United States District Court, S.D. California
GEORGE STOBA, and DAPHNE STOBA, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
SAVEOLOGY.COM, LLC; ELEPHANT GROUP, INC.; TIME WARNER CABLE, INC.; and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING EX PARTE MOTION TO APPROVE THE PARTIES' AGREEMENT RE: JOINT MOTIONS FOR DETERMINATION OF DISCOVERY DISPUTES CONCERNING PLAINTIFF'S DISCOVERY
[Dkt. No. 75]
NITA L. STORMES, Magistrate Judge.
This is a prospective class action alleging violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act, Cal. Pen. Code §§ 632 and 632.7(c)(1). Named Plaintiffs George Stoba and Daphne Stoba allege they were contacted on multiple occasions on their landline by a telemarking company, defendant Saveology.com, LLC. Defendant Elephant Group, Inc. (EGI) is the parent company of Saveology. Saveology made the contacts on behalf of defendant Time Warner Cable, Inc (TWC). The Stobas allege that their telephone calls were recorded without their consent and without the proper notice, all in violation of California law. They make these claims on behalf of a purported class of people physically located or residing in California. They also seek to certify a subclass for cell phone users.
By way of this ex parte application, Plaintiffs ask the court to approve-nunc pro tunc to June 25, 2015-the parties' alleged agreement to allow the filing of at least nine more Joint Motions for Determination of Discovery Disputes regarding the sufficiency of Saveology's and TWC's responses to various discovery requests. Plaintiffs seek the same form of relief that this court has already denied them in two prior orders. Defendants oppose the motion and ask for sanctions.
For the following reasons, the court DENIES the ex parte application and DENIES Defendants' request for sanctions.
This class action case was removed to this court in December 2013. Defendants filed partial motions to dismiss, which the district judge granted in part and denied in part. Defendants filed answers in August 2014. This court held an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) on September 24, 2014. The court summarizes below the remaining relevant procedural background and order of discovery exchanges:
In the September 25 order following the ENE, the court ordered the parties to hold the Rule 26(f) conference by October 8, 2014, exchange initial disclosures by October 31, 2014, complete class discovery by February 27, 2015, and file a motion for class certification by March 27, 2015. The court also expressly stated its rules regarding discovery disputes: "If the parties reach an impasse on any discovery issue, counsel shall, within forty-five (45) days of the date upon which the event giving rise to the dispute occurred, file a joint statement entitled, "Joint Motion for Determination of Discovery Dispute" with the Court (see attached "Chambers' Rules" on Discovery Disputes). [The attached rules state that] [f]or written discovery, the event giving rise to the discovery dispute is the service of the initial response, not the date on which counsel reach an impasse in meet and confer efforts." Dkt. No. 28.
On December 15, 2014-nearly three months after discovery opened- Plaintiffs served their first set of discovery on Saveology. Ex Parte App., p.2; Dkt. No. 33, ¶ 6.
On January 15, 2015-nearly four months after discovery opened-and without having served any discovery on any defendant other than Saveology-the parties jointly asked the court to extend the five-month class discovery period by an additional four months. Dkt. No 33.
On January 21, 2015, the court granted the joint motion in part, extending the class discovery and class certification motion filing deadlines by only two months instead of four months. Dkt. No. 34.
On February 11, 2015, Saveology objected to the first set of discovery. Ex Parte App., p.2.
On February 12, 2015-nearly five months after discovery opened- Plaintiffs served their first set of discovery on TWC. Ex Parte App., p.1.
On March 12, 2015-nearly two months after the court extended the class discovery deadline to April 27, 2015 and six months after discovery opened-Plaintiffs served their first set of discovery on EGI and second set of discovery on Saveology. Ex Parte App., p.1; Dkt. No. 42.
On March 24, 2015, TWC served its responses to Plaintiffs' first set of discovery. Ex Parte App., pp.1-2.
On March 25, 2015-citing an agreement to conduct a private mediation on April 1 and the outstanding discovery requests-the parties asked to continue the class discovery and class certification motion filing deadlines for an additional two months, on top of the seven ...