IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
November 20, 2012
MARIA CHRISTINA STEIN, AKA MARY STEIN, PLAINTIFF,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST TO COUNTRYWIDE BANK, FSB; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC. AKA "MERS", DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. Senior United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY AND REOPEN DISCOVERY AFTER DISCOVERY COMPLETION DATE HAS PASSED*fn1
Plaintiff filed a motion on November 16, 2012, in which she requests "1) this Court to compel Defendants to answer [written] Discovery propounded; and 2) to extend the Discovery time period to allow same." (Pl.'s Mot. 6:14-15.) In essence, Plaintiff argues the requested relief should be granted because she and Defendants "agreed to concentrate on settling this matter[,]" but were unsuccessful, and Defendants are now refusing to respond to written discovery that Plaintiff propounded after the discovery completion date. (Pl.'s Mot. 3:9-12, 4:6-10; Decl. of Richard Sinclair in Supp. of Mot. ¶¶ 3-4.) Plaintiff further argues that "Plaintiff's counsel thought [the] parties were putting discovery on hold to try to settle the matter[, but] Defendant[s] obviously thought differently . . . ." Id. at 4:6-9.
Plaintiff's request to "compel Defendants to answer [the propounded written] Discovery" is DENIED, since the January 25, 2012 Minute Order (ECF No. 49) required all discovery to be completed by July 24, 2012. See Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992)(indicating motions filed after the deadlines set in a scheduling order are untimely and may be denied solely on that ground). The May 19, 2011 Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order notified the parties that in this context, "'completed' means that all discovery shall have been conducted so . . . any disputes relative to discovery shall have been resolved by appropriate orders, if necessary . . . ." (ECF No. 37, 2:7-13.)
Further, Plaintiff has not shown "good cause" to extend the discovery completion date. "A schedul[ing order] may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). "Rule 16(b)'s 'good cause' standard primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment. . . . Moreover, carelessness is not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers no reason for a grant of relief . . . . If [the movant] was not diligent, the inquiry should end." Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609. Assuming arguendo that the parties agreed to "put discovery on hold to try to settle the matter[,]" such an agreement is ineffective without the Court's approval. Fed. R. Civ. P. 29(b)("a stipulation extending the time for any form of discovery must have court approval if it would interfere with the time set for completing discovery"). Therefore, Plaintiff's request to extend the discovery completion date is DENIED.