The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Judge
Present: The Honorable A. HOWARD MATZ, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephen Montes Not Reported
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys NOT Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys NOT Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS (No Proceedings Held)
This case was transferred back to the Court on April 27, 2010 after a trial in front of Judge William D. Keller and an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. For the reasons set forth below, the Court DISMISSES the action in its entirety.
The parties are familiar with the factual circumstances of this action, which resulted from the practice of the City of Los Angeles ("Defendant" or "City") of towing trailers owned by plaintiff Lone Star Security & Video, Inc. ("Plaintiff") that functioned as advertising billboards. Plaintiff moved for summary judgment on two of its claims:
(1) that Defendant's actions violated its due process rights because Defendant did not provide adequate notice before towing its vehicles; and (2) the municipal code section relied upon by Defendant was preempted by the California Vehicle Code. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff on the invalid-ordinance claim and denied summary judgment on the notice-related claim.
The parties were unable to settle and the case proceeded to trial. On July 16, 2007, Plaintiff and Defendant agreed to the form and content of a final Pretrial Conference Order ("Order"). Paragraph 7 of that Order states, "The sole issue remaining to be tried is the amount of damages to be awarded to plaintiffs." Exhibit A to Defendant's Reply at
8. Paragraph 14 states that the Order "shall supersede the pleadings and govern the course of the trial of this cause, unless modified to prevent manifest injustice." Exhibit A to Opp. at 9. At the final pretrial conference, the Court had the following colloquy with counsel for Plaintiff:
The Court: Let's go back. . . . How are you going to prove your case on damages?
Mr. Wallace: Your honor, my understanding is that the sole issue is ...