IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
February 16, 2012
PATRICK OTIS NELSON, PLAINTIFF,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Carolyn K. Delaney United States Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis with an action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On September 28, 2011, the court received plaintiff's pre-trial statement (Docket No. 50). Defendant has filed objections to the pre-trial statement, arguing that he cannot fashion a pre-trial statement in response because it lacks the elements required by Local Rule 281. Defendant has also filed a request that he be relieved of submitting a pre-trial statement until plaintiff has filed a proper pre-trial statement.
The court finds that defendant's objections and request are well taken. Plaintiff's pre-trial statement does not comply with Rule 281, which sets out numerous, particularized requirements for litigants to present to the court and all other parties in a pre-trial statement. See especially Local Rule 281(b). The purpose of the rule is to channel the parties' intentions as clearly as possible with respect to disputed and undisputed facts, proposed exhibits and witnesses, motions in limine and other pre-trial objections, and numerous other issues, into a single document so that the court can prepare efficiently and effectively for trial. Plaintiff's first attempt to comply with Rule 281 does not meet this purpose: it contains a long statement of his case and mentions numerous documents and witnesses that might be relevant if submitted, but the court cannot be sure from the statement exactly what plaintiff intends to produce or argue at trial. The court will therefore order plaintiff to submit an amended pre-trial statement, one that complies with Rule 281.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendant's request to suspend the deadline for submitting a pre-trial order (Docket No. 48) is granted.
2. Plaintiff shall submit an amended pre-trial statement in compliance with Rule 281 no later than thirty days after the entry of this order.
3. Defendant shall submit a pre-trial statement within fourteen days of service of plaintiff's pre-trial statement.
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