintiffs SHALL file their motion for summary No later than April 25, 2014, Defendant may file their reply brief; brief; 17 18 The motions will be heard no later than June 16, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Ishii. 19 VII. Settlement Conference 20 The parties do not seek a settlement conference at this time. If, in the future, the parties 21 determine a settlement conference is likely to be fruitful, they may file a joint request for the Court to 22 schedule a settlement conference. The request SHALL propose dates for the conference. 23 VIII. Compliance with Federal Procedure 24 All counsel are expected to familiarize themselves with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 25 and the Local Rules of Practice of the Eastern District of California, and to keep abreast of any 26 amendments thereto. The Court must insist upon compliance with these Rules if it is to efficiently 27 handle its increasing case load, and sanctions will be imposed for failure to follow the Rules as 28 provided in both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern 4 1 District of California. 2 IX. 3 Effect of this Order The foregoing order represents the best estimate of the court and counsel as to the agenda most 4 suitable to dispose of this case. The trial date reserved is specifically reserved for this case. If the 5 parties determine at any time that the schedule outlined in this order cannot be met, counsel are ordered 6 to notify the court immediately of that fact so that adjustments may be made, either by stipulation or by 7 subsequent status conference. 8 9 The dates set in this Order are considered to be firm and will not be modified absent a showing of good cause even if the request to modify is made by stipulation. Stipulations 10 extending the deadlines contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by 11 affidavits or declarations, and where appropriate attached exhibits, which establish good cause 12 for granting the relief requested. 13 Failure to comply with this order may result in the imposition of sanctions. 14 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: December 9, 2013 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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