IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
September 27, 2012
CALIFORNIA NATURAL PRODUCTS, PLAINTIFF,
CAMPBELL SOUP SUPPLY COMPANY, LLC, DEFENDANT.
On September 11, 2012, defendant filed a motion to compel plaintiff to produce documents or, alternatively, barring plaintiff from introducing documents at trial. Dckt. No. 15. The motion is noticed for hearing on October 3, 2012. Id.
Local Rule 251(a) requires the parties to a discovery dispute to file a Joint Statement Re Discovery Disagreement at least seven days before the scheduled hearing date, or in this instance, by September 26, 2012. E.D. Cal. L.R. 251(a). On September 26, 2012, the parties filed their Joint Statement. Dckt. No. 16. Therein, plaintiff indicates that it "intends to produce its additional responsive documents, and anticipates completing that production by or around October 3, 2012." Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff adds that it "is hopeful that it can complete its production prior to October 3, and thereby moot the motion entirely." Id. at 3. Nonetheless, defendant indicates that it has elected to proceed with the motion "[b]ecause [p]laintiff's document production is not complete" and it wants "to protect its position if [p]laintiff does not produce its additional responsive documents." Id. at 2.
The parties note that the discovery completion deadline in this action is October 3, 2012. Id. at 3; see also Oct. 26, 2011 Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order, Dckt. No. 9, at 2.As a result, plaintiff "requests that hearing on this matter be continued to October 17, 2012 to allow both the production and review of [p]laintiff's documents more than a week prior to the hearing, so that by October 10, if there are any remaining issues ([p]laintiff anticipates there will not be any), those can be addressed with the Court in an organized fashion." Id. at 3. Defendant indicates that it has no objection to moving the dates as plaintiff proposes. Id.
Unfortunately, in light of the October 3, 2012 discovery completion deadline, the undersigned cannot grant plaintiff's request for a continuance since this court has no authority to consider a discovery motion once the discovery deadline has passed. Plaintiff may file a motion or a stipulation to modify the pretrial scheduling order, but that motion and/or stipulation must be heard and decided by the district judge. Accordingly, plaintiff's request for a continuance of the October 3 hearing on defendant's motion to compel is denied.*fn1