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Lefay v. Lefay

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 23, 2014

SHARRON LeFAY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WILLIAM CHARLES LeFAY, et al., Defendants.

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (ECF No. 67)

MICHAEL J. SENG, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order modifying the scheduling order to consider Defendants disclosure of experts as timely.[1] (ECF No. 65.) Defendant City of Fresno opposed the motion. (ECF No 68.) Having taken the matter under submission and having carefully considered the parties' briefs, as well as the entire record in the case, Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

This is a 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 civil rights action, with multiple supplemental state law claims, arising out of Defendants' actions obtaining a medical commitment of Sharron LeFay against her will under California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5150. (See generally, 1st Am. Compl., ECF No. 17.) This action was initiated in this Court on August 24, 2013. (Compl., ECF No. 1.) On December 16, 2013, a Scheduling Order was issued directing the parties to disclose expert witnesses on or before July 18, 2014, with supplementation, if any, of the disclosures to be made on or before August 18, 2014. (Sched. Order, ECF No. 15.) The parties were ordered to complete all discovery by September 19, 2014. (Id.)

At the request of the parties, the Court extended the expert designation deadline to August 18, 2014, and the supplemental designation deadline to September 1, 2014. (Order, ECF No. 30.)

Defendants did not fully comply with the expert disclosure requirements. They timely identified their expert witnesses, but did not timely provide expert reports as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2).

Plaintiffs' counsel identified Darrel York as a police practices expert and served his written report on Defendants' counsel on August 18, 2014. Counsel for Defendant City of Fresno timely designated Joe Callanan as a police practices expert and Dwight Sievert, M.D., as a psychiatric expert. However service of the reports of these two experts was not made until August 29, 2014, and September 17, 2014, respectively. Defendant William LeFay timely designated a psychiatrist, Howard Terrell, M.D., but did not submit a report.

Plaintiffs objected to Defendants' failure to fully comply with Rule 26(a)(2). In response, Defendants, the City of Fresno and police officers Gleim, Gomez, Vandeursen, and Panabaker (collectively, the "City"), and Defendant William LeFay separately filed motions for an order modifying the Scheduling Order to allow additional time for expert disclosure and discovery of Defendants' experts. (Mot., ECF No. 38, 40.) The matter was briefed and argued before the Court on October 24, 2014.

In the motions, Defendants attributed their failure to fully disclose experts timely to delays by Plaintiffs. The City argues that it was not able to produce Dr. Sievert's report because it was waiting on Sharron LeFay's medical records and deposition and that it was not able to provide Mr. Callanan's report due to delay in obtaining records from the Sacramento sheriff's office. Defendant William LeFay argued that he was unable to produce Dr. Terrell's expert report due to the delay in obtaining Sharron LeFay's medical records and deposition.

On November 18, 2014, the Court granted Defendants' motions to amend the scheduling order. (ECF No. 65.) The Court found that there was not a willful failure to comply with the rules or bad faith on the part of either of the Defendants, and that all the parties contributed to innocent, good faith delays. Further, the Court found that there was no prejudice created by the delay. The Court noted that there was no prejudice because the "City and its expert have declared under penalty of perjury that the report as belatedly exchanged was drafted without City's expert having considered the Plaintiffs' police practices expert's report." (Order, ECF No. 65 at 10.) To prevent against further prejudice, the Court ordered that Plaintiffs would have the opportunity to depose Defendants' experts and that Defendants' expert on police practices, Joseph Callanan, be limited to those opinions and testimony in his written report and that he not comment on the opinions made by Plaintiffs' expert York in his timely filed report. (Id. at 11-12.)

B. The Parties' Arguments

On November 19, 2014, Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of the Court's Order modifying the ...


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