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Carrie Hawecker, et al v. Rawland Leon Sorenson

May 25, 2012

CARRIE HAWECKER, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
RAWLAND LEON SORENSON, DEFENDANT.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAWLAND LEON SORENSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jennifer L. Thurston United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND THE SCHEDULING ORDER BY PLAINTIFFS HAWECKER AND BROUSSARD (Doc. 136) ORDER DISREGARDING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY (Doc. 137)

Carrie Hawecker and Michelle Broussard ("Plaintiffs") seek to amend the scheduling order to file a motion to compel defendant Rawland Leon Sorenson ("Defendant") to produce financial information, and on order directing Defendant to produce the documents requested. (Docs. 136-37). (Doc. 118). On May 25, 2012, the Court heard argument regarding Plaintiffs' motions. Defendant neither filed an opposition nor appeared at the hearing.

For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs' motions to amend the scheduling is DENIED, and the motion to compel is DISREGARDED.

I. Relevant Procedural History

Plaintiffs initiated this action by filing a complaint against Defendant on January 15, 2010. (Doc. 1). Plaintiffs allege violations of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 3604 and 3617), and the 4 California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Gov. Code § 12955, et seq.), and the California 5 Unruh Civil Rights Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 51 et seq.), and the California Business and Professions 6 Code § 17200, et seq. (Doc. 1 at 9-10). In addition, Plaintiffs raise claims for unfair business practices 7 under the California Business and Professions Code § 17200, et seq., and wrongful eviction under the 8 California Code of Civil Procedure §§1159 and 1160. Id. at 10. Given these allegations, Plaintiffs 9 seek compensatory and punitive damages. Id. at 11.

Plaintiffs propounded their first set of interrogatories and first requests for production of documents on March 16, 2010, to which Defendant responded on April 22, 2010. (Doc. 50 at 1, 5). Following Defendant's deposition in September 2010, Plaintiffs propounded a request for supplementation on September 12, 2010, requesting that Defendant produce responsive documents identified during his deposition that had not yet been produced. Id. at 13. Plaintiffs asserted the production was insufficient because responsive documents had not been produced, and those produced were inadequate to calculate Defendant's net worth, as they are entitled to do given the claim for punitive damages. Therefore, Plaintiffs moved to compel discovery responses on December 17, 2010 (Doc. 45), which was granted in part and denied in part by the Court. (Doc. 57).

On March 25, 2011, the Government initiated a separate action against Defendant, alleging he violated the Fair Housing Act by engaging in a pattern or practice of sexually harassing female tenants and prospective tenants. (See United States of Am. v. Sorenson, Case. No. 1:11-cv-00511-OWW-JLTDoc. 1).*fn1 The Government filed a notice of the related case, and Plaintiffs moved to consolidate the cases. (Docs. 77-78). Plaintiffs' motion to consolidate was granted on April 29, 2012. (Doc. 89).

The Court issued a scheduling order for the consolidated action on June 20, 2011. (Doc. 95).

Pursuant to the order, the parties were "to complete all discovery, including experts, on or before 3 March 2, 2012." Id. at 6. In addition, non-dispositive pre-trial motions were to be filed on or before 4 March 16, 2012. Id. at 7. On March 2, 2012, Plaintiffs moved to amend the scheduling order for the 5 sole purpose of conducting discovery regarding Defendant's financial net worth. (Docs. 108, 109). 6

On March 12, 2012, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion, and extended the discovery deadline to April 7 11, 2012, "but only as to inquiries into Defendant's statement related to his purported $16 million net 8 worth and the disposition of that worth." (Doc. 114 at 3) (emphasis in original). The Court further 9 ordered, "No other amendments to the scheduling order are authorized." (Doc. 114 at 4)

In compliance with the Court's scheduling order, Plaintiffs filed a motion to compel further responses to the first set of interrogatories propounded by Michelle Broussard and the second set of interrogatories propounded by Carrie Hawecker. (Doc. 118; Doc. 126 at 2). The Court granted Plaintiffs' motion in part, and ordered Defendant to serve an amended response to Plaintiff Hawecker's Special Interrogatories, Set One, Numbers 18, 19 and 21 within twenty-one days of service of the order, which was issued on April 16, 2012. (Doc. 129 at 4).

On May 4, 2012, Plaintiffs filed an ex parte application for an order shortening time to hear a motion to amend the scheduling order to enable filing of a motion to compel Defendant to respond to the second set of interrogatories propounded by Michelle Broussard. (Doc. 134). The Court granted the ex parte application on May 7, 2012. (Doc. 135). In doing so, the Court ordered, "The Court will first consider whether Plaintiffs have demonstrated good cause to amend the scheduling order to allow a non-dispositive motion to be considered out of time. Only if this showing is made, will the Court consider the discovery motion." (Doc. 135 at 2, n.1).

On May 10, 2012, Plaintiffs filed the motions to amend the scheduling order and to compel discovery ...


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