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Petracek v. American Home Mortgage Servicing

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


August 5, 2009

CLINTON R. PETRACEK; AND KELLY PETRACEK, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING; AND LENDER DOE, DEFENDANTS.

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

STATUS (PRETRIAL SCHEDULING) ORDER

The status (pretrial scheduling) conference scheduled for August 10, 2009, is vacated since the parties indicate in the Joint Status Report ("JSR") filed on July 27, 2009, that the following Order should issue.

DOE DEFENDANTS

Plaintiffs state in the JSR that "Plaintiffs have named Lender Doe in the complaint and once that entity is identified, Plaintiffs do anticipate amending the complaint and joining that additional party once discovered." This statement fails to comply with Plaintiffs' obligation under Rule 16 to provide meaningful information on when the referenced amendment would be sought.

Plaintiffs indicate they have no idea when they would be in a position to seek the referenced amendment. "Parties anticipating possible amendments... have an unflagging obligation to alert the Rule 16 scheduling judge of the... timing of such anticipated amendments in their status reports so that the judge can consider whether such amendments may properly be sought solely under the Rule 15(a) standard, and whether structuring discovery pertinent to the parties' decision whether to amend is feasible." Jackson v. Laureate, Inc., 186 F.R.D. 605, 608 (E.D. Cal. 1999). (citation and quotations omitted).

Plaintiffs shall conduct discovery pertinent to the referenced amendment forthwith, and are authorized to seek the referenced amendment under Rule 15 provided that the motion in which leave is sought is filed no later than forty-five days from the date on which this order is filed; the motion shall be noticed for hearing on the earliest available regularly scheduled law and motion hearing date. No further service, joinder of parties, or amendments to pleadings is permitted except with leave of Court, good cause having been shown.

ADDED DEFENDANT'S OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK AMENDMENT OF THIS ORDER

If Plaintiff substitutes a named defendant in place of a Doe defendant, a copy of this Order shall be served on that defendant concurrently with the service of process.

That defendant has 30 days after said service within which to file a "Notice of Proposed Modification of Status Order." Although a newly-joined party's proposed modification filed within this thirty day period will not have to meet the good cause standard, no further amendments will be permitted except with leave of Court, good cause having been shown.

DISCOVERY

All discovery shall be completed by January 14, 2011. In this context, "completed" means that all discovery shall have been conducted so that all depositions have been taken and any disputes relative to discovery shall have been resolved by appropriate orders, if necessary, and, where discovery has been ordered, the order has been complied with or, alternatively, the time allowed for such compliance shall have expired.*fn1

Each party shall comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(c)(i)'s initial expert witness disclosure requirements on or before August 22, 2010, and with any contradictory and/or rebuttal expert disclosure authorized under Rule 26(a)(2)(c)(ii) on or before September 22, 2010.

MOTION HEARING SCHEDULE

The last hearing date for motions shall be May 16, 2011, at 9:00 a.m.*fn2

Motions shall be filed in accordance with Local Rule 78-230(b). Opposition papers shall be filed in accordance with Local Rule 78-230(c). Failure to comply with this local rule may be deemed consent to the motion and the Court may dispose of the motion summarily. Brydges v. Lewis, 18 F.3d 651, 652-53 (9th Cir. 1994). Further, failure to timely oppose a summary judgment motion may result in the granting of that motion if the movant shifts the burden to the non-movant to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact remains for trial. Cf. Marshall v. Gates, 44 F.3d 722 (9th Cir. 1995).

Absent highly unusual circumstances, reconsideration of a motion is appropriate only where:

(1) The Court is presented with newly discovered evidence that could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the filing of the party's motion or opposition papers;

(2) The Court committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust; or

(3) There is an intervening change in controlling law.

A motion for reconsideration based on newly discovered evidence shall set forth, in detail, the reason why said evidence could not reasonably have been discovered prior to the filing of the party's motion or opposition papers. Motions for reconsideration shall comply with Local Rule 78-230(k) in all other respects.

The parties are cautioned that an untimely motion characterized as a motion in limine may be summarily denied. A motion in limine addresses the admissibility of evidence.

FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

The final pretrial conference is set for March 14, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. The parties are cautioned that the lead attorney who WILL TRY THE CASE for each party shall attend the final pretrial conference. In addition, all persons representing themselves and appearing in propria persona must attend the pretrial conference.

The parties are warned that non-trial worthy issues could be eliminated sua sponte "[i]f the pretrial conference discloses that no material facts are in dispute and that the undisputed facts entitle one of the parties to judgment as a matter of law." Portsmouth Square v. S'holders Protective Comm., 770 F.2d 866, 869 (9th Cir. 1985). The parties shall file a JOINT pretrial statement no later than seven (7) calendar days prior to the final pretrial conference.*fn3

The joint pretrial statement shall specify the issues for trial and shall estimate the length of the trial.*fn4 The Court uses the parties' joint pretrial statement to prepare its final pretrial order and could issue the final pretrial order without holding the scheduled final pretrial conference. See Mizwicki v. Helwig, 196 F.3d 828, 833 (7th Cir. 1999) ("There is no requirement that the court hold a pretrial conference."). The final pretrial order supersedes the pleadings and controls the facts and issues which may be presented at trial. Issues asserted in pleadings which are not preserved for trial in the final pretrial order cannot be raised at trial. Hotel Emp., et al. Health Tr. v. Elks Lodge 1450, 827 F.2d 1324, 1329 (9th Cir. 1987) ("Issues not preserved in the pretrial order are eliminated from the action."); Valley Ranch Dev. Co. v. F.D.I.C., 960 F.2d 550, 554 (5th Cir. 1992) (indicating that an issue omitted from the pretrial order is waived, even if it appeared in the pleading); cf. Raney v. Dist. of Columbia, 892 F. Supp. 283 (D.D.C. 1995) (refusing to modify the pretrial order to allow assertion of a previously-pled statute of limitations defense); Olympia Co. v. Celotex Corp., 597 F. Supp. 285, 289 (E.D. La. 1984) (indicating that "[a]ny factual contention, legal contention, any claim for relief or defense in whole or in part, or affirmative matter not set forth in [the pretrial statement] shall be deemed... withdrawn, notwithstanding the contentions of any pleadings or other papers previously filed [in the action]").

If possible, at the time of filing the joint pretrial statement counsel shall also email it in a format compatible with WordPerfect to: geborders@caed.uscourts.gov.

TRIAL SETTING

Trial shall commence at 9:00 a.m. on August 23, 2011.

MISCELLANEOUS

The parties are reminded that pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b), the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order shall not be modified except by leave of Court upon a showing of good cause. Counsel are cautioned that a mere stipulation by itself to change dates does not constitute good cause.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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