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Chappell v. Dickerson

January 6, 2009

CHAPPELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DICKERSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

FURTHER SCHEDULING ORDER Telephonic Trial Confirmation Hearing: March 9, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 2 (AWI) Jury Trial: May 19, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 2 (AWI)

Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action is proceeding on plaintiff's amended complaint filed August 5, 1996, involving allegations that defendant Dickerson was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's safety and retaliated against plaintiff by encouraging other inmates to attack plaintiff at Corcoran State Prison. On March 14, 2007, the Court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment and on June 14, 2007, the Court denied defendant's motion for reconsideration. On June 18, 2007, the court issued a Second Scheduling Order scheduling a trial confirmation hearing for October 29, 2007 and a jury trial for December 4, 2007. On July 23, 2007, the Court continued the trial to January 8, 2008. On September 24, 2007, plaintiff filed a request for an extension of time in which to file his pretrial statement. On October 5, 2007, defendant filed a similar request. In light of both parties' requests for an extension of the deadlines in this case, the Court issued an amended scheduling order for this litigation, continuing the trial to March 18, 2008, and setting the telephonic trial confirmation hearing for January 30, 2008.

On January 30, 2008, the Honorable Judge Ishii referred the matter back to the undersigned for further proceedings, including the possibility of further limited discovery. On March 11, 2008, a status conference was held before the undersigned, and limited discovery was re-opened. On September 18, 2008, a further status conference was held; discovery in this matter is now resolved. The Court issued a Scheduling Order setting this matter down for telephonic trial confirmation hearing on January 15, 2009 and jury trial on February 18, 2009. These dates were subsequently vacated to allow for settlement negotiations before the Honorable Judge Nandor Vadas on December 10, 2008. This matter has not settled, and accordingly, the court will, by this order, set a further schedule for this litigation.

The parties are required to file pre-trial statements in accordance with the schedule set forth herein. In addition to the matters already required to be addressed in the pre-trial statement in accordance with Local Rule 16-281, plaintiff will be required to make a particularized showing in order to obtain the attendance of witnesses. The procedures and requirements for making such a showing are outlined in detail below. Plaintiff is advised that failure to comply with the procedures set forth below may result in the preclusion of any and all witnesses named in his pre-trial statement.

At the trial of this case, plaintiff must be prepared to introduce evidence to prove each of the alleged facts that support the claims raised in the lawsuit. In general, there are two kinds of trial evidence: (1) exhibits and (2) the testimony of witnesses. It is plaintiff's responsibility to produce all of the evidence to prove his case, whether that evidence is in the form of exhibits or witness testimony. If plaintiff wants to call witnesses to testify, he must follow certain procedures to ensure that the witnesses will be at the trial and available to testify.

1. Procedures for Obtaining Attendance of Incarcerated Witnesses Who Agree to Testify Voluntarily

An incarcerated witness who agrees voluntarily to attend trial to give testimony cannot come to court unless this court orders the warden or other custodian to permit the witness to be transported to court. This court will not issue such an order unless it is satisfied that: (a) the prospective witness is willing to attend; and (b) the prospective witness has actual knowledge of relevant facts.

A party intending to introduce the testimony of incarcerated witnesses who have agreed voluntarily to attend the trial must serve and file concurrent with the pre-trial statement a written motion for a court order requiring that such witnesses be brought to court at the time of trial. The motion must: (1) state the name, address, and prison identification number of each such witness; and (2) be accompanied by declarations showing that each witness is willing to testify and that each witness has actual knowledge of relevant facts. The motion should be entitled "Motion for Attendance of Incarcerated Witnesses."

The willingness of the prospective witness can be shown in one of two ways: (1) the party himself can swear by declaration under penalty of perjury that the prospective witness has informed the party that he or she is willing to testify voluntarily without being subpoenaed, in which declaration the party must state when and where the prospective witness informed the party of this willingness; or (2) the party can serve and file a declaration, signed under penalty of perjury by the prospective witness, in which the witness states that he or she is willing to testify without being subpoenaed.

The prospective witness's actual knowledge of relevant facts can be shown in one of two ways: (1) if the party has actual firsthand knowledge that the prospective witness was an eyewitness or an ear-witness to the relevant facts (i.e., if an incident occurred in plaintiff's cell and, at the time, plaintiff saw that a cellmate was present and observed the incident, plaintiff may swear to the cellmate's ability to testify), the party himself can swear by declaration under penalty of perjury that the prospective witness has actual knowledge; or (2) the party can serve and file a declaration signed under penalty of perjury by the prospective witness in which the witness describes the relevant facts to which the prospective witness was an eye- or ear-witness. Whether the declaration is made by the party or by the prospective witness, it must be specific about the incident, when and where it occurred, who was present, and how the prospective witness happened to be in a position to see or to hear what occurred at the time it occurred.

The court will review and rule on the motion for attendance of incarcerated witnesses, specifying which prospective witnesses must be brought to court. Subsequently, the court will issue the order necessary to cause the witness's custodian to bring the witness to court.

Motions for the attendance of incarcerated witnesses, if any, must be filed on or before February 9, 2009. Oppositions, if any, must be filed on or before February 23, 2009.

2. Procedures for Obtaining Attendance of Incarcerated Witnesses Who Refuse to Testify Voluntarily - If a party seeks to obtain the attendance of incarcerated witnesses who refuse to testify voluntarily, the party should submit with his pre-trial statement a motion for the attendance of such witnesses. Such motion should be in the form described above. In addition, the party must indicate in the motion that the incarcerated witnesses are not willing to testify voluntarily.

3. Procedures for Obtaining Attendance of Unincarcerated Witnesses Who Agree to Testify Voluntarily - It is the responsibility of the party who has secured an unincarcerated witness's voluntary attendance to notify the witness of the time and ...


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