A.C. et al v. City of Fairfield et al

Filing 38

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Carolyn K. Delaney on 4/13/2018 GRANTING 30 Motion to Withdraw. (Hunt, G)

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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 A.C., et al., 12 13 14 15 No. 2:16-cv-00746 JAM CKD Plaintiffs, v. ORDER CITY OF FAIRFIELD, et al., Defendants. 16 17 On April 11, 2018, the undersigned held a hearing on plaintiffs’ counsel’s motion to 18 withdraw as attorney. (ECF No. 30.) Melissa Nold appeared telephonically for plaintiffs, and 19 Parry Black appeared for defendants. Plaintiffs did not attend the hearing and have not opposed 20 the motion to withdraw. At the close of the hearing, the court took the matter under submission. 21 I. Case Background 22 This civil rights action stems from a January 2015 incident in which Pablo Ceja called 911 23 to report that his 36-year-old brother Jose Ceja was intoxicated and possibly suicidal. Fairfield 24 police officers arrived at the house and, at some point, Officer Hatzell fired shots into Jose’s 25 chest, killing him. (See ECF No. 14.) 26 The plaintiffs in this action are Jose Ceja’s relatives; defendants are the City of Fairfield 27 and individual officers. Plaintiffs seek damages for alleged constitutional violations under § 1983 28 and damages for wrongful death under state law. (See ECF No. 19.) After the district court 1 1 partially granted defendants’ motion to dismiss on October 12, 2016, the remaining defendants 2 are Officer Hatzell and the City of Fairfield. (ECF No. 19.) Defendants have answered the 3 operative Second Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 20 & 21.) Discovery has closed. (ECF No. 4 25.) 5 II. Motion to Withdraw On March 1, 2018, plaintiffs’ counsel filed the instant motion to withdraw. (ECF No. 30.) 6 7 Counsel claim irreconcilable differences with plaintiffs, citing a sealed declaration by plaintiffs’ 8 attorney Melissa Nold. The court has reviewed Ms. Nold’s sealed declaration. Four months prior to filing their motion to withdraw, in November 2017, plaintiffs’ 9 10 counsel stated their intention to withdraw, and the parties stipulated to a 90-day stay to permit 11 plaintiffs to obtain alternate counsel and/or dismiss their claims. (ECF Nos. 26 & 27.) In 12 December 2017, plaintiffs A.C. and I.C. dismissed their claims. (ECF No. 28.) The remaining 13 plaintiffs have not opposed the instant motion. Ms. Nold avers that, while she has been in contact 14 with some plaintiffs since filing the motion to withdraw, others have not responded to counsel’s 15 recent attempts to contact them. 1 (See ECF No. 30 at 4.) 16 Eastern District of California Civil Local Rule 182(d) authorizes an attorney to withdraw 17 as counsel of record so long as he or she (1) provides advance written notice to the client and all 18 other parties in the action and (2) obtains leave of court. Withdrawal as attorney is governed by 19 the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California, and the attorney shall conform to 20 the requirements of those Rules. Id. Permission to withdraw is discretionary. See LaGrand v. 21 Stewart, 133 F.3d 1253, 1269 (9th Cir. 1998). Here, counsel provided advance notice to plaintiffs and defendants’ counsel, and the 22 23 request to withdraw is supported by good cause as set forth in Ms. Nold’s sealed declaration. 24 //// 25 //// 26 //// 27 28 1 Following the hearing on the motion, plaintiff Arturo Ceja-Gonzalez dismissed his claims. (ECF No. 37.) 2 1 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs’ counsel’s motion to withdraw 2 (ECF No. 30) is granted. 3 Dated: April 13, 2018 _____________________________________ CAROLYN K. DELANEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 4 5 6 7 8 9 2 / ac v fairfield.withdraw 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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