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Stevens v. Huhtamaki

August 11, 2010

RAY ANTHONY STEVENS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HUHTAMAKI, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

The court previously granted plaintiff's motion to extend the discovery completion deadline in this case and ordered, consistent with plaintiff's request, that discovery must be "completed" on or before August 3, 2010. The court granted plaintiff's request out of an abundance of caution and notwithstanding significant concerns about the propriety of plaintiff's request under the applicable legal standard. The court is now in receipt of two documents filed by plaintiff on August 9, 2010, which relate to discovery in this case: (1) "Brief of Plaintiff in Support of Motion to Compel Discovery" (Dkt. No. 26); and (2) "Plaintiff Discovery Plan" (Dkt. No. 27). The court will address each document in turn.

I. "Brief of Plaintiff in Support of Motion to Compel Discovery"

The undersigned has not considered the filing entitled "Brief of Plaintiff in Support of Motion to Compel Discovery" for multiple reasons. First, the motion was not noticed for hearing in conformity with this court's local rules, which require that motions regarding discovery disagreements must be effectuated by the "filing and service of a notice of motion and motion scheduling the hearing date on the appropriate calendar at least twenty-one (21) days from the date of filing and service." E. Dist. Local Rule 251(a).

Second, plaintiff filed this brief in support of a purported motion to compel after expiration of the discovery completion date. With respect to discovery deadlines, the court's Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order in this case provides:

All discovery shall be conducted so as to be completed by July 2, 2010. The word "completed" in this context 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 order if necessary and, where discovery has been ordered, the order has been complied with. All discovery motions must be noticed on the magistrate judge's calendar in accordance with the local rules of this court. See Local Rule 37-251.

(Dkt. No. 17 at 3.) On July 2, 2010, the day that the discovery completion deadline expired, plaintiff filed a motion to extend the discovery deadline by 20 days. (Dkt. No. 19.) Over defendant's otherwise legitimate objections, the undersigned granted plaintiff's motion to extend the discovery completion deadline out of an abundance of caution. The court's order provided:

All discovery shall be conducted as to be "completed," as that term is defined in the Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order, within 20 days of the date of this order. No further requests for extensions by plaintiff will be considered.

(Dkt. No. 22 at 4.) Simply put, even if plaintiff had properly noticed a motion to compel discovery, such a motion would be untimely under the court's Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order.

Although a plaintiff proceeding without counsel is afforded substantial leeway in prosecuting his or her case, such a plaintiff is still required to comply with this court's orders, the court's local rules, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See E. Dist. Local Rule 183(a) ("Any individual representing himself or herself without an attorney is bound by the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure, these Rules, and all other applicable law. All obligations placed on "counsel" by these Rules apply to individuals appearing in propria persona."); King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987) ("Pro se litigants must follow the same rules of procedure that govern other litigants."). Plaintiff has failed to do so. Accordingly, the court has not considered his Brief of Plaintiff in Support of Motion to Compel Discovery.

II. "Plaintiff Discovery Plan"

Plaintiff also filed a document entitled "Plaintiff Discovery Plan," which:

(1) indicates that plaintiff desires to conduct additional discovery regarding a potential Title VII claim, which includes propounding the "[m]aximum number of interrogatories"; and (2) attempts to offer an explanation for plaintiff's complete failure to conduct timely discovery in this case. His explanations for failing to previously conduct discovery in this case are the same as those offered in his prior request for extension of the discovery completion deadline.

The court construes plaintiff's filing as a motion to further extend the discovery completion deadline in this case. Ordinarily, the court would reject plaintiff's filing, require plaintiff to file a properly noticed motion, and provide defendant an opportunity to file an opposition. However, the court does not take such ...


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