Dayal v. County of Kern et al

Filing 24

SCHEDULING ORDER, signed by Magistrate Judge Christopher D. Baker on 6/5/2024. Discovery Deadlines: Non-Expert 12/9/2024; Expert 2/21/2025. Mid-Discovery Status Conference set for 10/28/2024 at 09:30 AM in Bakersfield (CDB) before Magistrate Judge Christopher D. Baker. Non-Dispositive Motions filed by 3/7/2025. Dispositive Motions filed by 4/25/2025. Pretrial Conference set for 8/11/2025 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 4 (JLT) before District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. Jury Trial set for 10/7/2025 at 08:30 AM in Courtroom 4 (JLT) before District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 NISHI DAYAL, 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Case No. 1:24-cv-00039-JLT-CDB Plaintiff, v. COUNTY OF KERN, et al., Defendants. SCHEDULING ORDER (Fed. R. Civ. P. 16) Rule 26 Disclosures: June 19, 2024 Pleading Amendment: August 19, 2024 Discovery Deadlines: Non-Expert: December 9, 2024 Expert: February 21, 2025 Mid-Discovery Status Conf.: October 28, 2024 Non-Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: March 7, 2025 Hearing: April 11, 2025, 10:30 a.m. Dispositive Motion Deadlines: Filing: April 25, 2025 Hearing: June 10, 2025, 8:30 a.m. Pre-Trial Conference: August 11, 2025, 1:30 p.m. 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA Trial: October 7, 2025, 8:30 a.m. 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, CA (Joint estimate 7 days) 25 26 Plaintiff Nishi Dayal initiated this action with the filing of a complaint on January 8, 2024. 27 Plaintiff seeks money damages and injunctive relief against Defendants for the following claims 28 arising from her employment: (1) Disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with 1 1 Disabilities Act (“ADA”); (2) disability retaliation under the ADA; (3) religious discrimination and 2 harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”); and (4) Title VII religious 3 retaliation and harassment. Plaintiff also asserts the following state law causes of action: (5) disparate 4 treatment discrimination on basis of disability in violation of California’s Fair Employment and 5 Housing Act (“FEHA”); (6) disability retaliation in violation FEHA; (7) failure to provide reasonable 6 accommodation in violation of FEHA; (8) failure to engage in a good faith interactive process in 7 violation of FEHA; (9) retaliation in violation of Labor Code §1102.5; (10) discrimination on the basis 8 of religious creed in violation of FEHA; (11) religious retaliation in violation of FEHA; (12) hostile 9 work environment in violation of FEHA; and (12) intentional infliction of emotional distress. The parties convened via Zoom videoconference for a scheduling conference before Magistrate 10 11 Judge Christopher D. Baker on June 5, 2024. Amber Derham appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. 12 Michael Lehman appeared on behalf of Defendants. 13 I. Magistrate Judge Consent 14 Currently there is no joint consent to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction. 15 Notice of Congested Docket and Court Policy of Trailing 16 Due to the District Judges’ heavy caseload, the adopted policy of the Fresno Division of the 17 Eastern District is to trail all civil cases. The parties are hereby notified that for a trial date set before a 18 District Judge, the parties will trail indefinitely behind any higher priority criminal or older civil case 19 set on the same date until a courtroom becomes available. The trial date will not be reset. 20 The Magistrate Judges’ availability is far more realistic and accommodating to parties than that 21 of the District Judges who carry the heaviest caseloads in the nation and who must prioritize criminal 22 and older civil cases over more recently filed civil cases. A Magistrate Judge may conduct trials, 23 including entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73, 24 and Local Rule 305. Any appeal from a judgment entered by a Magistrate Judge is taken directly to 25 the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit. 26 27 Therefore, the parties are directed to consider consenting to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction to conduct all further proceedings, including trial, and to file a consent/decline form (provided by the 28 2 1 Court at the inception of this case) indicating whether they will consent to the jurisdiction of the 2 Magistrate Judge. 