Black Parallel School Board et al v. Sacramento City Unified School District et al

Filing 62

STIPULATION and ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 07/28/22 ORDERING that This action is temporarily STAYED to 10/03/22, for all purposes to enable the Parties to focus on and engage in settlement efforts. While this stay is in effect , the Parties are excused from complying with this Court's 4 Initial Pretrial Scheduling Order. While this stay is in effect, the Defendants are not required to file a responsive pleading until 30 days after any stay in this action is lifted.(Licea Chavez, V)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 EVA PATERSON (SBN: 67081) MONA TAWATAO (SBN: 128779) ALEXANDRA SANTA ANA (SBN: 317852) Equal Justice Society 1939 Harrison Street, Suite 818 Oakland, California 94612 Telephone: (415) 288-8700 Facsimile: (510) 338-3030 Email: epaterson@equaljusticesociety.org mtawatao@equaljusticesociety.org asantaana@equaljusticesociety.org MELINDA BIRD (SBN: 102236) MUNMEETH K. SONI (SBN: 254854) Disability Rights California 350 S. Bixel Street, Suite 290 Los Angeles, California 90017 Telephone: (213) 213-8000 Facsimile: (213) 213-8001 Email: melinda.bird@disabilityrightsca.org meeth.soni@disabilityrightsca.org ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS (Additional Attorneys Listed on Final Page) 15 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 16 17 18 19 BLACK PARALLEL SCHOOL BOARD; S.A., by and through his Next Friend, AMY A.; K.E., by and through his Next Friend, JENNIFER E.; C.S., by and through his General Guardian, SAMUEL S.; on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, 20 Plaintiffs, 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 v. SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; JORGE A. AGUILAR, Superintendent for Sacramento City Unified School District; CHRISTINE A. BAETA, Chief Academic Officer for the Sacramento City Unified School District; JESSIE RYAN, DARREL WOO, MICHAEL MINNICK, LISA MURAWSKI, LETICIA GARCIA, CHRISTINA PRITCHETT, and MAI VANG, members of the Sacramento City Unified School District Board of Education; THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF SACRAMENTO CITY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN NOTICE OF JOINT MOTION AND JOINT MOTION FOR FURTHER EXTENSION OF STAY OF LITIGATION; AND ORDER Judge: Courtroom: Action Filed: Hon. Troy L. Nunley 2 September 5, 2019 NO ARGUMENT OR APPEARANCE NECESSARY UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUIRED BY COURT Defendants. Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 1 NOTICE OF JOINT MOTION AND MOTION TO FURTHER EXTEND THE STAY 2 TO THE HONORABLE COURT: 3 PLEASE TAKE NOTICE Plaintiffs Black Parallel School Board as well as S.A., K.E., and 4 C.S. (“Plaintiffs”), by and through their guardians, and Defendants Sacramento City Unified School 5 District, et al. (the “District”) (collectively with Plaintiffs, “Parties”), through their respective 6 counsel of record, hereby jointly move this Court for a brief extension of the stay of this litigation to 7 October 3, 2022 so that the Parties may finalize settlement negotiations. 8 9 10 As the Parties jointly move for the requested stay and agree on the propriety and scope of same, the Parties do not believe argument or appearance is necessary for the Court to consider the requested further stay, but are prepared to appear if the Court so orders. 11 12 13 14 15 16 STATEMENT OF FACTS The Parties hereby stipulate to the following facts: 1. Plaintiffs filed their Complaint and initiated the instant action on September 5, 2019. (ECF No. 1). 2. Plaintiffs served the District with its Complaint on September 10, 2019, and filed the related Proof of Service on October 17, 2019. (ECF No. 7). 17 3. Shortly after Plaintiffs’ service of the Complaint, the Parties engaged in communications to 18 negotiate requesting a stay of this litigation for a designated period of time to allow the 19 Parties to participate in good faith negotiations toward a potential global resolution of this 20 action, thereby preserving the Parties’ and the Court’s time and resources. 21 4. On December 19, 2019, the Parties entered into a Structured Negotiations Agreement 22 (“Agreement”). (See ECF No. 24 at 9-23). The Parties also filed a joint motion for a stay of 23 litigation for the Parties to engage in agreed-upon structured settlement negotiations and 24 sought Court approval of the same, which the Court ordered and approved on December 20, 25 2019. (ECF No. 25). 