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Robert Hecker, et al v. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


April 11, 2013

ROBERT HECKER, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND REHABILITATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

ORDER

Plaintiffs are state prisoners proceeding through counsel with a proposed class action raising claims under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and California Government Code § 11135. This action is proceeding on plaintiffs' second amended complaint, filed October 20, 2006. The action was stayed by order filed March 15, 2007, and is now set for hearing before the undersigned on April 19, 2013 on plaintiffs' March 1, 2013 renewed motion to lift the stay.

Plaintiffs previously filed a motion to lift the stay of this action on September 19, 2012. By order filed October 19, 2012 (ECF No. 102), plaintiffs' motion was denied without prejudice to its renewal, as appropriate, not later than March 1, 2013. During the intervening period, the parties were directed to meet and confer, under the guidance of the Coleman special master to: (1) identify which, if any, issues raised in the second amended complaint have been resolved through the Coleman remedial process; (2) identify which, if any, issues raised in the second amended complaint remain in dispute; (3) as to any remaining issues so identified, which of those are or could be resolved in the Coleman remedial process; and (4) which, if any, of the claims raised in the second amended complaint cannot be resolved through the Coleman remedial process and why they cannot be so resolved.

Order filed October 19, 2012 (ECF No. 102) at 3. The October 19, 2012 order further provided that any renewed motion to lift the stay "must be accompanied by a joint report by the parties and approved by the Coleman special master addressing the four topics" outlined in the order. Id.

On March 1, 2013, plaintiffs renewed their motion to lift the stay. In relevant part, that motion is accompanied by a joint status report in which plaintiffs represent that on January 7, 2013, defendants filed a motion to terminate the Coleman action and, following that filing, the parties and the Coleman Special Master agreed that no further meetings would be productive at that time. (Joint Status Report filed March 1, 2013 (ECF No. 103-1) at 2-3.) In their opposition to plaintiffs' motion, filed April 4, 2013, defendants contend, inter alia, that the motion to lift the stay is premature while Coleman remains pending. (See Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Relief from Stay filed April 4, 2013 (ECF No. 106) at 9.) On April 5, 2013, the district court denied defendants' motion to terminate Coleman. (See Order filed April 5, 2013 in Coleman v. Brown, No. 2:90-cv-0520 LKK JFM P (ECF No. 4539).)

After review of the record, and good cause appearing, the court will direct the parties to resume the meet and confer process required by the court's October 19, 2012 order. The parties will be granted an additional period of four months to complete that process. Finally, plaintiffs' motion to lift the stay will again be denied without prejudice.

In accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The parties shall resume the meet and confer process required by the court's October 19, 2012 order (ECF No. 102);

2. The meet and confer process required by this order shall be completed by August 16, 2013.

3. Plaintiffs' March 1, 2013 motion for relief from stay (ECF No. 103) is denied without prejudice to its renewal, as appropriate, not later than September 5, 2013. Any renewed motion must be accompanied by a joint report by the parties and approved by the Coleman special master addressing the four topics outlined above and in the court's October 19, 2012 order.

4. The hearing set for April 19, 2013 before the undersigned is dropped from calendar.

5. The Clerk of the Court is directed to serve a copy of this order on Matthew A. Lopes, Jr., Esq., Pannone Lopes & Devereaux LLC, 317 Iron Horse Way, Suite 301, Providence, RI 02908.

20130411

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