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Quickframe Systems, Inc., Anevada Corporation v. Anthony J. Godina; and Does 1-10

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


June 6, 2011

QUICKFRAME SYSTEMS, INC., ANEVADA CORPORATION PLAINTIFF,
v.
ANTHONY J. GODINA; AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER

On April 28, 2011, the parties came before the undersigned for a status (pretrial scheduling) conference. Attorney Stephen Hamilton appeared on behalf of plaintiff Quickframe Systems, Inc. (the "plaintiff").*fn1 Defendant Anthony J. Godina (the "defendant") appeared without counsel (or "pro se") on his own behalf.

During the status conference on April 28, 2011, the parties verbally agreed to participate in an early settlement conference before the undersigned on June 28, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. Both parties also verbally consented to having the undersigned serve as the settlement judge.

Following the status conference, the undersigned issued an order requiring both parties to file written statements confirming their consent and waiving any claim of disqualification, pursuant to Local Rule 270(b). (Order, Dkt. No. 15.) That order also required both parties to file "Consent to / Decline of Jurisdiction of US Magistrate Judge" forms. The order required the parties to file their written statements and consent/non-consent forms by May 12, 2011. (Id.)

When defendant failed to timely file a written statement waiving disqualification and confirming his consent to the undersigned serving as the settlement judge, and also failed to timely file his "Consent to / Decline of Jurisdiction of US Magistrate Judge" form, the court issued an Order to Show Cause ("OSC"). (OSC, Dkt. No. 18.) The OSC required defendant to file a writing explaining his failure to timely comply with the court's order dated April 28, 2011, and showing cause why he should not be sanctioned. The OSC also ordered defendant to file the documents that would bring him into compliance with the court's order dated April 28, 2011. The OSC also notified defendant that his failure to do comply might result in sanctions and might result in the settlement conference being taken off-calendar.

While defendant is a non-attorney who is representing himself in this case, and while the undersigned appreciates the difficulties pro se parties often face, defendant was informed both verbally and in writing of his obligation to file the above-described documents. The OSC (Dkt. No. 18) explained as much. The OSC also explained that Eastern District Local Rule 110 provides that "[f]ailure of counsel or of a party to comply with these Rules or with any order of the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the inherent power of the Court." Moreover, Eastern District Local Rule 183(a) provides, in part:

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. Failure to comply therewith may be ground for dismissal . . . or any other sanction appropriate under these Rules.

See also 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.").

The undersigned will give defendant one final chance to bring himself into compliance with these court orders without the imposition of monetary sanctions. Accordingly, by June 21, 2011, defendant is ordered to file a writing explaining his failure to timely comply with the court's order dated April 28, 2011, and showing cause why he should not be sanctioned for violating court orders. Also by June 21, 2011, defendant is again ordered to file a written statement confirming his consent to the undersigned serving as the settlement judge and waiving disqualification in accordance with Local Rule 270(b).*fn2

Defendant's failure to comply with this order by June 21, 2011, may result in defendant's being sanctioned and may cause the settlement conference set for June 28, 2011, to be vacated.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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