(PC) Williams v. Allison et al

Filing 50

ORDER Referring Case to Post-Screening ADR and Staying Case signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 9/16/2022. Notice of Opt-Out of Settlement Conference, if any, due within thirty (30) days. Settlement Conference set for 12/5/2022 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom 9 (SAB) before Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone. (Lawrence, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JOHN W. WILLIAMS, 12 Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 ALLISON, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 Case No. 1:19-cv-00371-JLT-BAM (PC) ORDER REFERRING CASE TO POSTSCREENING ADR AND STAYING CASE Hearing: Date: Time: Judge: Location: Settlement Conference December 5, 2022 11:00 a.m. Stanley A. Boone via Zoom Videoconference 17 Plaintiff John W. Williams (“Plaintiff”) is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma 18 19 pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action proceeds on Plaintiff’s 20 first amended complaint against Defendant Cota for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment 21 and failure to protect in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Defendant Cota has answered the 22 complaint. (ECF No. 47.) Because it takes years to get to trial, the Court has identified this case as an appropriate case 23 24 for post-screening ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), which is an effort to resolve such cases 25 more expeditiously and less expensively. No claims, defenses, or objections shall be waived by the 26 parties’ participation. In appropriate cases, defense counsel from the California State Attorney 27 General’s Office has agreed to participate in these early settlements. 28 /// 1 As set forth in the Court’s screening order, this action states cognizable claims. But, stating 1 2 cognizable claims does not mean Plaintiff will prevail at trial. Thus, the Court stays this action to 3 allow the parties to investigate Plaintiff’s claims, meet and confer, and then participate in a settlement 4 conference. Therefore, this case will be referred to Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone to conduct a video 5 6 settlement conference, via the Zoom videoconferencing application, on December 5, 2022, at 7 11:00 a.m. The Court will issue any necessary transportation order in due course. Counsel for Defendant shall contact Courtroom Deputy Victoria Gonzales at (559) 499-5672 8 9 or vgonzales@caed.uscourts.gov for the video and dial-in information, including any necessary 10 passcodes, for all parties. Counsel for Defendant is also required to arrange for Plaintiff’s 11 participation by contacting the Litigation Coordinator at the institution where Plaintiff is housed and 12 providing the necessary Zoom contact information. 13 In issuing this order, there is a presumption that this case will proceed to a settlement 14 conference.1 However, if after investigating Plaintiff’s claims and speaking with Plaintiff, and after 15 conferring with others, defense counsel in good faith finds that a settlement conference would be a 16 waste of resources, defense counsel may move to opt out of this early settlement conference. A 17 written notice to opt out must be filed within thirty (30) days of the date of the issuance of this order. The parties shall each submit to Judge Boone a confidential settlement conference statement, 18 19 as described below, to arrive at least seven days (one week) prior to the conference. The Court puts the parties on notice that if Plaintiff has any outstanding criminal restitution 20 21 obligation, fines and/or penalties, these settlement negotiations shall not be geared towards what the 22 restitution obligation is, but what the value of the case itself is to each side, irrespective of any 23 outstanding restitution obligation. 24 If Defendant does not elect to opt out of the settlement conference, Defendant shall be prepared 25 to negotiate the merits of the case and offer more than a waiver of costs as a reasonable compromise to 26 27 1 28 If the case does not settle, the Court will then lift the stay of its Discovery and Scheduling Order or issue one forthwith. 2 1 settle the case. The parties are also informed that an offer of dismissal in exchange for a waiver of 2 costs is not considered good faith settlement negotiations. In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 3 4 1. This action is STAYED to allow the parties an opportunity to settle their dispute before the 5 discovery process begins. Except as provided herein or by subsequent court order, no other 6 pleadings or other documents may be filed in this case during the stay of this action. The 7 parties shall not engage in formal discovery, but may engage in informal discovery to prepare 8 for the settlement conference. 2. This case is set for a video settlement conference, via the Zoom videoconferencing 9 application, before Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on December 5, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. 10 3. A representative with full and unlimited authority to negotiate and enter into a binding 11 settlement shall attend via the Zoom videoconferencing application.2 12 13 4. Those in attendance must be prepared to discuss the claims, defenses and damages. The failure 14 or refusal of any counsel, party or authorized person subject to this order to appear in person 15 may result in the cancellation of the conference and the imposition of sanctions. The manner 16 and timing of Plaintiff’s transportation to and from the conference is within the discretion of 17 CDCR. 18 5. Defendants shall provide a confidential settlement statement to the following email address: 19 saborders@caed.uscourts.gov. Plaintiff shall mail his confidential settlement statement to 20 U.S. District Court, 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, California 93721, “Attention: Magistrate 21 Judge Stanley A. Boone.” The envelope shall be marked “Confidential Settlement 22 Statement.” Settlement statements shall arrive no later than November 28, 2022. Parties shall 23 also file a Notice of Submission of Confidential Settlement Statement (See Local Rule 270(d)). 24 Settlement statements should not be filed with the Clerk of the Court nor served on any 25 other party. Settlement statements shall be clearly marked “Confidential” with the date and 26 27 2 28 In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the evolving coronavirus protocols, the Court may issue an order at a later date requiring the parties to appear in person. 3 time of the settlement conference indicated prominently thereon. 1 6. The confidential settlement statement shall be no longer than five pages in length, typed or 2 neatly printed, and include the following: 3 4 a. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 5 b. A brief statement of the claims and defenses, i.e., statutory or other grounds upon 6 which the claims are founded; a forthright evaluation of the parties’ likelihood of 7 prevailing on the claims and defenses; and a description of the major issues in dispute. 8 c. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial, and trial. 9 d. The party’s position on settlement, including present demands and offers and a history of past settlement discussions, offers, and demands. 10 e. A brief statement of each party’s expectations and goals for the settlement conference, 11 including how much a party is willing to accept and/or willing to pay. 12 f. If parties intend to discuss the joint settlement of any other actions or claims not in this 13 14 suit, give a brief description of each action or claim as set forth above, including case 15 number(s) if applicable. 7. If a settlement is reached at any point during the stay of this action, the parties shall file a 16 Notice of Settlement in accordance with Local Rule 160. 17 8. If defense counsel wishes to “opt-out” of this settlement for the reasons stated above, counsel 18 19 must do so within thirty (30) days of this order by filing a “Notice of Opt-Out and Request to 20 Vacate Settlement Conference.” 9. If defense counsel does not wish to opt-out, defense counsel shall contact the Litigation 21 22 Coordinator at the institution where Plaintiff is housed to determine whether the 23 institution can accommodate a Zoom video appearance by Plaintiff at this date and time. 24 10. The parties remain obligated to keep the Court informed of their current address at all times 25 during the stay and while the action is pending. Any change of address must be reported 26 promptly to the Court in a separate document captioned for this case and entitled “Notice of 27 Change of Address.” See Local Rule 182(f). 28 /// 4 1 2 3 11. A failure to follow these procedures may result in the imposition of sanctions by the court. 4 5 6 7 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Barbara September 16, 2022 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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