Beecham et al v. Roseville City School District et al

Filing 125

ORDER signed by District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on 6/16/17. The Court DENIES Van Wagner's MOTION 76 . (Mena-Sanchez, L)

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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 12 13 14 15 DUANE BEECHAM, KIMBERLY BEECHAM, S.Y.B., a minor by and through her co-guardians ad litem DUANE BEECHAM and KIMBERLY BEECHAM, OLIVER VERGARA, JENNIFER VERGARA, E.V., a minor by and through his co-guardians ad litem OLIVER VERGARA and JENNIFER VERGARA, v. 17 19 ORDER Plaintiffs, 16 18 No. 2:15-CV-01022-KJM-EFB ROSEVILLE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT, THERESA VAN WAGNER, GEORGE ROOKS, JERROLD JORGENSEN, and DOES 1-30, 20 Defendants. 21 22 Defendant Theresa Van Wagner moves to modify the scheduling order to permit 23 additional discovery. Mot., ECF No. 76. Plaintiffs oppose. Opp’n, ECF No. 87. Van Wagner 24 filed a reply. Reply, ECF No. 89. The court submitted the matter without oral argument. ECF 25 No. 92. For the reasons discussed below, the court DENIES Van Wagner’s motion. 26 ///// 27 ///// 28 ///// 1 1 I. BACKGROUND 2 Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit on May 12, 2015, Compl., ECF No. 1, and a first 3 amended complaint in November 2015, First. Am. Compl. (“FAC”), ECF No. 30. The court’s 4 pretrial scheduling order set January 23, 2017 as the discovery deadline. Scheduling Order, ECF 5 No. 27. 6 In December 2016, Van Wagner issued twenty-two pretrial subpoenas for the 7 employment and medical records of plaintiffs Jennifer and Oliver Vergara. Young Decl. ¶ 8, 8 ECF No. 87-1. On January 20, 2017, Van Wagner served plaintiffs with four sets of written 9 discovery requests. Id. ¶ 12. In April 2017, the court denied defendants’ joint motion1 to extend the discovery 10 11 deadline. Order, ECF No. 82. On April 10, 2017, Van Wagner filed her current motion to extend 12 the discovery deadline. Mot. 13 II. AMENDING THE SCHEDULING ORDER 14 The pretrial scheduling order is designed to allow the district court to better 15 manage its calendar and to facilitate the more efficient disposition of cases by settlement or by 16 trial. See Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 607–08 (9th Cir. 1992). A 17 scheduling order may only be changed with the court’s consent and for “good cause.” 18 Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). A scheduling order is not “a frivolous piece of paper, idly entered, 19 which can be cavalierly disregarded by counsel without peril.” Johnson, 975 F.2d at 610 (quoting 20 Gestetner Corp. v. Case Equip. Co., 108 F.R.D. 138, 141 (D. Me. 1985)). On the other hand, the 21 “good cause” standard requires less than the “manifest injustice” test used to modify a final 22 pretrial order. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(e); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 16, 1983 Advisory Committee 23 Notes (“Since the scheduling order is entered early in the litigation, this standard seems more 24 appropriate than a ‘manifest injustice’ or ‘substantial hardship’ test.”). When litigants request 25 changes to a scheduling order, the court’s inquiry focuses primarily on the diligence of the 26 27 28 1 Although Van Wagner was originally precluded from joining defendants’ motion due to an automatic bankruptcy stay that ran from January 26 through March 22, 2017, ECF Nos. 57, 68, Van Wagner subsequently joined the motion, ECF No. 75. 2 1 moving party, Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609, and that party’s reasons for seeking modification, 2 C.F. ex rel. Farnan v. Capistrano Unified Sch. Dist., 654 F.3d 975, 984 (9th Cir. 2011). A 3 district court has “broad discretion” to grant or deny a continuance. United States v. Flynt, 4 756 F.2d 1352, 1358 (9th Cir. 1985). 5 III. 6 DISCUSSION Van Wagner moves to extend the discovery cut-off to obtain (1) plaintiffs’ 7 response to recent written discovery requests; (2) Jennifer and Oliver Vergara’s therapy records; 8 and (3) Jennifer Vergara’s employment records. Mot. at 1. 9 Van Wagner first requests more time to obtain plaintiffs’ responses to written 10 discovery requests she propounded on January 20, 2017, three days before the discovery cut-off 11 by which all discovery motions were to have been heard. Mot. at 3. She asserts the written 12 discovery was based on a deposition taken on January 14, 2017. Id. In its prior order denying 13 defendants’ joint motion to extend the discovery cut-off, the court rejected defendants’ arguments 14 that relied on information learned in the January 14, 2017 deposition. Order at 3:19–5:5. As the 15 court explained, defendants did not explain why they could not have learned the relevant 16 information much sooner. Id. Similarly here, Van Wagner has omitted any explanation of why 17 she had to wait until three days before the discovery cut-off to propound written discovery 18 requests. See Mot. at 3. Van Wagner has not established good cause to support her first request. 19 Van Wagner’s remaining requests fare no better. Van Wagner requests more time 20 to obtain the Vergaras’ medical records and Jennifer Vergara’s employment records. Id. at 4. As 21 Van Wagner explains, she issued subpoenas on December 16, 2016, and no records were returned 22 because Van Wagner did not have the correct information for plaintiffs. Id. Exs. E–G, I; Reply at 23 2–3. But Van Wagner provides no explanation for why she could not have obtained the correct 24 information, including the Vergaras’ therapist’s location or Jennifer Vergara’s full or maiden 25 name, much earlier during discovery. As with defendants’ prior motion to extend the discovery 26 period, Van Wagner does not explain why she did not propound written discovery requests to 27 gather this information much sooner. See Order at 3–5 (citing Chopourian v. Catholic 28 Healthcare W., 2011 WL 3816969, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 29, 2011), in which this court observed 3 1 that “counsel has not suggested he was unable to develop the claim through interrogatories and 2 requests for admission or production; that he may have preferred to conduct depositions is not 3 sufficient”). Van Wagner has not shown she was diligent in complying with the court’s 4 scheduling order. Without her diligence, “the inquiry should end.” Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. 5 For these reasons, Van Wagner has not shown good cause exists to support her 6 second or third request. 7 IV. CONCLUSION 8 The court DENIES Van Wagner’s motion. 9 This order resolves ECF No. 76. 10 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: June 16, 2017. 12 13 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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