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Jose M. Arteaga and Maria D. Arteaga v. Wells Fargo Bank

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 23, 2012

JOSE M. ARTEAGA AND MARIA D. ARTEAGA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., A/K/A WACHOVIA MORTGAGE, REGIONAL TRUSTEE SERVICES CORPORATION, AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

Now before the Court is Defendant Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.'s ("Wells") Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint of Plaintiffs Jose M. and Maria D. Arteaga ("Plaintiffs"). ECF Nos. 15 ("Mot."), ("Am. Compl."). Defendant Regional Trustee Service Corporation ("Regional") joins in Wells's motion. ECF No. 17. The motion is 20 fully briefed. ECF Nos. 19 ("Opp'n"), 20 ("Reply").

The motion was set for hearing on June 22, 2012. On June 18, 2012, the Court approved a stipulation signed by Wells, Regional, 23 and Plaintiffs, opting to participate in an alternative dispute 24 resolution ("ADR") process, specifically, court-sponsored 25 mediation. ECF No. 26 ("ADR Order"). The ADR Order gave the 26 parties until September 18, 2012 to complete the mediation. See 27 id. (setting deadline of ninety days following signature date of 28 order). On June 20, 2012, the Court vacated the June 22 hearing.

The purpose of mediation is to explore and, if possible, 2 achieve a compromise settlement. The Ninth Circuit is firmly committed to the rule that the law favors and encourages compromise settlements. There is an overriding public interest in settling and quieting litigation. It is well recognized that settlement agreements are judicially favored as a matter 6 of sound public policy. Settlement agreements conserve judicial time and limit expensive litigation. Ahern v. Cent. Pac. Freight Lines, 846 F.2d 47, 48 (9th Cir. 1988) 8 7 (internal quotation marks, citations, brackets omitted). In view 9 of these policies, the Court is reluctant to rule on a dispositive 10 motion while the parties are engaging, or about to engage, in mediation.

First, mediation, like ADR generally, holds out the 12 possibility of voluntary resolution of this matter without coercive intervention by the Court. Second, the principle of judicial economy counsels the Court to avoid devoting resources to deciding a dispositive motion when the parties have selected an ADR process which, if successful, will result in voluntary dismissal of the case. Even if mediation does not result in settlement, it may 18 narrow or reframe the issues of the case such that the motion now 19 before the Court becomes partly or even wholly moot. 20

Accordingly, the Court DENIES Wells's motion to dismiss 21 without prejudice. Wells has leave to re-notice the motion at a 22 later date. 23 24

IT IS SO ORDERED.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

20120723

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