IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
March 14, 2012
J&J SPORTS PRODUCTIONS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
DARRELL LEIGH HUGHES ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gregory G. Hollows United States Magistrate Judge
On March 2, 2012, this matter was referred to the undersigned for pretrial scheduling and a status (pre-trial scheduling conference) was set for April 26, 2012. (Dkt. No. 6.) That same day, plaintiff filed an ex parte application to continue the scheduling conference and extend the time to complete service by an additional 30-45 days. (Dkt. No. 7.) The court's November 10, 2011 order setting status (pre-trial scheduling) conference required plaintiff to complete service of process within ninety (90) days of the date of the filing of the complaint. (Dkt. No. 5.) Because the complaint was filed on November 10, 2011, that deadline has already passed. (See Dkt. No. 1.)
Plaintiff attached documentation from the service of process vendor indicating that it has encountered difficulties with serving the defendants, because they are no longer at their former address and there is information that the individual defendants may be in a witness protection program. (Dkt. No. 7.) However, the documentation from the process server only documents one service attempt on each defendant in January, 2012, and plaintiff does not indicate what other efforts were made to locate and serve the defendants. (Id.)
The court will grant plaintiff a final extension of thirty (30) days to complete service of process. Plaintiff is put on notice that the court is not inclined to further extend the time to complete service, especially in light of the fact that the 120-day period under Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(m) has already passed. Additionally, the status (pre-trial) scheduling conference in this matter will be re-set for June 7, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. before the undersigned.
For the reasons discussed above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff's ex parte application (dkt. no. 7) is granted in part.
2. Plaintiff shall complete service of process on all defendants within 30 days of this order. Failure to complete service of process within that period will result in a recommendation that the unserved defendants be dismissed from the action.
3. The status (pre-trial) scheduling conference currently set for April 26, 2012 is vacated and reset for June 7, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 9 before the undersigned. No later than seven (7) days prior to the conference, the parties shall file a joint status report.
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