Allen, et al v. City of Oakland, et al

Filing 631

ORDER re: ex parte communications. Signed by Judge Thelton E. Henderson on 09/12/11. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/12/2011)

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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 5 DELPHINE ALLEN, et al., 6 7 8 9 Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF OAKLAND, et al., MASTER CASE FILE NO. C00-4599 TEH ORDER RE: EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS Defendants. 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 This is an unusual case in which the parties have all agreed that the Court may engage 12 in ex parte communications. Throughout the history of this case, the Court has agreed to 13 repeated requests for in-person and telephonic ex parte meetings with counsel, as well as 14 with City, Department, and union leaders. However, over time, the Court has come to realize 15 that the time spent on these meetings has not yielded sufficient benefits to justify the 16 continued granting of such requests. Moreover, it appears that such meetings may have been 17 used, inadvertently or otherwise, for internal political gain, and the Court has no interest in 18 involving itself in city or department politics. Accordingly, while the Court will proceed 19 with all currently scheduled meetings, the Court now notifies all parties and Intervenor 20 Oakland Police Officers’ Association (“OPOA”) that direct requests to the Court for ex parte 21 communications – including meetings with City and Department leaders immediately 22 preceding the status conferences – will no longer be entertained. In addition, any written 23 correspondence submitted to the Court must be copied to counsel for all parties, as well as 24 counsel for the OPOA when the subject concerns matters within the scope of OPOA’s 25 intervention, unless prior consent from the opposing parties or permission from the Court to 26 submit a confidential document is obtained. 27 The Court recognizes that there may be times that ex parte communications remain 28 useful and productive, and the Court may continue to initiate through the Monitor a request 1 for an ex parte meeting if it believes one would be helpful. In addition, the parties and 2 OPOA may continue to request such meetings, but they must do so through the Monitor, who 3 will convey any such request to the Court, and are advised that requests will be granted only 4 in exceptional circumstances. 5 Any party or intervenor who objects to continued ex parte communications in 6 accordance with this order shall file an objection on or before September 19, 2011. Failure 7 to timely object shall be construed as continued consent. If any objections are received, then 8 consent from the objecting parties must be obtained prior to any future requests for ex parte 9 meetings. 11 IT IS SO ORDERED. For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 Dated: 09/12/11 14 THELTON E. HENDERSON, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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