Martinez v. Salazar et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER by District Judge Kenneth J. Gonzales finding no good cause to extend the deposition designation deadline, and will not further consider any designation other than those already submitted by Plaintiff. (tah)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
JACKIE MARTINEZ, as Personal
Representative on behalf of the
Estate of Russell Martinez,
Civ. No. 14-534 KG/WPL
JOSEPH SALAZAR, in his individual
capacity, GREG ESPARZA, in his
individual capacity, THE ESPANOLA
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY,
LEO MONTOYA, and THE CITY OF
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court sua sponte for reconsideration of its order at the
pretrial conference held on February 23, 2017, allowing Defendants to submit deposition
designations for use at trial. As explained below, upon further consideration the Court finds no
good cause to extend the deadline for Defendants’ deposition designations and, as a result, will
consider only those designations submitted by Plaintiff.
The Court originally issued its scheduling order for jury selection and trial in this case on
December 13, 2016. See (Doc. 212) (“Scheduling Order”). The Scheduling Order set this
action for jury selection and trial on March 6, 2017, and outlined related trial deadlines.
Pursuant to the Scheduling Order, deposition testimony designations were to be filed with the
Court fifteen days before trial, February 17, 2017. Id. at 3. Objections to deposition testimony
designations were to be filed ten days before trial, February 24, 2017. Id. The Court reminded
the parties of these deadlines at a telephonic status conference held on February 15, 2017. See
(Doc. 253); Transcript of Hearing at 9 (taken February 15, 2017) (“Feb. 15, 2017 Tr.”).1 At the
telephonic status conference, the Court noted that the designation objection deadline of
February 24, 2017, would not allow the Court to rule on any objections to the deposition
designations at the pretrial conference set for February 23, 2017. Id. at 9–10. As a result, the
Court confirmed that the deadline for deposition designations would be February 17, 2017, but
reset the deadline to object to those designations to February 21, 2017, to allow the Court to
review the objections and to make any necessary rulings during the pretrial conference on
February 23, 2017. Id.
Plaintiff filed her deposition designations for Russell Martinez, the original plaintiff in
this case, on February 17, 2017. (Doc. 255). Defendants did not file deposition designations
or objections to Plaintiff’s designations.
At the pretrial conference on February 23, 2017, Plaintiff objected to any use of
deposition designations by Defendants at trial on the grounds that they missed the Court’s clear
deadlines. Transcript of Hearing at 11 (taken February 23, 2017) (“Feb. 23, 2017 Tr.”).2 In
response, Defendants offered no good cause for their failure to meet the Court’s deadlines set
out in the Scheduling Order and further amended at the telephonic status conference held on
February 15, 2017. Rather, Defendants moved the Court to accept the deposition designations
outlined in the parties’ proposed pretrial order, which was filed with the Court on January 25,
2017. (Doc. 224). Defendants maintained that the designations in the proposed pretrial order
The Court’s citations to the transcript of the status conference refer to the court reporter’s
original, unedited version. Any final transcript may contain slightly different page and/or line
See note 1, above.
were sufficient to put Plaintiff on notice about the specific portions of Russell Martinez’s
deposition Defendants intend to use at trial. Feb. 23, 2017 Tr. at 11–12. Defendants
emphasized that the deposition designations in this case are critical, because the original
plaintiff, Russell Martinez, is now deceased. Id. at 12. Plaintiff replied that the Court has set
clear deadlines in this case and Plaintiff has adhered to those deadlines, while Defendants have
not. Id. at 14–15. Plaintiff further stated that any extension of the deadlines would prejudice
Plaintiff because of the limited time now available to review and object to Defendants’
deposition designations prior to trial on March 6, 2017. Id. Finally, Plaintiff noted that the
deposition designations identified by Defendants in the proposed pretrial order are unclear as to
what portions of the deposition they are referring. Id.
At the pretrial conference, the Court ruled to allow Defendants to specify which of the
designations outlined in the pretrial order are the same as Plaintiff’s designations, and those
that are not. The Court determined that it would then rule on whether to admit designations not
already identified by Plaintiff prior to trial. Id. at 15–16.
Upon further reconsideration of the arguments of counsel, the deadlines set in this case,
and the designations described in the proposed pretrial order, the Court finds Plaintiff’s
arguments to be well-taken. Indeed, the Court notes that Defendants have failed to meet other
deadlines in this case. Moreover, the Court expressly reminded counsel as recently as
February 15, 2017, at the telephonic status conference, of the upcoming deposition designation
In addition, to the extent the designations identified by Defendants in the proposed
pretrial order could remedy Defendants’ failure to abide by the Court’s deadlines, the
designations, on their face, do not clearly designate the portions of the deposition Defendants
intend to utilize during trial. Specifically, the designations read: “Russell Martinez-Deposition,
P.4, l. 6-8, P.5, l. 19 to 107, 1. 17, P.114, l. 9, P.115, l. 3.” (Doc. 224) at 11. As noted at the
pretrial conference, neither Plaintiff nor the Court could determine what portions of the
deposition these designations referred to, and the Court required Defendants to interpret the
designations.3 Feb. 23, 2017 Tr. at 15–18. Based on Defendants’ clarification at the pretrial
conference, the designations included over one hundred pages of deposition testimony to be
used at trial. Id.
This Court is mindful that the deposition at issue is of the original Plaintiff in this action,
Russell Martinez, who is now deceased. For this reason, however, it was of critical importance
to Defendants to meet the original deadline, yet they clearly and inexplicably failed to do so.
Thus, after considering the deadlines in the Scheduling Order, this Court’s instructions at
the February 15, 2017 telephonic status conference, Defendants’ repeated failure to meet
deadlines in this case, and the asserted prejudice to Plaintiff, this Court finds no good cause to
extend the deposition designation deadline, and will not further consider any designations other
than those already submitted by Plaintiff.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The Bluebook citation for precise material in the deposition, based on Defendants’
clarifications, would be 4:6–8, 5:19–107:17, etc.. See The Bluebook: A Uniform System of
Citation R. B17.1.2, at 25 (Columbia Law Review Ass’n et al. eds., 20th ed. 2015). Indeed,
“[t]he central function of a legal citation is to allow the reader to efficiently locate the cited
source.” Id. Introduction, at 1.
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