26 5. The Court’s Order required the Parties to submit status reports every 90 days during the 27 period of the stay. (ECF No. 25). The Parties reported in the First and Second Joint Status 28 Reports that a number of interim measures and/or actions under the Agreement had been Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 2 1 completed. (ECF Nos. 28 at 3-5, 31 at 2-4). Additionally, in the Second Joint Status Report, 2 the Parties reported that the District had executed contracts to hire three neutral, third-party 3 subject matter experts – Dr. Jeffrey Sprague, Dr. Nancy Dome, and Dr. Jean Gonsier-Gerdin 4 (collectively, “Experts”). (ECF No. 31 at 3). The Parties further reported on an “Experts’ 5 Evaluation Plan” containing specific steps and work necessary to guide the Experts in their 6 review and analysis of the District under the Agreement. (ECF No. 31 at 3). 7 6. On July 14, 2020, the Court granted the Parties’ joint motion to extend the stay for six 8 months to allow the Parties time to complete the activities described in the Agreement, 9 including but not limited to providing time to the Experts to evaluate the District’s programs, 10 policies and services, and make recommendations that would inform potential resolution of 11 this matter. (ECF No. 33, 34). 12 7. Per the terms of the July 10, 2020 Order, the Parties filed a Third Joint Status Report on 13 August 13, 2020; a Fourth Joint Status Report on September 28, 2020; and a Fifth Joint 14 Status Report on November 30, 2020. (ECF Nos. 36, 37, and 38). 15 8. On January 6, 2021, the Parties filed another joint motion to extend the stay by an additional 16 five months to enable the Parties to continue to engage in structured settlement negotiations 17 and allow the Experts to complete their assessment of the District. (ECF No. 39). The Court 18 granted the Parties’ joint motion on January 8, 2021 and also ordered the Parties to file a 19 status report 75 days later and every 75 days thereafter during the duration of the extended 20 stay. (ECF No. 40). Accordingly, the Parties filed a Sixth Joint Status Report on March 23, 21 2021 and a Seventh Joint Status Report on June 1, 2021. (ECF Nos. 41 and 43). 22 9. On June 1, 2021, the Parties filed a joint motion to extend the stay an additional four months 23 to allow the Parties to continue to engage in structured settlement negotiations and allow the 24 Experts to complete their report on the District. The Court granted the Parties’ joint motion 25 on June 2, 2021. Pursuant to that order, the Parties filed an eighth joint status report on 26 August 16, 2021. (ECF No. 46). 27 28 10. On September 27, 2021, the Parties filed an additional motion to extend the stay an additional four months to allow the Experts to complete their report and to allow the Parties Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Proposed Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 3 1 to engage in structured settlement negotiations. The Court granted the Parties’ joint motion 2 on September 28, 2021. 3 11. In the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Joint Status Reports, the Parties 4 provided the Court with updates regarding the Parties’ implementation of the Agreement. 5 (See ECF Nos. 36, 37, 38, 41, 43, 46). First, the Parties reported that they were working in 6 collaboration with the Experts and Dr. Judy Elliott to finalize the Plan. (See ECF Nos. 36 at 7 2-3, 37 at 3, 38 at 3). In the Fifth Joint Status Report, the Parties reported that the Experts 8 were close to finalizing the Plan and had made an initial request to the District for documents 9 and data sources, including but not limited to specific District policies and procedures, to 10 begin their review of the District. (ECF No. 38 at 3). In the Sixth Joint Status Report, the 11 Parties reported that the Experts had completed and executed the Plan to complete the steps 12 set out in the Scope of Work agreed upon through the Agreement. (See ECF No. 41). 13 Additionally, in the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Joint Status Reports, the Parties reported 14 that they had exchanged various proposals regarding additions and/or modifications to 15 interim measures in the Agreement. (ECF Nos. 36 at 3, 37 at 4, 38 at 3). 16 12. The Parties also reported that various factors, including but not limited to the COVID-19 17 pandemic, had delayed the Experts’ commencement and completion of their work under the 18 Agreement. (See ECF Nos. 37 at 3, 38 at 3). As a result, the Parties anticipated finalizing 19 and executing a side agreement to extend the date by which the Experts must finalize their 20 work under the Agreement. (See ECF Nos. 37 at 3, 38 at 3). The Parties executed this side 21 agreement on March 26, 2021. 