The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller
On April 23, 2012, Plaintiff California Sportfishing Protection Alliance ("CSPA") requested this Court to extend the time for service of process on Pick and Pull Auto Dismantling, Inc., et al ("Defendants") .
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) allows a court to extend the time for service of summons and complaint upon a showing of good cause. CSPA, showing good cause, is hereby granted an extension of time for service of process on Defendants.
This case is brought under the Clean Water Act, which requires that Defendants be given written notice of intent to file suit 60 days before a suit is filed. 33 U.S.C. § 1365(b). CSPA sent Defendants a notice of intent to file suit on November 22, 2011, and subsequently filed its complaint on January 27, 2012. See Electronic Case File ("ECF") Docket No 1. The 120-day period for serving Defendants will run on April 26, 2012. However, on March 13, 2012, CSPA learned of additional facts relevant to the suit, and accordingly sent a supplemental 60-day notice of intent to file suit to Defendants. CSPA cannot file its first amended complaint, adding these new facts to the case, until May 14, 2012 -- after the 120 days for service on the complaint has run.
In addition, after filing the complaint, CSPA was contacted by Defendants' attorney, and has since entered into settlement negotiations with Defendants. The parties had their first settlement meeting on February 13, 2012. The parties conducted a site inspection of Defendants' facility in Rancho Cordova, California, on March 7, 2012. The parties had an additional settlement meeting on April 12, 2012. These settlement discussions are on going.
Granting this extension of time to serve will: 1) allow the parties to continue with their settlement discussions; and 2) allow CSPA to file its first amended complaint without additional expenditure of the Court's resources.
The Court thus grants CSPA's request to extend the time for service of process on Defendants to May 24, 2012.
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