Trujillo v. Biter

Filing 44

ORDER DENYING Defendants Fernandez and Gomez's 40 Motion to Consolidate Pleadings and Motion to Stay signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 1/23/2017. (Sant Agata, S)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 GUILLERMO CRUZ TRUJILLO, Plaintiff, 8 9 v. 10 GOMEZ, et al., 11 Case No. 1:14-cv-01370-EPG (PC) ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS FERNANDEZ AND GOMEZ’S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE PLEADINGS AND MOTION TO STAY (ECF NO. 40) Defendants. 12 13 Guillermo Trujillo ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis The Court screened Plaintiff’s Third 14 with this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 15 Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and found cognizable claims. (ECF No. 19). 16 On January 9, 2017, Defendants Fernandez and Gomez (“Defendants”) filed an answer. (ECF 17 No. 34). On January 20, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to consolidate pleadings and a motion 18 to stay discovery until the Court rules on the motion to consolidate pleadings. (ECF No. 40). 19 These motions are now before the Court. Both motions will be denied. 20 Defendants request that this case be consolidated with Trujillo v. Gomez (Gomez), E.D. 21 Cal. No. 1:14-CV-01797-DLB (“Trujillo 2”). Defendants assert that both cases contain the same 22 claims of excessive force against Defendants Gomez, Juarez, and Fernandez. According to 23 Defendants, Trujillo 2 was resolved at summary judgment, based on Plaintiff’s failure to exhaust 24 his administrative remedies. 25 AIf actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may 26 consolidate the actions.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a)(2). Consolidation may be ordered on the motion 27 of any party or on the court=s own motion whenever it reasonably appears that consolidation 28 would aid in the efficient and economic disposition of a case. See In re Air Crash Disaster at 1 1 Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972, 549 F.2d 1006 (5th Cir. 1977). The grant or denial of 2 a motion to consolidate rests in the district court=s sound discretion, and is not dependent on party 3 approval. Investors Research Co. v. United States Dist. Ct., 877 F.2d 777 (9th Cir. 1989). In 4 determining whether to consolidate actions, the court weighs the interest of judicial convenience 5 against the potential for delay, confusion, and prejudice caused by consolidation. Southwest 6 Marine, Inc., v. Triple A. Mach. Shop, Inc., 720 F. Supp. 805, 807 (N.D. Cal. 1989). 7 Even if Defendants’ assertions are true, consolidation is not appropriate at this time. 8 While this case and Trujillo 2 may involve a common question of law or fact, their current 9 procedural postures are too different to warrant consolidation. This case is still in the early stages 10 (Defendants’ answer was filed on January 9, 2017 (ECF No. 34)), while Trujillo 2 is closed 11 (Trujillo 2, ECF Nos. 44, 49, & 50) and is currently on appeal (Trujillo 2, ECF Nos. 51 & 52). 12 Consolidation would not allow this case to proceed in an efficient manner. 13 The Court’s ruling is without prejudice to other applicable motions regarding the two 14 cases. If a dispositive issue has already been determined in another case, Defendants may, for 15 example, file a motion for summary judgment based on collateral estoppel.1 16 As the Court is now ruling on Defendants’ motion to consolidate pleadings, the Court will 17 deny Defendants’ motion to stay discovery until the Court rules on the motion to consolidate 18 pleadings as moot. 19 Accordingly, based on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that Defendants’ motion to 20 consolidate pleadings and motion to stay discovery until the Court rules on the motion to 21 consolidate pleadings (ECF No. 40) are DENIED without prejudice. 22 IT IS SO ORDERED. 23 24 Dated: January 23, 2017 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 25 26 27 1 28 At this time the Court is not making a determination on the merits of a motion for summary judgment based on collateral estoppel. 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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