This case, in which plaintiffs are proceeding pro se, was referred to the undersigned under Local Rule 302(c)(21), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). On November 28, 2012, defendants Portfolio Acquisitions, LLC and NCC, a Division of Commonwealth Financial Systems, Inc., filed a motion to modify the court's scheduling order. Dckt. No. 152. The motion was originally noticed for hearing on January 9, 2013. Id.
Then, on December 5, 2012, defendants filed an ex parte application to have that motion heard on shortened time. Dckt. No. 153. Defendants contend that "[a]n order shortening time is necessary to avoid additional costs and expenses of preparing motions, oppositions, and reply briefs in support of motions to compel depositions and motions to compel discovery responses," and "to avoid consumption of judicial resources associated with hearing the anticipated motions to compel." Id. at 2. Defendants anticipate filing those motions to compel on or before December 14, 2012. Limberg Decl., Dckt. No. 153-1, ¶ 3. Therefore, defendants request that the motion to modify the court's scheduling order be heard on the court's next available law and motion date and that an abbreviated briefing schedule be set. Dckt. No. 153 at 2. Defendants' counsel also declares that on December 3, 2012 and December 5, 2012, he attempted to contact plaintiffs by phone in order to discuss a revised stipulation to continue the case management deadlines, but the calls did not go through. Limberg Decl. ¶¶ 5, 8. Also on December 3, 2012, plaintiffs' counsel sent correspondence and a revised stipulation to continue the case management dates to plaintiffs via both Federal Express and email. Id. ¶ 6. Although the Federal Express tracking sheet indicates that the package was delivered to plaintiffs on December 4, 2012 at 9:23 a.m., plaintiffs have not responded. Id. ¶ 7. Defense counsel sent a further email to plaintiffs on December 5, 2012, but that email was returned as undeliverable. Id.
Eastern District of California Local Rule 144(e) provides that "[e]x parte applications to shorten time will not be granted except upon affidavit of counsel showing a satisfactory explanation for the need for the issuance of such an order and for the failure of counsel to obtain a stipulation for the issuance of such an order from other counsel or parties in the action." Here, defendants have provided a satisfactory explanation for the need for the issuance of an order shortening time and for the failure of counsel to obtain a stipulation for the issuance of such an order. Therefore, the application for an order shortening time on defendants' motion to modify the scheduling order will be granted.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. Defendants' application for an order shortening time, Dckt. No. 153, is granted.
2. Defendants' motion to modify the scheduling order, Dckt. No. 152, will be heard on Thursday, December 13, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom No. 24.
3. On or before December 10, 2012, plaintiffs shall file either an opposition or a statement of non-opposition to defendants' motion to modify the court's scheduling order, Dckt. No. 152.
4. On or before December 12, 2012, defendants may file a reply to plaintiffs' response. SO ORDERED.
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