Johnson v. Patel

Filing 38

ORDER signed by District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 5/1/17: The court ORDERS Mr. Welch to file a status report identifying his proposed next steps within thirty (30) days of this order. (Kaminski, H)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 SCOTT JOHNSON, 12 13 14 15 No. 2:14-cv-2052-KJM-DB Plaintiff, v. ORDER MIKE PATEL, et al., Defendants. 16 17 18 The parties scheduled a settlement conference before the assigned magistrate 19 judge. The magistrate judge vacated the settlement conference and referred the case back to the 20 undersigned for further direction after defense counsel, Michael Welch, repeatedly disregarded 21 court orders to file a settlement conference statement. See ECF Nos. 30–32, 34. The magistrate 22 judge also sanctioned Mr. Welch for his noncompliance. ECF No. 32. On April 6, 2017, the 23 undersigned issued an order to show cause why the court should not strike defendants’ answer 24 and enter default against defendants for failure to prosecute. ECF No. 35. Mr. Welch responded 25 with a declaration, stating he has not been able to contact his clients for almost a year and 26 requesting another thirty days to attempt to find them. ECF No. 36 ¶ 4. 27 28 Mr. Welch’s response is inadequate. Mr. Welch admits he has had no contact with any of his clients for almost a year, yet he never attempted to inform the court of this fact 1 1 previously. He continually ignored the magistrate judge’s orders and now, belatedly, offers no 2 reason, let alone “good cause,” for his recurrent noncompliance. See ECF No. 36. He has not 3 provided a basis for discharging the order to show cause although the court defers a decision on 4 discharge pending Mr. Welch’s response to this order. 5 Because Mr. Welch has now reestablished communication with the court, the court 6 postpones entry of default and grants his request for more time to locate his clients. The court 7 ORDERS Mr. Welch to file a status report identifying his proposed next steps within thirty (30) 8 days of this order. Failure to do so will result in imposition of a $250 sanction. 9 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: May 1, 2017. 11 12 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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