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Byron Eugene Johnson v. David L. Runnels

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


March 22, 2011

BYRON EUGENE JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAVID L. RUNNELS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

This matter comes before the court upon defendants' request that the trial confirmation hearing be conducted telephonically (ECF 145) and plaintiff's request for an extension of time to comply with a portion of the pretrial order (ECF 142). (ECF 146.) The Court hereby DENIES defendants' motion and GRANTS plaintiff's motion, for reasons stated below.

Defense counsel contends there are obstacles preventing plaintiff's production at the trial confirmation hearing via videoconferencing. Specifically, defense counsel informs the court that neither of the videoconferencing systems at High Desert State Prison ("HDSP") are working and that the Litigation Coordinator at HDSP informed counsel that there is no videoconferencing system at California Correction Center ("CCC"). (ECF 145 ¶¶ 4-6.) The trial confirmation hearing is the last opportunity for the court to consult with the parties prior to trial, to confirm important details and lay the groundwork to ensure trial runs smoothly. To this end, it is important that the court be able to have full fledged discussions with plaintiff and defense counsel. While the court remains amenable to plaintiff's appearing by videoconference if that can be arranged, on the present record the court concludes it cannot. Accordingly, the court hereby ORDERS that both plaintiff and defense counsel appear in person at the April 6, 2011 trial confirmation hearing. An appropriate writ of habeas corpus ad testificandum shall be issued for plaintiff.

Plaintiff has shown that good cause exists for the court to grant his request for an extension of time to respond to the portion of the pretrial order stating: "All parties shall mail copies of their exhibits, schedules, and summaries and other items they anticipate offering into evidence to all other parties within fourteen days of the day this order becomes final. Objections to a party's items sought to be introduced into evidence shall be filed fourteen days before trial." (ECF 142 at 5.) The court GRANTS plaintiff's request for an extension of time to comply with this order. Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to mail copies of the exhibits, schedules, and summaries and other items he anticipates offering into evidence to defendants no later than April 1, 2011, and to bring copies with him to the trial confirmation hearing.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20110322

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