Bohnel et al v. Jetblue Airways Corporation

Filing 59

ORDER signed by Magistrate Judge Deborah Barnes on 4/19/21 DENYING without prejudice to renewal 53 Plaintiff's Bohnel and Martinez's Motion to Compel. The 4/23/21 hearing is VACATED. (Kastilahn, A)

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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 MICHELLE HILL, an individual, and ARIEL EPSTEIN POLLACK, an individual, 13 14 15 16 Plaintiffs, v. JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation, Defendant. 17 18 19 ERICKA BOHNEL, an individual, and ROSA MARTINEZ, an individual, Plaintiffs, 20 21 22 23 24 No. 2:17-cv-1604 WBS DB No. 2:18-cv-0081 WBS DB ORDER v. JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation, Defendant. 25 26 On March 30, 2021, plaintiffs filed motions to compel in these related actions and noticed 27 the motions for hearing before the undersigned on April 23, 2021, pursuant to Local Rule 28 302(c)(1). On April 16, 2021, the parties filed Joint Statements re Discovery Disagreement 1 1 pursuant to Local Rule 251 in connection with those motions to compel. Review of the parties’ 2 Joint Statements finds “the proverbial ‘dog’s breakfast’” of issues, arguments, and errors. Becker 3 v. Anglea, No. 2:19-cv-0013 KJM GGH P, 2020 WL 6058278, at *13 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 14, 2020). 4 In this regard, on February 2, 2021, the undersigned issued an order denying plaintiffs’ 5 previously filed motions to compel without prejudice to renewal due to the parties’ failure to meet 6 and confer. (ECF No. 54.) Nonetheless, in the Joint Statements filed on April 16, 2021, the 7 parties dispute whether they have met and conferred over all the items at issue. 8 As to other items in dispute, it appears the parties have recently produced or agreed to 9 produce responsive discovery, some of which occurred just hours before the Joint Statements 10 were filed. Obviously, it is very challenging for the court to assist the parties in resolving 11 discovery disputes if the contours of those disputes continue to evolve. Moreover, the February 2, 2021 order directed the parties to the undersigned’s Standard 12 13 Information re discovery disputes, referring the parties to the court’s web page at 14 15 judge-deborah-barnes-db. (ECF No. 54.) That document explains that joint statements filed 16 before the undersigned shall not exceed twenty-five pages, excluding exhibits.1 See 17 18 judge-deborah-barnes-db. Here, each of the Joint Statements exceeds the undersigned’s twenty- 19 five-page limit. In addition to plaintiffs’ requests for discovery, the parties’ dispute also concerns a request 20 21 by defendants that the undersigned extend the discovery deadline. Plaintiffs oppose this request. 22 However, the deadline for the completion of fact discovery is currently April 30, 2021. As 23 explained by the assigned District Judge, “[t]he word ‘completed’ means that all discovery shall 24 have been conducted so that all depositions have been taken and any disputes relevant to 25 discovery shall have been resolved by appropriate order if necessary and, where discovery has 26 27 28 1 The parties are advised that title pages, tables of contents, tables of citations, etc., all count toward the twenty-five-page limit. 2 1 been ordered, the order has been obeyed.” (ECF No. 26 at 3.) There is not sufficient time to hear 2 plaintiffs’ motions to compel set for hearing on April 23, 2021, issue an order, and allow time for 3 compliance prior to the April 30, 2021 discovery deadline. 4 Finally, one aspect of the parties’ dispute concerns a discovery order issued in a related 5 case, “Phan.” Defendants argue that “Phan is not binding” on this court in these matters. And 6 defendants are correct. “[A] district court opinion . . . is not binding on any court beyond its use 7 in [the] case, and instead, is only valuable as persuasive authority.” Jewish War Veterans of the 8 United States of America, Inc. v. Mattis, 266 F.Supp.3d 248, 253 (D. D.C. 2017). It is also true 9 that the undersigned was the author of the opinion at issue in Phan. See Xuan Thi Phan v. JetBlue 10 Airways Corporation, No. 2:16-cv-2328 WBS DB, 2017 WL 6622707 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 28, 2017). 11 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 12 1. Plaintiffs Hill and Esptein-Pollack’s March 30, 2021 motion to compel (ECF No. 58) is 13 14 15 16 17 denied without prejudice to renewal; 2. Plaintiffs Bohnel and Martinez’s March 30, 2021 motion to compel (ECF No. 53) is denied without prejudice to renewal; and 3. The April 23, 2021 hearing is vacated. Dated: April 19, 2021 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 DLB:6 DB/orders/orders.civil/ 27 28 3

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