IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
July 19, 2010
LONNIE TRIPP, PLAINTIFF,
M.S. EVANS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding pro se with an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On July 6, 2010, the undersigned ordered both parties to attend a mediation with a volunteer attorney on August 11, 2010. On July 12, 2010, defendants filed an objection to the mediation and requested it be vacated. Defendants argued that discovery is ongoing and they cannot ascertain the full extent of plaintiff's claims until plaintiff is deposed and a decision regarding a dispositive motion is made. The undersigned has reviewed this case where plaintiff requests a different diet based on his medical condition. It is not entirely clear why defendants require deposition testimony to be able to make an informed decision about this case. It would seem that a review of plaintiff's medical file, which defendants have easy access to, is all that is required.*fn1
In the order directing the parties to mediation, the undersigned stated that neither party was required to attend for more than three hours. Rather than spend a few hours mediating this case, defendants would prefer to spend their time and resources with discovery and motion practice.*fn2 However, it would appear to be a waste of time to order defendants to attend mediation if they have no interest. Therefore, the undersigned will vacate the mediation order.
Defendants also object to the mediation because it will be performed by a volunteer attorney and defendants would, "only be amenable to a Magistrate Judge or District Judge". As defendants are no doubt aware, this district has the highest caseload per judge in the entire country and each judge is burdened with a large workload. Attorneys have graciously volunteered their time to aid this district which is greatly appreciated, and the undersigned finds defendants' opposition to attorney mediators not well-founded and serves as no basis for this decision.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that August 11, 2010, mediation is cancelled and the court's July 6, 2010, order (Doc. 46), be vacated.