IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
June 14, 2012
MARVIN GLENN HOLLIS, PLAINTIFF,
PHILLIP SLOAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Counsel for defendant David Dennis moves to stay all further proceedings against him, on the ground that defendant is medically incapacitated and unable to defend himself in this action. (Dkt. No. 102.) This motion is responsive to the court's March 13, 2012 order, which granted defendant Dennis' requested exclusion from discovery for a period of ninety days, and directed defense counsel to inform the court in writing, at the end of this period, about the status of defendant's health. (Dkt. No. 85.) Defendant's instant motion was filed in tandem with a request to seal the June 7, 2012 declaration of defendant's treating physician, Dr. S.K. Uppal, M.D. (Dkt. No. 104.) As summarized in defendant's motion to stay, Dr. Uppal's declaration provides in pertinent part (Dkt. No. 102 at 2):
Defendant Dennis has become medically incapacitated. (Exhibit A, Declaration of S. K. Uppal, M.D.) Defendant Dennis is unable to communicate with his attorneys, respond to discovery, or testify at court. (Exhibit A, Declaration of S. K. Uppal, M.D.) Defendant Dennis's treating physician believes that he will be medically incapacitated for the foreseeable future. (Exhibit A, Declaration of S. K. Uppal, M.D.)
The court has reviewed in camera the declaration submitted confidentially by Dr. Uppal, and concludes that it supports a reasonable finding that defendant Dennis is medically unable to participate in this action, both at this time and in the foreseeable future. The court also finds that staying this action as to defendant Dennis will not materially impact the merits of plaintiff's allegations against the other defendants.
Accordingly, for good cause shown, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendant Dennis' request to seal the June 7, 2012 declaration of Dr. S.K. Uppal, M.D. (Dkt. No. 104), is granted;
2. The Clerk of Court is directed to file under seal the June 7, 2012 declaration of Dr. S.K. Uppal, M.D.;
3. Defendant Dennis' motion to stay this action as to him (Dkt. No. 102), is granted, pending further order of this court;
4. Defense counsel shall promptly inform the court if defendant Dennis' health improves enough to participate in this action; in the meantime, defense counsel shall, every six months, commencing six months after the filing date of this order, inform the court in writing about the status of defendant Dennis' health.
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