IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
December 29, 2011
MARION RUSSELL HARRIS, JR., PAMELA ANN HARRIS PLAINTIFFS,
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYING REFERRAL OF ACTION TO VOLUNTARY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROGRAM
Plaintiffs have expressed a willingness to participate in the Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program in their filing captioned "Plaintiff Offer To Stipulation And Order To Elect Referral Of Action To Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program (VDRP) Pursuant To Local Rule 271" [sic]. (Dkt. No. 6.) The undersigned appreciates plaintiffs' expression of willingness to attempt to resolve the dispute. Unfortunately, the undersigned cannot refer this matter to the Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program ("VDRP") at this time, because the court's docket and the plaintiff's most recent filing (Dkt. No. 6) both reflect that plaintiffs Marion Russell Harris and Pamela Ann Harris are proceeding without counsel and appearing pro se in this dispute. Eastern District Local Rule 271(a)(2)(ii) provides that civil disputes can be referred to VDRP "except . . . actions in which one of the parties is appearing pro se."
While the undersigned cannot refer the dispute to VDRP at this time, however, the undersigned would certainly entertain a joint stipulated request for an early settlement conference in accordance with Eastern District Local Rule 270. In such an event, the settlement conference will be conducted by another judge, or pursuant to Local Rule 270(b), such a stipulated request could include all parties' affirmative requests that the assigned Magistrate Judge participate in the settlement conference and, further, could include all parties' written waivers of any claims of disqualification to the assigned Magistrate Judge acting in the case thereafter.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiffs' request for referral to the Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program is denied pursuant to Eastern District Local Rule 271(a)(2)(ii).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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