22 13. The Parties received the Experts’ confidential final report on January 21, 2022 and thereafter 23 began the settlement negotiations process. 24 14. On January 27, 2022, the Parties filed an additional motion to extend the stay until May 4, 25 2022 to allow the Parties to engage in settlement negotiations informed by the Experts’ 26 Report. The Court granted the Parties’ joint motion on January 27, 2022. 27 /// 28 /// Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 4 1 15. The Parties agreed that if the Parties are unable to successfully negotiate a settlement 2 agreement on their own, the Parties may request the assistance of a magistrate judge to 3 facilitate the process. 4 16. On April 27, 2022 the Parties filed motion to further extend the stay an additional three 5 months to August 4, 2022. The Court granted the Parties’ joint motion on April 28, 2022. 6 17. In order to facilitate settlement, the Parties agreed to hold at least two meetings to discuss or 7 negotiate settlement each month in May, June, and July 2022, and to establish weekly 8 settlement calls at the appropriate juncture to move the settlement process forward. 9 18. The Defendants also agreed to include key District staff in the relevant planned settlement 10 meetings. 11 19. As part of the settlement negotiations process, the Parties have had multiple meetings since 12 the last stay order and have engaged in substantive written exchanges that have moved the 13 Parties closer to settlement. 14 20. The Parties have agreed to work in good faith in order to achieve their common goal of 15 reaching a settlement in time to implement settlement provisions at the beginning of the 16 upcoming school year, which commences on September 1, 2022, hence the request for a 17 relatively short extension of stay. 18 21. As the Parties are currently engaged in productive settlement discussions, the Parties jointly 19 seek an additional extension of the stay in order to finalize this process. 20 Pursuant to the Agreement, the Parties seek this Court’s approval of a further stay of this 21 litigation to afford the Parties additional time to complete the activities described with regard to and 22 in the Agreement including, but not limited to, allowing the Parties to continue to engage in the 23 agreed-upon structured negotiations with the goal of resolving this matter. 24 GOVERNING LAW 25 This Court “has broad discretion to stay proceedings as an incident to its power to control its 26 own docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706-07 (1997) (citing Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 27 248) (1936)). In fact, 28 /// Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 5 1 [T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants. How this can best be done calls for the exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance. 2 3 4 Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55. Correspondingly, as this Court has recognized, “[c]ourts have applied their discretionary 5 6 authority to grant stays because it appeared that settlement discussions between the parties might 7 prove fruitful.” Johnson v. Village, Case No. 2:15-cv-02299-TLN-KJN, 2016 WL 1720710, at *6 8 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 29, 2016) (citing EEOC v. Canadian Indem. Co., 407 F. Supp. 1366, 1368 (C.D. Cal. 9 1976)). REQUEST FOR STAY 10 11 As outlined above, the Parties successfully negotiated an agreed-upon structure for settlement 12 discussions between the Parties, in the hope of reaching a global resolution of this matter without the 13 need for protracted litigation. The Parties now jointly move and request that this Court further stay 14 this matter to October 3, 2022, so that the Parties may continue to engage in the activities agreed- 15 upon and outlined in the Agreement. 16 Good cause exists to grant the Parties’ joint motion. As noted above, the Experts’ full 17 commencement of work under the Agreement was delayed due to various factors, including but not 18 limited to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See ECF Nos. 37 at 3, 38 at 3). As a result of this delay, the 19 Experts were not able to complete their work under the Agreement by January 2021 and required 20 additional time to complete their work under the Agreement. Now that the Experts’ work is 21 completed and the Parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations, the Parties need 22 additional time to reach resolution. 