Lucas, et al. v. County of Fresno, et al.

Filing 53

Order DENYING 52 stipulation to extend the trial date and discovery deadlines, signed by Magistrate Judge Erica P. Grosjean on 4/26/2021(Rosales, O.)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JAMI LUCAS, et al., 12 13 Case No. 1:18-cv-01488-DAD-EPG Plaintiffs, v. 14 COUNTY OF FRESNO, et al., 15 Defendants. ORDER DENYING STIPULATION TO EXTEND THE TRIAL DATE AND DISCOVERY DEADLINES (ECF No. 52) 16 17 Before the Court is the parties’ stipulation to modify the Scheduling Order in this case. 18 (ECF No. 52.) According to the stipulation, the parties request a 120-day continuance of the 19 pretrial conference and trial dates as well as the deadlines for non-expert discovery, expert 20 disclosure, rebuttal expert disclosure, expert discovery, filing dispositive motions, to “enable the 21 parties sufficient time to adequately prepare for trial and explore settlement.” (Id.) The parties 22 also indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has limited their ability to complete discovery because 23 some “key witnesses” need to be deposed in person and “Plaintiffs’ counsel was unable to be 24 partially vaccinated until March 27.” (Id.) 25 Discovery opened in this case on April 24, 2019. In the Court’s initial scheduling order, 26 non-expert discovery was due to close on July 6, 2020. (ECF No. 32). At the parties’ request, 27 that deadline was extended to December 28, 2020. (ECF No. 47, 48). 28 1 1 On October 30, 2020, the parties submitted a stipulation to modify the Scheduling Order 2 that sought a six-month continuance of the same deadlines. (ECF No. 47.) Like the pending 3 stipulation, that stipulation also explained that the extension was sought to “enable the parties 4 sufficient time to adequately prepare for trial and explore settlement.” (Id..) 5 On November 9, 2020, the Court held a Status Conference with the parties to discuss the 6 status of discovery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. (ECF Nos. 48, 49.) At the conference, the 7 Court expressed its concern regarding the proposed six-month extension. Plaintiffs’ counsel 8 explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had delayed the parties’ ability to complete discovery, 9 but Plaintiffs’ counsel represented that everyone could be deposed virtually with the exception of 10 one witness and that no further extensions or modifications of the Scheduling Order would be 11 needed. The Court explained that it would grant the parties’ request but did not intend to grant 12 any further extensions.1 13 On November 10, 2020, the Court entered an order granting the stipulation to modify the 14 scheduling order. (ECF No. 50.) The Court’s order stated that “No further extensions shall be 15 granted absent good cause.” 16 The Court does not find good cause for an additional extension of deadlines. This case 17 was filed on October 26, 2018, (ECF No. 1), and discovery has been open for more than two 18 years. According to the parties’ stipulation, it appears that many depositions have taken place and 19 others are set to be completed in June, in advance of the current discovery cutoff of June 28, 20 2021. Indeed, besides that general statement that “a short continuance would enable the parties 21 sufficient time to adequately prepare for trial and explore settlement,” there is no explanation 22 given for why an extension of an additional 120 days is being requested. 23 \\\ 24 \\\ 25 \\\ 26 \\\ 27 28 1 As there is not a transcript of the hearing, this transcription is unofficial and based on the audio file. 2 1 2 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties’ Stipulation to Extend the Trial Date and Discovery Deadlines (ECF No. 52) is DENIED. 3 4 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: April 26, 2021 /s/ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 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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