Hoang et al v. Bank of America, N.A. et al

Filing 41

ORDER denying the parties' 40 stipulated motion to modify the court's scheduling order. If the parties wish to move to the end of the trial calendar, they should file a new stipulated motion to that effect within 14 days of the date of this order. Signed by Judge James L. Robart. (PM)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 JERRY HOANG, et al., Plaintiffs, 11 CASE NO. C17-0874JLR ORDER v. 12 13 BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al., Defendants. 14 15 Before the court is the parties’ stipulated motion to modify the court’s scheduling 16 order. (Stip. Mot. (Dkt. # 40).) The parties jointly request a “two-month extension” of 17 the remaining deadlines in the case schedule in order to “allow the parties to engage in 18 already ongoing settlement negotiations which have apparently stalled because of the 19 emergence of the coronavirus.” (Id. at 2.) 20 The court set an October 5, 2020 trial date for this matter. (See Sched. Order. 21 (Dkt. # 39) at 1.) Absent a showing of good cause, the court does not grant “short” trial 22 continuances. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4); (see Sched. Order at 2 (“The court will alter these ORDER - 1 1 dates only upon good cause shown . . . .”).) Although the court understands and 2 appreciates the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, the court has a full docket that would 3 quickly fall into disarray if the court granted extensions to every party who faced 4 scheduling difficulties due to COVID-19. Thus, the court finds that scheduling 5 challenges caused by COVID-19—without additional details describing the parties’ 6 specific challenges—do not constitute good cause to modify a case schedule. 7 It is well established that the specific scheduling challenge raised by the parties in 8 this case—their desire to engage in settlement negotiations—does not constitute good 9 cause to modify a scheduling order. See, e.g., Gerawan Farming, Inc. v. Rehrig Pac. Co., 10 No. 1:11-cv-01273 LJO BAM, 2013 WL 1164941, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 2013) (“[A]s 11 a legal matter, settlement discussions do not, in [and] of themselves, arise to good cause 12 for modifying a scheduling order.”); Rybski v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No. CV-12-751- 13 PHX-LOA, 2012 WL 5416586, at *2 (D. Ariz. Oct. 17, 2012) (“The parties’ settlement 14 negotiations or mediation do not constitute good cause to continue the Rule 16 15 deadlines.”). Thus, the court concludes that the parties have not shown good cause to 16 continue the case schedule. As such, the court DENIES the parties’ stipulated motion 17 (Dkt. # 40). 18 If the parties do not want to keep the current case schedule, the court will consider 19 moving the parties’ trial date to the end of the court’s trial calendar. Maintaining the 20 current trial date or moving to the end of the court’s trial calendar are the only two 21 options. The court will not imperil the trial dates of other parties on the court’s calendar 22 by granting the parties in this case a two-month extension to engage in settlement ORDER - 2 1 negotiations. If the parties wish to move to the end of the trial calendar, they should file a 2 new stipulated motion to that effect within 14 days of the date of this order. The parties 3 should be aware that the court is presently scheduling trials in the summer of 2021 and 4 that the court expects to have a backlog of cases to reschedule in light of the civil and 5 criminal trial continuances mandated by General Order No. 02-20. See W.D. Wash. Gen. 6 Order 02-20. If the court moves this matter to the end of its trial calendar, the court will 7 also issue a new scheduling order for all unexpired pretrial deadlines. 8 Dated this 2nd day of April, 2020. 9 10 A 11 JAMES L. ROBART United States District Judge 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 ORDER - 3

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