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Linda Pedraza v. Attorneys' Fees et al.

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


October 20, 2011

LINDA PEDRAZA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
ATTORNEYS' FEES ET AL., AND COSTS, ALAMEDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, DEFENDANTS.
COUNTER-ALAMEDA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL., MS. PEDRAZA'S COUNTER-CLAIMANTS,
v.
LINDA PEDRA AND FRANCISCO PEDRAZA,
COUNTER-DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge

ORDER FOR BRIEFING ON DISTRICT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF ITS DISMISSING DISTRICT'S REMAINING CLAIMS AND DENYING MOTIONS

(Docket Nos. 253 and 254)

On September 29, 2011, the Court issued an order granting 21 summary judgment of liability on the counter-claims for breach of the 2003 Settlement Agreement and for express indemnity under that Agreement asserted by Counter-Defendants Alameda Unified School 25 District and Alameda Unified School District Board of Education 26 (together, the District). In the Order, the Court noted that the 27 District's damages remained to be determined and that the District had not moved for summary judgment on three of its counter-claims, which were still pending in the action.

The Court ordered the District to file a statement proposing how to determine its 4 damages and how it proposed to proceed on its pending counter-5 claims. 6 7 8 that its damages on the two claims on which it prevailed consisted On October 4, 2011, the District filed a response indicating solely of attorneys' fees and costs and suggested that it file a motion for attorneys' fees and costs.

The District also indicated 11 that it would voluntarily dismiss without prejudice its remaining United States District Court For the Northern District of California pending counter-claims for enforcement of the 2007 mediated 13 agreement, fraud and attorneys' fees.*fn1 On October 7, 2011, 14 Plaintiff Linda Pedraza filed a response and opposition, in which 15 16 she essentially requests reconsideration of the Court's summary judgment order. On October 13, 2011, Ms. Pedraza filed documents entitled, "Motion for Leave of Court to Supplement the Complaint," 19 and "Motion for Ex Parte Relief." Having considered all the 20 papers submitted by the parties, the Court orders the District to 21 file a motion for summary judgment of its attorneys' fees and 22 costs, grants the District's request to dismiss its remaining 23 counter-claims and declines to reconsider its summary judgment 24 25 order. Ms. Pedraza's new motions to file a supplemental complaint in the claims on which it prevailed, it also requests dismissal of a separate counter-claim for attorneys' fees.

(docket no. 253) and for ex parte relief (docket no. 254) are 2 denied. 3 Under Civil Local Rule 7-9, a party may ask a court to 4 reconsider an interlocutory order if the party can show: 5 (1) That at the time of the motion for leave, a material difference in fact or law exists from that which was presented to the Court before entry of the interlocutory order for which reconsideration is sought. The party also must show that in the exercise of reasonable diligence the party applying for reconsideration did not know such fact or law at the time of the interlocutory order; or (2) The emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such order; or (3) A manifest failure by the Court to consider material facts or dispositive legal arguments which were presented to the Court before such interlocutory order. Civ. L.R. 7-9

In her October 7 filing, Ms. Pedraza challenges the admissibility of the District's evidence on the same grounds 17 she argued in her opposition to the District's motion for 18 summary judgment. Because a request for reconsideration is 19 not a forum for relitigating previous arguments, the Court 20 declines to reconsider its summary judgment order. 21 In Ms. Pedraza's June 8, 2011 pretrial conference statement, to which she alludes in her October 7, 2011 response, she indicated that discovery had not yet taken 25 place in this case and that she planned to seek depositions, 26 student records, and other documents such as emails, notes 27 and Individual Education Plan recordings. If Ms. Pedraza did 28 not have the discovery she needed, she should have sought 2 discovery or alerted the Court of her need for discovery in 3 her opposition to the motion for summary judgment.

discovery would have affected the outcome of the dispositive 6 motions. The Court's summary judgment order addressed 7 8 several motions. State Defendants' motion for judgment on

Furthermore, it does not appear that any further

the pleadings was based on the allegations in Ms. Pedraza's

First Amended Complaint, not on evidence outside the pleadings. Therefore, any lack of discovery did not affect 12 the outcome of that motion. The District's motion for summary judgment on Ms. Pedraza's appeal of the Office of Administrative Hearings' (OAH) Ruling and on her claims of 15 breach of the 2003 Settlement Agreement and violation of the IDEA for 2003-04 based upon the breach of the Settlement Agreement was based on the evidence in the administrative 19 record. Ms. Pedraza could have cited evidence from the 20 administrative record, if there was any, to raise a disputed 21 issue of material fact. However, she failed to cite any 22 evidence from the administrative record. Therefore, any lack 23 of discovery did not affect the outcome of this motion.

Likewise, the District's motion for summary judgment on its counter-claims of breach of contract and express indemnity were based on citations to evidence in the administrative 28 record. Ms. Pedraza also could have cited to the administrative record. She failed to do so. Further, in 2 light of the fact that the District's claims were based on Mr. and Ms. Pedraza's failure to cooperate with service 4 providers, they could have countered with evidence in their 5 own possession showing that they did cooperate. They failed 6 to do so. 7 8

In sum, Ms. Pedraza's ability to raise a disputed issue of material fact in all of the District's motions was not dependent upon discovery of materials in the possession of the District. The Court declines to reconsider its summary judgment order on the ground that Ms. Pedraza did not have 13 access to discovery in the possession of the District. Within four weeks from the date of this order, the District shall file a motion for summary judgment of its 16 17 attorneys' fees and costs. Mr. and Ms. Pedraza shall file an

opposition within three weeks thereafter and the District may 19 file a reply one week later. The motion will be decided on 20 the papers. If Mr. and Ms. Pedraza believe they need 21 evidence in the possession of the District in order to oppose 22 the attorneys' fees and costs motion, they may propound 23 requests to the District for limited discovery solely related 24 25 to the issue of the amount of the District's attorneys' fees and costs. The District's counter-claims for enforcement of the 2007 mediated settlement agreement, fraud and attorneys' 28 fees are dismissed without prejudice. The Court denies Ms. Pedraza's motions to supplement the complaint and for ex 2 parte relief. (Docket Nos. 253 and 254).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated:

For the Northern District of California United States District Court


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