3 II. Pleading Amendment Any motions to amend the pleadings, including to add or substitute parties (including Doe 4 5 defendants) and/or allegations and claims, must be filed by August 19, 2024. Filing a motion and/or 6 stipulation requesting leave to amend the pleadings does not reflect on the propriety of the amendment 7 or imply good cause to modify the existing schedule, if necessary. All proposed amendments must 8 (A) be supported by good cause pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b) if the amendment requires any 9 modification to the existing schedule, see Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 10 (9th Cir. 1992), and (B) establish, under Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), that such an amendment is not (1) 11 prejudicial to the opposing party, (2) the product of undue delay, (3) proposed in bad faith, or (4) 12 futile, see Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). 13 III. 14 15 16 17 18 Discovery Plan and Cut-Off Date The parties shall exchange the initial disclosures required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1) by no later than June 19, 2024. The parties are ordered to complete all discovery pertaining to non-experts on or before December 9, 2024, and all discovery pertaining to experts on or before February 21, 2025. The parties are directed to disclose all expert witnesses1, in writing, on or before January 10, 19 2025, and to disclose all rebuttal experts on or before January 24, 2025. The written designation of 20 retained and non-retained experts shall be made pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 26(a)(2), (A), (B), 21 and (C) and shall include all information required thereunder. Failure to designate experts in 22 compliance with this order may result in the Court excluding the testimony or other evidence offered 23 through such experts that are not disclosed pursuant to this order. 24 The provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4) and (5) shall apply to all discovery relating to 25 experts and their opinions. Experts must be fully prepared to be examined on all subjects and opinions 26 27 28 1 In the event an expert will offer opinions related to an independent medical or mental health evaluation, the examination SHALL occur sufficiently in advance of the disclosure deadline so the expert’s report fully details the expert’s opinions in this regard. 3 1 included in the designation. Failure to comply will result in the imposition of sanctions, which may 2 include striking the expert designation and preclusion of expert testimony. The provisions of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(e) regarding a party’s duty to timely supplement 3 4 disclosures and responses to discovery requests will be strictly enforced. A mid-discovery status conference is scheduled for October 28, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. before 5 6 Judge Baker. Counsel SHALL file a joint mid-discovery status conference report no later than one 7 week before the conference. Counsel also SHALL lodge the joint status report via e-mail to 8 The joint status report SHALL outline the discovery counsel have 9 completed and that which needs to be completed as well as any impediments to completing the 10 discovery within the deadlines set forth in this order. Counsel SHALL discuss settlement and certify 11 in the joint status report (1) that they have met/conferred regarding settlement, and (2) proposed dates 12 for convening a settlement conference before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. 13 IV. 14 Pre-Trial Motion Schedule / Informal Discovery Dispute Conferences All non-dispositive pre-trial motions, including any discovery motions, shall be filed by 15 March 7, 2025, and heard on or before April 11, 2025. For these hearings and at the direction of the 16 Courtroom Deputy Clerk, the Court may direct counsel to appear remotely (via Zoom). For hearings 17 noticed to occur in-person, the Court may permit counsel to appear remotely (via Zoom) provided the 18 Courtroom Deputy Clerk receives a written notice of the request to appear remotely no later than five 19 court days before the noticed hearing date. 20 21 22 No motion to amend or stipulation to amend the case schedule will be entertained unless it is filed at least three days before the first deadline the parties wish to extend. No written discovery motions shall be filed without the prior approval of Judge Baker. A 23 party with a discovery dispute must first confer with the opposing party in a good faith effort to 24 resolve by agreement the issues in dispute. If that good faith effort is unsuccessful, prior to making 25 any filing, the requesting party promptly shall seek a conference with all involved parties and Judge 26 Baker. To schedule this conference, the parties should contact the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, Susan 27 Hall, at (661) 326-6620 or via email at At least two days before the 28 conference, counsel shall file a joint, informal letter brief detailing each party’s position. Each party’s 4 1 narrative shall not exceed five pages, excluding exhibits, and shall cite relevant authority