23 Moreover, the Parties believe that a stay is justified because it will: (1) promote judicious use 24 of the Parties’ and Court’s time and resources; and (2) offer the opportunity for speedy resolution 25 and relief without protracted litigation, which is particularly critical where, as here, certain Plaintiffs 26 are children and Defendants are governmental entities or officials. Given the Parties’ negotiations to 27 date, the Parties believe that a negotiated global resolution of this matter is viable, if given time to 28 engage in the activities necessary to reach such a resolution. The Parties also agree that these Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 6 1 activities would be significantly hindered if the Parties also had to engage in simultaneous motion 2 and discovery practice. 3 Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, any Party may withdraw from settlement 4 negotiations with sufficient advance written notice. If that occurs, the Parties will inform the Court 5 so that the Court may lift the stay accordingly. 6 7 CONCLUSION Based upon the foregoing, the Parties respectfully move the Court to enter an order: 8 (1) Staying this litigation for all purposes to October 3, 2022, including temporarily excusing the 9 Parties from complying with this Court’s Initial Pretrial Scheduling Order (ECF No. 4), so 10 11 that the Parties can focus on and engage in structured settlement negotiations; and (2) Extending the time for Defendants to respond to Plaintiffs’ Complaint until 30 days after the 12 stay is lifted upon order of this Court, should negotiations be unsuccessful or terminated by 13 the Parties. 14 DATED: July 27, 2022 Respectfully submitted, 15 16 17 18 19 20 EQUAL JUSTICE SOCIETY /s/ Alexandra Santa Ana (as authorized on July 27, 2022) ALEXANDRA SANTA ANA Attorneys for Plaintiffs DISABILITY RIGHTS CALIFORNIA 21 22 23 /s/ Munmeeth Soni (as authorized on July 27, 2022) MUNMEETH SONI Attorneys for Plaintiffs 24 25 NATIONAL CENTER FOR YOUTH LAW 26 27 28 /s/ Michael Harris (as authorized on July , 2022) MICHAEL HARRIS Attorneys for Plaintiffs Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 7 1 WESTERN CENTER ON LAW AND POVERTY 2 /s/ Antionette Dozier (as authorized on July 27, 2022) ANTIONETTE DOZIER Attorneys for Plaintiffs 3 4 5 6 7 DATED: July 27, 2022 Respectfully submitted, LOZANO SMITH 8 9 10 /s/ Sloan Simmons (as authorized on July 27, 2022 SLOAN SIMMONS Attorneys for Defendant 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 8 1 ADDITIONAL ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS (cont’d. from first page) 2 MUNMEETH SONI (SBN: 254854) Disability Rights California 350 S. Bixel Street, Suite 290 Los Angeles, California 90017 Telephone: (213) 213-8000 Facsimile: (213) 213-8001 Email: meeth.soni@disabilityrightsca.org 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 MICHAEL HARRIS (SBN: 118234) STEPHANIE HORWITZ (SBN: 334824) National Center for Youth Law 1212 Broadway, Suite 600 Oakland, California 94612 Telephone: (510) 835-8098 Facsimile: (410) 835-8099 Email: mharris@youthlaw.org shorwitz@youthlaw.org ANTIONETTE DOZIER (SBN: 244437) RICHARD ROTHSCHILD (SBN: 67356) Western Center on Law and Poverty 3701 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 208 Los Angeles, California 90010 Telephone: (213) 487-7211 Facsimile: (213) 487-0242 Email: adozier@wclp.org rrothschild@wclp.org 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ORDER Pursuant to the foregoing Joint Motion of the Parties, and GOOD CAUSE APPEARING THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: (1) This action is temporarily stayed to October 3, 2022, for all purposes to enable the Parties to focus on and engage in settlement efforts; (2) While this stay is in effect, the Parties are excused from complying with this Court’s Initial Pretrial Scheduling Order (ECF No. 4); and (3) While this stay is in effect, the Defendants are not required to file a responsive pleading until 30 days after any stay in this action is lifted. 10 11 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: July 28, 2022 Troy L. Nunley United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Not. & Joint Mot. For Further Extension of Stay of Litigation & Order Black Parallel School Board et al. v. SCUSD et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01768-TLN-KJN 10

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.


Why Is My Information Online?