IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 17, 2010
JIMMY CHI COOC, PETITIONER,
ANTHONY HEDGPETH, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.
JOHN LAM, PETITIONER,
KATHLEEN DICKINSON, WARDEN, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Petitioners are state prisoners proceeding with separate counsel in separate habeas corpus actions filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner Cooc has filed a Notice of Related Case, accurately stating that three of his four claims for relief are substantially identical to the claims set forth by petitioner Lam. As petitioner Cooc states:
Mr. Cooc and Mr. Lam were co-defendants in Sacramento County Superior Court Action No. 02F11038; they were co-appellants in the California of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in Action No. C052280; they raised common appellate issues before the California Court of Appeal; the California Court of Appeal issued a single opinion; and the first three of Mr. Cooc's four claims for relief in his federal habeas petition are substantially identical to the three claims for relief advanced by Mr. Lam in his federal habeas petition. Accordingly, the actions involve similar questions of fact and the same questions of law, and assignment to the same Judge or Magistrate Judge is likely to effect a substantial savings of judicial effort.
(Case No. 2:10-cv-0882 MCE KJN P, Dkt. No. 4, at 1.)
Since these actions present the same or similar legal claims based on the same set of facts, the assignment of these matters to the same district judge and magistrate judge is likely to effect a substantial savings of judicial effort. The cases will therefore be related. See Rules 123(a), and 190(d), Local Rules, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Under the regular practice of this court, related cases are generally assigned to the judge and magistrate judge to whom the first filed action was assigned. The first filed of these cases was Cooc v. Hedgpeth, Case No. 2:10-cv-0447, thereafter converted to Case No. 2:10-cv-0882 MCE KJN P. Lam v. Dickinson, Case No. 2:10-cv-0829 JFM P, was filed after the initial filing of the Cooc action. Accordingly, Lam will be reassigned to the undersigned magistrate judge.
The parties should be aware that relating the cases under Local Rule 123 merely has the result that actions are assigned to the same judge and magistrate judge; no consolidation of the actions is effected.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the action denominated Lam v. Dickinson, Case No. 2:10-cv-0829 JFM P, be reassigned to the undersigned magistrate judge for all further proceedings. The caption on documents filed in the reassigned case shall henceforth be shown as Case No. 2:10-cv-0829 KJN P. Should a district judge be assigned to this case, that judge shall be the Honorable Morrison C. England. The Clerk of the Court shall make appropriate adjustment in the assignment of civil cases to compensate for this reassignment.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the deadline for filing a responsive pleading currently set in the reassigned case shall remain intact.
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