in support of 2 the party’s position. At the commencement of the conference, if the parties jointly agree to Judge 3 Baker’s consideration and resolution of the discovery disputes outside the formal Local Rule 251 4 procedures, the Court will entertain arguments by the parties and issue a written ruling. If the parties 5 do not jointly agree to the informal discovery dispute resolution procedures set forth herein, the 6 requesting party may then seek relief through motion to compel. Counsel must comply with Local 7 Rule 251 with respect to discovery disputes and certify their compliance in any discovery motion. All dispositive pre-trial motions shall be filed no later than April 25, 2025, and heard on June 8 9 10, 2025, at 8:30 a.m. In scheduling such motions, absent consent to Magistrate Judge jurisdiction, 10 counsel SHALL consult the assigned District Judge’s general information and calendar accordingly 11 and SHALL comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and Local Rules 230 and 260. 12 V. 13 Motions for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication At least 21 days before filing a motion for summary judgment or motion for summary 14 adjudication, the parties SHALL meet, in person or by telephone, to confer about the issues to be 15 raised in the motion. 16 The purpose of the meeting shall be to: 1) avoid filing motions for summary judgment where a 17 question of fact exists; 2) determine whether the respondent agrees that the motion has merit in whole 18 or in part; 3) discuss whether issues can be resolved without the necessity of briefing; 4) narrow the 19 issues for review by the court; 5) explore the possibility of settlement before the parties incur the 20 expense of briefing a motion; and 6) to develop a joint statement of undisputed facts. 21 The moving party SHALL initiate the meeting and SHALL provide a complete, proposed 22 statement of undisputed facts at least five days before the conference. The finalized joint statement 23 of undisputed facts SHALL include all facts that the parties agree, for purposes of the motion, may be 24 deemed true. In addition to the requirements of Local Rule 260, the moving party shall file the joint 25 statement of undisputed facts. 26 In the notice of motion, the moving party SHALL certify that the parties have met and 27 conferred as ordered above, or set forth a statement of good cause for the failure to meet and confer. 28 Failure to comply may result in the motion being stricken. 5 1 VI. August 11, 2025, at 1:30 p.m., located at the United States District Courthouse, 2500 Tulare 2 3 Pre-Trial Conference Street, in Fresno, California, before District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. 4 The parties are ordered to file a Joint Pretrial Statement pursuant to Local Rule 281(a)(2). The 5 parties are further directed to submit a digital copy of their pretrial statement in Word format, directly 6 to District Judge Thurston’s chambers, by email at 7 Counsels’ attention is directed to Rules 281 and 282 of the Local Rules for the Eastern District 8 of California, as to the obligations of counsel in preparing for the pre-trial conference. The Court will 9 insist upon strict compliance with those rules. In addition to the matters set forth in the Local Rules, 10 the Joint Pretrial Statement shall include a Joint Statement of the case to be used by the Court to 11 explain the nature of the case to the jury during voir dire. 12 VII. 13 14 Trial Date October 7, 2025, at 8:30 a.m., located at the United States District Courthouse, 2500 Tulare Street, in Fresno, California, before District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston. 15 A. This is a jury trial. 16 B. Counsels’ Estimate of Trial Time: 7 days. 17 C. Counsels’ attention is directed to Local Rules of Practice for the Eastern District of 18 California, Rule 285. 19 VIII. Settlement Conference 20 The parties SHALL meet and confer and notify the Court prior to the Pre-Trial Conference 21 whether they wish to convene a Settlement Conference. In the event the parties request a Settlement 22 Conference, unless otherwise permitted in advance by the Court, the attorneys who will try the case 23 shall appear at the settlement conference with the parties and the person or persons having full 24 authority to negotiate and settle the case on any terms2 at the conference. 25 26 27 28 2 Insurance carriers, business organizations, and governmental bodies or agencies whose settlement agreements are subject to approval by legislative bodies, executive committees, boards of directors or the like shall be represented by a person or persons who occupy high executive positions in the party organization and who will be directly involved in the process of approval of any settlement offers or agreements. To the extent possible, the representative shall have authority, if he or she deems it appropriate, to settle the action on terms consistent with the opposing party's most recent demand. 