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Johnson v. U Save Auto Sales Inc.

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


January 22, 2009

SCOTT N. JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
U SAVE AUTO SALES INC., D/B/A U SAVE AUTO SALES; WILLARD PARKER, TRUSTEE OF THE PARKER-EWING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN, DEFENDANTS.*FN1

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER TO PAY SANCTIONS AND CONTINUING STATUS (PRETRIAL SCHEDULING) CONFERENCE

Plaintiff failed to respond to an OSC filed December 17, 2008, to which he was required to respond no later than January 19, 2009. The OSC required Plaintiff to show cause why a sanction should not be imposed for his failure to file a timely status report.

A sanction may be imposed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(f) unless the judge finds the noncompliance with a filing requirement "was substantially justified or that other circumstances" show it should not issue. See Ayers v. City of Richmond, 895 F.2d 1267, 1269-70 (9th Cir. 1990) (upholding sanction where counsel failed to appear for a settlement conference because the date "slipped by him"); Ikerd v. Lacy, 852 F.2d 1256, 1258-59 (10th Cir. 1988) ("Neither contumacious attitude nor chronic failure is a necessary threshold to the imposition of sanctions under Rule 16 . . . .").

The primary purpose of sanctions in the Rule 16 context "is to insure reasonable management requirements for case preparation." Matter of Sanction of Baker, 744 F.2d 1438, 1441 (10th Cir. 1984); see also 1983 Advisory Committee Notes to Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(f) ("[The] explicit reference to sanctions reenforces the rule's intention to encourage forceful judicial management."). Thus, violations of Rule 16 are not merely technical or trivial, but involve a "matter most critical to the court itself: management of its docket," and the avoidance of unnecessary delays and problems in the administration of its cases. Baker, 744 F.2d at 1441.

Since Plaintiff failed to respond to the OSC and did not file a timely status report Scott Johnson is sanctioned in the amount of FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($500.00). Mr. Johnson shall pay the sanction to the Clerk of the Court for this District within fifteen (15) days from the date this Order is filed. The check shall be made payable to the "United States Treasury." Proof of payment must be sent to the undersigned judge's chambers within five (5) days of payment.

Further, the status hearing scheduled for February 2, 2009, is rescheduled to commence at 9:00 a.m. on March 16, 2009. A status report shall be filed no later than fourteen days prior to the status conference.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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