IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 8, 2009
DONNA SERRANO, PLAINTIFF,
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.
On April 30, 2009, defendant filed an ex parte application, and supporting affidavit, to stay the hearing on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment previously scheduled for May 6, 2009. See Dckt. No. 29. While the parties had twice previously stipulated to extend the hearing date, plaintiff did not join in defendant's April 30, 2009 application.
The court convened a telephone conference on May 4, 2009. Valerie Feldman appeared on behalf of plaintiff Donna Serrano; Theophous Reagens and Gerrylynn Gulthseth appeared on behalf of defendant Commissioner of Social Security. Following a discussion of the class action and settlement negotiations in Martinez et al. v. Astrue, Civ. 08-4735 CW, currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and its relationship to the issues presented in the instant case, the court directed defendant to file a status report by May 18, 2009, and plaintiff to file a response by May 22, 2009. Both statements were timely filed. Plaintiff thereafter filed an amended response on May 26, 2009, and defendant a reply on June 5, 2009.
The court has considered the positions of both parties, and finds good cause to stay the hearing on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment until the Northern District rules on the proposed class action agreement in the Martinez case. The Commissioner represents that "if the current Martinez settlement is approved, Plaintiff's case will be automatically included in the class of fugitive felon cases to be reviewed for retroactive relief." Dckt. No. 36, at p. 2. This representation meets plaintiff's concern that "her status is not contemplated by the current settlement language." Dckt. No. 34, at p. 1. The court will therefore grant defendant's ex parte application for a stay in this action.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's ex parte application, Dckt. No. 29, to stay the hearing on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment is GRANTED; the hearing shall be stayed until further order of this court. The Commissioner shall inform this court of the outcome of the Northern District's fairness hearing, and its final disposition, within seven calendar days of that court's ruling on the proposed class settlement. If no ruling has been issued by August 8, 2009, the Commissioner shall file with this court a report on the status of the class action proceedings in the Northern District of California and address whether there is any further reason for plaintiff Serrano's case to remain stayed.
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