6 Consideration of settlement is a serious matter that requires preparation prior to the settlement 1 2 conference. Set forth below are the procedures the Court will employ, absent good cause, in 3 conducting the conference. 4 At least twenty-one days before the settlement conference, Plaintiff SHALL submit to 5 Defendant via fax or e-mail, a written itemization of damages and a meaningful3 settlement demand 6 which includes a brief explanation of why such a settlement is appropriate. Thereafter, no later than 7 fourteen days before the settlement conference, Defendant SHALL respond, via fax or e-mail, with an 8 acceptance of the offer or with a meaningful counteroffer which includes a brief explanation of why 9 such a settlement is appropriate. 10 If settlement is not achieved, each party SHALL attach copies of their settlement offers to their 11 Confidential Settlement Conference Statement, as described below. Copies of these documents shall 12 not be filed on the court docket. 13 CONFIDENTIAL SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE STATEMENT 14 At least five court days prior to the settlement conference, the parties shall submit, directly to 15 Judge Baker’s chambers by e-mail to, a Confidential Settlement 16 Conference Statement. The statement should not be filed with the Clerk of the Court nor served on 17 any other party, although the parties may file a Notice of Lodging of Settlement Conference 18 Statement. Each statement shall be clearly marked "confidential" with the date and time of the 19 settlement conference indicated prominently thereon. 20 The Confidential Settlement Conference Statement shall include the following: 21 A. A brief statement of the facts of the case. 22 B. A brief statement of the claims and defenses, i.e., statutory or other grounds upon 23 which the claims are founded; a forthright evaluation of the parties' likelihood of prevailing on the 24 claims and defenses; and a description of the major issues in dispute. 25 26 27 28 “Meaningful” means the offer is reasonably calculated to settle the case on terms acceptable to the offering party. “Meaningful” does not include an offer which the offering party knows will not be acceptable to the other party. If, however, the offering party is only willing to offer a settlement which it knows the other party will not accept, this should trigger a recognition the case is not in a settlement posture and the parties should confer about continuing or vacating the settlement conference via stipulation. 3 7 1 C. A summary of the proceedings to date. 2 D. An estimate of the cost and time to be expended for further discovery, pretrial and trial. 3 E. The relief sought. 4 F. The party’s position on settlement, including present demands and offers and a history 5 of past settlement discussions, offers and demands. 6 IX. Request for Bifurcation, Appointment of Special Master, or other Techniques to Shorten 7 Trial 8 None at this time. 9 X. There are no pending related matters. 10 11 12 Related Matters Pending XI. Compliance with Federal Procedure All counsel are expected to familiarize themselves with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 13 and the Local Rules of the Eastern District of California, and to keep abreast of any amendments 14 thereto. The Court requires compliance with these Rules to efficiently handle its increasing case load. 15 16 Remainder of This Page Intentionally Left Blank 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 8 1 2 XII. Effect of this Order The foregoing order represents the best estimate of the court and counsel as to the agenda most 3 suitable to dispose of this case. The trial date reserved is specifically reserved for this case. If the 4 parties determine at any time that the schedule outlined in this order cannot be met, counsel are 5 ordered to notify the court immediately of that fact so that adjustments may be made, either by 6 stipulation or by subsequent status conference. 7 The dates set in this Order are considered to be firm and will not be modified absent a 8 showing of good cause even if the request to modify is made by stipulation. Stipulations 9 extending the deadlines contained herein will not be considered unless they are accompanied by 10 affidavits or declarations, and where appropriate attached exhibits, which establish good cause 11 for granting the relief requested. 12 13 14 15 Failure to comply with this order may result in the imposition of sanctions. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 5, 2024 ___________________ _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 9

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