The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, JR United States District Judge
STIPULATION TO STAY ACTION AND EXTEND TIME TO RESPOND TO COMPLAINT AND FILE JOINT STATUS REPORT AND ORDER THEREON Assigned to: Hon. Morrison C. England, Jr. Courtroom: 7, 14th Floor, Sacramento
On December 8, 2008, Plaintiff, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, filed its Complaint seeking recovery for fire suppression costs, resource damages, and other damages, arising out of the Birch Fire of July 1, 2002, in the Inyo National Forest, in Mono County. The Complaint alleges that Defendant SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY's (hereinafter "EDISON") negligent maintenance of its electric power lines and facilities caused the fire.
These same two parties have litigated extensively in this District before in another fire case, United States v. Southern Cal. Edison Co., No. CIV F 01-5167 OWW SMS. The parties in this action wish to attempt to settle this case by participating in early mediation, sharing costs of mediation, and selecting a mediator with a date certain for mediation over a short period of time, before expending significant time and money on litigation, including discovery. The parties believe that a stay of these proceedings will conserve party and judicial resources and, therefore, request an order of stay to allow for the parties to participate in early mediation, an order to extend Defendant's time to respond to the Complaint, and an order to extend the parties' time to prepare and file their Joint Status Report.
IT IS HEREBY STIPULATED, by and between Plaintiff and Defendant, through their respective counsel, that:
1. The parties not file a Joint Status Report scheduling this case at this time.
2. Defendant's time to respond to the Complaint be extended as provided in paragraphs 3 and 4 below. (There has been a prior written stipulation extending the original time to respond to the Complaint by 30 days.)
3. Either party may terminate this Stipulation by filing a written Notice of Termination of Stipulation in this action at any time, in which case the Defendant shall file a response to the Complaint within 20 days thereafter, and the parties shall file a Joint Status Report within 40 days after the filing of the Notice of Termination of Stipulation.
4. In the event this action has not been settled and this Stipulation has not been terminated by written Notice of Termination of Stipulation under paragraph 3, above, this Stipulation shall terminate automatically, on June 20, 2009, Defendant shall file its response to the Complaint by July 10, 2009, and the parties shall file a Joint Status Report by July 30, 2009.
5. This matter shall be stayed until this Stipulation is terminated by either event described in paragraphs 3 and 4 above.
Good cause appearing, IT IS SO ORDERED.
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