United States District Court, E.D. California
March 7, 2014
TINA PATEL, Plaintiff,
NAVINBHAI PATEL, et al., Defendants.
KENDALL J. NEWMAN, Magistrate Judge.
A status (pre-trial scheduling) conference in this matter is presently set for March 27, 2014. (ECF No. 6.) On March 6, 2014, all parties filed a joint status report, along with a stipulation to submit the action to the court's Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program ("VDRP"). (ECF Nos. 7, 8.)
In light of the parties' stipulation to participate in the VDRP, the court defers scheduling the case until after completion of the VDRP process. However, pursuant to the parties' agreement in the joint status report, the parties shall exchange initial disclosures no later than April 2, 2014. Furthermore, although formal discovery is stayed until completion of the VDRP process, the parties may informally agree to conduct any discovery they deem necessary to prepare for the VDRP session.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The case is referred to the VDRP.
2. The parties are directed to review the requirements of the Program outlined in Local Rule 271 and shall contact the court's VDRP coordinator, Sujean Park, within fourteen (14) days of this order to initiate the process of selecting a neutral. The VDRP coordinator may be contacted by telephone at (916) 930-4278 or by e-mail at SPark@caed.uscourts.gov.
3. Within 90 days of this order, the parties shall inform the court in a joint written statement whether the program successfully resolved the case. The court will then set a further status conference, if necessary. If the case settles at any time, the parties shall forthwith file a notice of settlement, along with an indication of the time needed to finalize any dispositional documents.
4. If the parties require a brief extension of time to complete the VDRP process, the parties shall file a stipulation and proposed order to that effect, setting forth the reasons for the delay and the specific date for which the VDRP session has been scheduled.
5. Failure to comply with the terms of this order, including the requirement to timely update the court as to the status of the case, may result in the imposition of monetary or other appropriate sanctions.
6. The March 27, 2014 status conference is VACATED.
7. The parties shall exchange their initial disclosures no later than April 2, 2014, and may informally conduct any additional discovery they deem necessary to prepare for the VDRP session.
8. The Clerk of Court shall serve a copy of this order on the VDRP coordinator.
IT IS SO ORDERED.