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Mohamed v. United States Dep't of Agriculture Food and Nutrition

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


June 2, 2009

NASSR MOHAMED, AS OWNER OF FAMILY FOOD MARKET AND CO-OWNER OF PARKVIEW MARKET, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD AND NUTRITION, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandra M. Snyder United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER VACATING HEARING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND DEEMING THE MATTER SUBMITTED (DOC. 89) Vacated Hearing Date: June 5, 2009 Time: 9:30 a.m.

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF ORDER VACATING HEARING ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION (DOCS. 89, 87)

ORDER SETTING INFORMAL TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE Date: June 29, 2009 Time: 10:30 a.m.

Plaintiffs are proceeding with a civil action in this Court. The matter has been referred to the Magistrate Judge for all proceedings, including the entry of final judgment, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), Fed. R. Civ. P. 73(b), and Local Rule 73-301.

I. Motion for Reconsideration

Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration, filed on March 5, 2009, of the court's order vacating cross-motions for summary judgment or adjudication summary adjudication filed on February 23, 2009. Plaintiffs also filed a memorandum and declaration. Defendant filed a notice of non-waiver re: proper scope of judgment review in light of Court's order vacating cross-motions, in which Defendant explained that Defendant disagreed with the Court's characterization of Defendant's position on the scope of the record appropriately considered with respect to the merits of the controversy. Defendant*fn1 also filed a response, and Plaintiffs filed a reply along with a notice of intent to request redaction of the transcript of the argument.

A. Vacating the Hearing on the Motion for Reconsideration

Pursuant to Rule 78-230(h) of the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, the Court finds that the Plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration is a matter that may appropriately be submitted upon the record and briefs. Accordingly, the hearing on the motion, presently set for June 5, 2009, at 9:30 a.m., IS VACATED, and the matter IS DEEMED SUBMITTED to the Court for decision.

B. Analysis

Plaintiffs make this motion pursuant to Rule 59(e). (Doc. 89, p. 4, ¶ 7.) Reconsideration under Rule 59(e) is appropriate when there are highly unusual circumstances or where the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or there is an intervening change in controlling law. School Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah County, Oregon v. AcandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262 (9 th Cir. 1993). To avoid being frivolous, such a motion must provide a valid ground for reconsideration. See, MCIC Indemnity Corp. v.Weisman, 803 F.2d 500, 505 (9 th Cir. 1986).

Here, Plaintiff has not demonstrated any newly discovered evidence, clear error, or intervening change in controlling law that would justify a different decision.

Accordingly, the motion for reconsideration IS DENIED.

II. Informal Telephonic Status Conference

Based on representations of counsel concerning an agreement regarding how to proceed, the Court initially permitted the parties to undertake a very unusual procedure of bringing limited dispositive motions before discovery had occurred. After review of the moving papers and hearing the parties' argument, the Court made another administrative decision in light of the parties' positions and argument, and in light of the Court's fuller understanding of the entire case, that it was not efficient of the Court's limited resources or helpful to the Court's full, informed resolution of the case on the merits to permit each party to bring serial motions for summary judgment or summary adjudication; rather, the parties' motions will be considered more normally in due time after full discovery in the case and complete briefing of all issues which the parties ultimately assert entitle them to summary adjudication or summary judgment. Although it may be somewhat unusual to vacate the hearing at the stage at which it was undertaken by the Court, the Court does not understand the effect of its ruling to be anything other than a postponement of the consideration of the motions. After the completion of discovery and development of all the issues, the parties will be permitted to re-notice their motions and to have a full opportunity to supplement their filings with additional evidentiary materials and written and oral argument.*fn2

In addition to working out the procedure for the summary judgment motions, it is necessary to schedule discovery, discuss anticipated disagreements regarding the scope of discovery and methods for resolving such disagreements, address an issue concerning redaction of a transcript of the hearing on the motions, and to schedule the case in general.

Accordingly, the parties ARE DIRECTED to participate in an informal telephonic status conference on June 29, 2009, and Plaintiffs ARE DIRECTED to place a conference call on June 29, 2009, at 10:30 a.m. by arranging the conference call with all other parties and directing it to Frances Robles at (559) 499-5690 at the appointed time.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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