UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 31, 2012
CONRAD BRAUN, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND ALL OTHER SIMILARLY SITUATED CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS, PLAINTIFF,
SAVEOLOGY.COM, LLC, A FLORIDA CORPORATION, AND ELEPHANT GROUP, INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Mitchell D. Dembin U.S. Magistrate Judge
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S EX PARTE MOTION FOR EXPEDITED DISCOVERY REGARDING SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS IN AN ALLEGEDLY RELATED CASE [ECF No. 33]
On August 30, 2012, Plaintiff filed an ex parte motion seeking an Order authorizing expedited discovery of settlement discussions in an allegedly related class action pending in the Northern District of Illinois. (ECF No. 33). Plaintiff complains that the Illinois case should have been disclosed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Plaintiff also asserts that Defendants should have notified Plaintiff and filed a related case notice under this Court's Civil Local Rule 40.1(f). (Id.).
Plaintiff's motion does not bring before the Court a discovery or other justiciable dispute with Defendants. Plaintiff, it appears, has not sought discovery regarding the allegedly related case resulting in objections by Defendants. Unless and until discovery is sought and objections are interposed, there is nothing for this Court to decide. In the event a discovery dispute develops, the parties are referred to this Court's Civil Chambers Rules regarding the appropriate manner to proceed.
Plaintiff's assertion that the Illinois litigation should have been disclosed as part of Defendants' initial disclosures under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a) is not properly before the Court. It is not entirely clear that Rule 26(a) requires this disclosure. Even if it did, Defendants are under a duty to supplement their disclosures in a timely manner as required by Rule 26(e). If a party fails to disclose or timely supplement a disclosure, the matter may be brought before the Court as a discovery dispute as provided in the Court's Civil Chambers Rules. Such a motion is not before the Court at this time.
Civil Local Rule 40.1 imposes on counsel the obligation to disclose to all parties related cases, as defined in Civ.L.R 40.1(g), and to file with the Court a notice of related case. Id. at 40.1(f). That obligation is not limited to any particular party. The case pending in the Northern District of Illinois involves a different Plaintiff and a different Defendant. Elephant Group, Inc., a co-defendant in this case, allegedly is a counterclaim defendant in the other case. Plaintiff alleges that the factual and legal issues are similar enough to require disclosure and notice. To the extent counsel for Plaintiff reasonably believes that the other case is related, the obligation of disclosure and notice falls to Plaintiff.
The violations alleged by Plaintiff do not present a controversy to be decided by the Court. Even if the alleged violations were proved, it is unclear that allowing Plaintiff to discover or participate in settlement proceedings in another case, related or not, would be an appropriate remedy.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED. IT IS SO ORDERED.
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