Quezada v. State of California, et al.

Filing 40

Order re stipulated motion to modify scheduling Order, signed by Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone on 1/18/2023. (Filing Deadline: 4/21/2023). Pretrial Conference set for 10/30/2023 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 1 (ADA) before District Judge Ana de Alba and Jury Trial set for 1/9/2024 at 08:30 AM in Courtroom 1 (ADA) before District Judge Ana de Alba are VACATED.(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 JOSE MIGUEL QUEZADA, 12 13 14 15 Plaintiff, v. Case No. 1:20-cv-00959-ADA-SAB ORDER RE: STIPULATED MOTION TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER (ECF Nos. 31, 34, 38, 39) STATE OF CALIFORNIA, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 Plaintiff Jose Miguel Quezada, a state prisoner represented by counsel, initiated this civil 19 rights litigation in state court on April 29, 2020. (ECF No. 1 at 4–25.) Defendants removed the 20 action to the Eastern District of California on July 8, 2020. (ECF No. 1.) 21 proceeding on Plaintiff’s second amended complaint, filed December 13, 2021. (ECF No. 27.) A 22 scheduling order issued on March 29, 2022, which was subsequently amended twice, on 23 September 23, 2022, and November 21, 2022. 24 conference and trial dates were also reset by the Court’s September 23, 2022 order; currently, the 25 pretrial conference is scheduled for October 23, 2023, and trial is set to commence on January 9, 26 2024. (See ECF No. 34.) (See ECF Nos. 31, 34, 38.) The matter is The pretrial 27 On January 17, 2023, the parties filed a stipulated motion to modify the scheduling order. 28 (ECF No. 39.) The parties seek to continue all discovery deadlines in order to allow the parties to 1 1 attempt informal resolution of this case through private mediation. The parties proffer they have 2 been diligent in conducting discovery and attempting to meet the February 7, 2023 nonexpert 3 discovery deadline set by the Court’s November 21, 2022 order (ECF No. 38) because: (1) 4 Plaintiff served responses to Defendant Morales’ first set of requests for production of 5 documents; (2) Defendants served supplemental responses to Plaintiff’s first set of requests for 6 production of documents; (3) the deposition of nonparty witness Dr. Zepp was completed on 7 December 1, 2022; (4) Defendant Morales’s deposition was scheduled for (and presumably taken 8 on) January 17, 2023; (5) the parties have “met and conferred” regarding scheduling the 9 outstanding depositions and the related document production demands; and (6) Defendants are 10 currently attempting to respond to Plaintiff’s request to inspect documents. (ECF No. 39 at 3.) 11 The parties further indicate they have yet to finalize the schedule for Plaintiff’s deposition and the 12 deposition of the person most knowledgeable (“PMK”) for Defendant CDCR. (Id.) For the 13 reasons discussed herein, the Court shall grant in part and deny in part the parties’ stipulated 14 motion. 15 Once a scheduling order has been filed pursuant to Rule 16, the “schedule may be 16 modified only for good cause and with the judge’s consent.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). “Rule 17 16(b)’s ‘good cause’ standard primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking amendment.” 18 Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). A court may modify 19 the schedule “if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the 20 extension.” Zivkovic v. S. Cal. Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002) (citing Johnson, 21 975 F.2d at 609). However, “carelessness is not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers 22 no reason for a grant of relief.” Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609 (compiling cases). Thus, if the party 23 seeking the modification “was not diligent, the inquiry should end.” Id. 24 The Court acknowledges that, while this case was initiated in 2020, the scheduling order 25 was not issued until March 2022, after the pleadings were no longer at issue. Nonetheless, the 26 Court is not satisfied the parties have made an adequate showing of diligence in completing fact 27 discovery since that date. Rather, since March 2022, it appears the parties have each served and 28 responded to only a single set of production requests, taken the depositions of three out of five 2 1 identified witnesses, and agreed to attend mediation in the future. (See ECF Nos. 37, 39.) 2 Furthermore, the Court previously granted a 60-day extension of the discovery deadlines in 3 September 2022, to accommodate the parties’ unspecified “unanticipated delays” (ECF Nos. 33, 4 34); and the Court granted an additional 75-day extension of the discovery deadlines in 5 November 2022, so the parties could complete party and nonparty depositions, including the 6 depositions of Plaintiff, Defendants Morales and Swanson, CDCR’s PMK, Dr. Zepp, and up to 7 fifteen inmate witnesses (ECF Nos. 37, 38). 8 At present, the parties neither indicate any of the previously anticipated inmate 9 depositions were completed, nor do the parties proffer they intend to complete such depositions. 10 Instead, it appears the only fact discovery that remains for the parties to complete are the 11 depositions of Plaintiff and CDCR’s PMK, and long-pending responses to a request to inspect 12 documents. Based on the foregoing, the Court does not find the parties have established good 13 cause exists to further extend the fact discovery deadline beyond the two extensions of time 14 previously granted. Furthermore, it appears to this Court that the parties still have sufficient time 15 to complete the limited remaining fact discovery identified in their stipulated motion prior to the 16 current February 7, 2023 deadline. Accordingly, the Court declines to stay or further extend the 17 fact discovery deadline. 18 However, in light of the parties’ proffer that they intend to attend private mediation, the 19 Court shall grant the parties’ motion to stay the remaining discovery deadlines and vacate the 20 current pretrial and trial dates. 21 Accordingly, based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 22 1. 23 24 in part and DENIED in part; 2. 25 26 The parties’ stipulated motion to modify the schedule (ECF No. 98) is GRANTED The parties’ motion to stay and extend the non-expert discovery deadline is DENIED; 3. The expert disclosure, supplemental expert disclosure, expert discovery, and 27 dispositive motion deadlines are STAYED to permit the parties to attend 28 mediation or settlement conference; 3 1 4. The pretrial conference and trial dates are VACATED; 2 5. The parties may attend a private mediation or a settlement conference before a 3 magistrate judge, either of which shall be concluded no later than April 17, 2023; 4 and 5 6. 6 The parties are directed to file a status report regarding settlement no later than April 21, 2023. 7 If this matter does not settle, the stay of the aforementioned deadlines shall be lifted, and the 8 Court will reset the pretrial conference and trial dates. 9 10 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: January 18, 2023 UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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