IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
November 26, 2012
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
JAMES O. MOLEN ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge
Defendant James Molen ("defendant") is proceeding without counsel in this action.*fn1 On November 19, 2012, defendant filed a document styled as a "Motion to Compel." (Mot. to Compel, Dkt. No. 123.) Defendant selected December 13, 2012, as the hearing date for that motion. (Id.)
Defendant's motion is denied without prejudice to refiling. Previously, defendant filed two duplicative "Motions to Compel," (Dkt. Nos. 48-49), both of which were denied without prejudice to refiling based upon defendant's non-compliance with the rules governing discovery motions.*fn2 (Order, Dkt. No. 65.) Here again, the undersigned denies defendant's pending Motion to Compel (Dkt. No. 123) without prejudice for the same reasons.
Defendant's pending motion is denied for failure to comply with the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules. As mandated by Local Rule 251, the parties must meet and confer, preferably in person or via telephone, prior to the filing of any motion to compel or other discovery motion. If that meet and confer effort is unsuccessful, the moving party shall draft and file a document entitled Joint Statement re: Discovery Disagreement, and all parties shall assist in the preparation of that joint statement. E.D. Local Rule 251(c). Additionally, if all other Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules are complied with, the moving party must contact the undersigned's courtroom deputy clerk to set that particular dispute on the court's calendar prior to filing any Joint Statement.
No Joint Statement was filed in connection with defendant's motion, defendant does not indicate that any such Joint Statement will be filed, and defendant does not address the meet and confer efforts regarding the discovery dispute that have occurred to date. Despite the pro se nature of this case, the court still requires the parties to timely and productively meet and confer. The court expects and encourages the parties to work together so as to avoid any unnecessary discovery disputes. Pro se litigants are bound by the rules of procedure, even though pleadings are liberally construed in their favor. King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987).
The denial of defendant's pending discovery motion (Dkt. No. 123) is without prejudice so that defendant may refile, if necessary, proper motion(s) to compel discovery that comply with the procedural and formatting requirements of Eastern District Local Rule 251. Defendant has already been directed to review and comply with Local Rule 251 in this case. (Order, Dkt. No. 65 at 2-4.) A continued failure to comply with the rules governing the filing of discovery motions may result in the summary denial of improperly-filed motions.
While defendant is proceeding without counsel in this case, he is again reminded that he is obligated to familiarize himself with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Eastern District of California Local Rules. Pro se litigants are afforded a degree of leniency with respect to their pleadings, but they are nonetheless required to comply with the rules of litigation procedure. King v. Atiyeh, 814 F.2d 565, 567 (9th Cir. 1987). As he has been advised previously (Order, Dkt. No. 65), in the future defendant's failures to comply with the rules of litigation procedure may subject him to sanctions, and improperly-filed motions may be summarily denied. Local Rule 183, governing persons appearing in pro se, provides that failure to comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules may be ground for dismissal, judgment by default, or other appropriate sanction. Local Rule 110 provides that failure to comply with the Local Rules "may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the inherent power of the Court." Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995).
Accordingly, defendant is again cautioned that future and continued noncompliance with the Local Rules and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure may result in monetary or other sanctions or the summary denial of improperly-filed and/or duplicative motions. Going forward, such motions waste of judicial time and resources and will not be tolerated. Defendant is again advised that a future failure to comply with the terms of this order may result in an order limiting his filings to only one motion pending at any time, as well as other limitations.
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT defendant's Motion to Compel (Dkt. No. 123) is denied without prejudice to refiling, and the hearing date currently set for that motion is hereby vacated.
IT IS SO ORDERED.