The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Thomas J. Whelan United States District Judge
ORDER: 1) GRANTING ATTORNEY KENT WILSON'S EX PARTE MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS PLAINTIFFS' ATTORNEY (DOC. 40.) 2) DENYING DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE MOTION TO TERMINATE STAY (DOC. 41.) 3) DENYING DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE MOTION TO EXPUNGE THE LIS PENDENS (DOC. 42.)
Plaintiffs initiated this lawsuit to avoid losing their home through foreclosure proceedings. On April 9, 2010, this Court granted a joint-motion to stay this lawsuit because Plaintiffs had entered a loan modification program. (Doc. 38.) Specifically, the lawsuit was stayed until September 1, 2010, or until action had been taken by either party to lift the stay. (Id.)
On July 9, 2010, Plaintiffs' attorney, Kent Wilson, filed an ex parte motion to withdraw from this lawsuit. Kent Wilson's declaration indicates that a severe breakdown in the attorney-client relationship has occurred. In fact, Kent Wilson and Plaintiffs are now in litigation against each other in San Diego Superior Court.
On July 14, 2010, Defendant OneWest Bank, F.S.B. ("OneWest") filed two different ex parte motions. The first motion seeks to terminate the stay and for the Court to rule on a previously filed motion to dismiss. (Doc. 41.) OneWest's second motion seeks to expunge the lis pendens, in the event that the Court granted the motion to dismiss. (Doc. 42.)
On July 16, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a response to Kent Wilson's motion to withdraw as their attorney. Plaintiffs acknowledge that Mr. Wilson's withdrawal from this case is mandatory, but express serious concerns regarding his immediate withdrawal and the irreparable injury they would suffer in light of OneWest's recently filed motions.
Having read and considered the moving papers, the Court finds that Kent Wilson can not continue to serve as Plaintiffs' counsel. Therefore, his motion to immediately withdraw as their attorney of record is GRANTED. (Doc. 40.) Plaintiffs shall be listed as pro se litigants and should immediately provide the Court with their contact information.
In light of the foregoing, the Court must DENY OneWest's motion to terminate the stay. (Doc. 41.) This case shall remain stayed until September 10, 2010, or until Plaintiffs find new counsel, or until either party shows good cause to lift the stay.
Additionally, the Court will DENY the ex parte motion to expunge the lis pendens, without prejudice. (Doc. 42.) Lastly, Attorney Kent Wilson is hereby
ORDERED to serve a copy of this ruling upon his former clients, Michael and Donna Chavez, WITHIN THREE DAYS of the date of this Order. He is furthered ORDERED to serve a copy of this ruling upon Attorney Nicole Gallagher, whose efforts in specially appearing for Plaintiffs were very much appreciated.
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