The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Jay C. Gandhi, United States Magistrate Judge
Present: The Honorable Jay C. Gandhi, United States Magistrate Judge
Beatriz Martinez Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
None None Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY SANCTIONS
SHOULD NOT BE IMPOSED AGAINST DEFENDANTS AND DEFENDANTS' COUNSEL FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDER PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 16
The Court is contemplating the imposition of sanctions against Defendants and Defendants' counsel for an apparent violation of this Court's Order of March 7, 2012.
In alignment with Judge King's decision of June 20, 2012, [Dkt. No. 77.], the Court now provides Defendants and Defendants' counsel a specific opportunity to be heard before any sanctions are imposed, and to provide whatever showing and arguments Defendants and Defendants' counsel may wish to make on the matter. See Ayers v. City of Richmond, 895 F.2d 1267, 1270 (9th Cir. 1990).
The Court's bases for its sanctions are described in detail in this Court's decision of May 25, 2012. The parties are referred to that Order for additional detail. [Dkt. No.
In sum, the Court ordered Defendants and Defendants' lead counsel to be present for a settlement conference on May 10, 2012. [Dkt. No. 26.] The Court instructed that attendance was mandatory and that failure to comply would result in sanctions. None of the Defendants appeared for the settlement conference. Defendants' lead counsel also failed to appear. Defendants' counsel acknowledged their violation of the Court's March 7, 2012 Order, including the failure of Defendants to appear as ordered.
Nonetheless, the Court proceeded with the settlement conference because Plaintiffs and their lead counsel appeared, along with a Spanish-speaking interpreter for Plaintiffs. Unfortunately, the follow-up settlement conference proved unfruitful as well, and the non-appearances hampered the productivity and progress of discussions. See, e.g., Dunaway v. Estate of Aiken, 2011 WL 6211228, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 14, 2011) ("[C]court-ordered settlement conferences are serious attempts to settle claims and are intended to convey information helpful and important to the ultimate decision makers. The parties who attend settlement conferences owe it to each other and the court to take these conferences seriously.").
The Court intends to exercise its sanctioning authority under Fed. R. Civ. P. 16. See also Ayers, 895 F.2d at 1269; Ford v. Alfaro, 785 F.2d 835, 837 (9th Cir. 1990) (magistrate judge issued Rule 16 sanctions without questioning the judge's authority to do so); Grimes v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, 951 F.2d 236, 240 (9th Cir. 1991) (authority to sanction under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37); Maisonville v. F2 Am., Inc., 902 F.2d 746, 747 (9th Cir. 1990) (authority to sanction under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11).
The Court is contemplating sanctions in the following amounts:
1. Sanctions in the amount of $1,500.00 each as to Defendants Alvin Flynn and ...