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Hiramanek v. Clark

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

July 28, 2016

ADIL HIRAMANEK, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
L. MICHAEL CLARK, et al., Defendants.

          FINAL PRETRIAL ORDER RE: DKT. NOS. 671, 675-678, 684-685, 688-689

          Ronald M. Whyte United States District Judge

         At the final pretrial conference in this matter, the court requested supplemental briefing on several matters. That briefing and more has now been received. The court rules as follows.

         I. LODGING OF EXHIBITS

         As stated in this court’s prior orders, the parties must provide the court with copies of any proposed, case-in-chief trial exhibits in advance of trial.[1] The court needs to see those exhibits so that it can rule on any evidentiary objections. By 3:30 pm on Friday, July 29, 2016, plaintiffs shall lodge with the undersigned judge’s courtroom deputy electronic copies of any exhibits that they plan to offer in their case-in-chief at trial.

         It appears that the only two exhibits on which defendant seeks to rely are two state court orders declaring Mr. Hiramanek a vexatious litigant which have already been filed on ECF.[2] See Dkt. No. 676. If the court is mistaken about defendant’s submissions, defendant must also comply with the July 29, 2016 lodging deadline. Upon a party’s request, the court can return the storage medium (e.g. a thumb drive or DVD) used to deliver the exhibits, after the court has copied the storage medium’s contents.

         II. TRIAL SCHEDULE

         The trial of plaintiffs’ claims against defendant Miller will commence with jury selection at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2, 2016. The proceedings will commence each day at 9:00 a.m. with appropriate meal and rest breaks except on August 5 when the hours of the session may have to be modified. The presentation of the case should be completed on or before August 5. If for some unexpected reason the presentation of the case has not been completed by August 5, the trial will resume on August 15.

         Mr. Hiramanek asserts that Ms. Hiramanek has a doctor’s appointment scheduled for August 3, 2016 at 10 a.m. Dkt. No. 688 Ex. A. Nevertheless, Mr. Hiramanek asserts that “Plaintiffs’ [sic] do not have the option of a fourth rescheduled trial date.” Dkt. No. 688 at 3. If Ms. Hiramanek is unable to reschedule her doctor’s appointment, the court will consider adjusting the schedule for August 3.[3]

         Each side will be allotted 8 hours of presentation time, including opening statements, but not including closing statements or jury selection. Any time a party takes seeking to present inadmissible material may be deducted from that party’s presentation time. Similarly, if any party makes repeated, meritless objections, the court may deduct time from the objecting party’s allotment.

         III. JURY SELECTION AND VOIR DIRE

         The court will question potential jurors and will take the parties’ proposals for voir dire questions into account in determining which questions it will ask. The voir dire process the court will use is as follows. The court will initially examine twenty prospective jurors and then allow counsel for each side up to ten minutes for follow-up questions. After the parties exercise any challenges for cause (to be done at sidebar outside the hearing of the prospective jurors), the courtroom deputy will hand the parties a list with the prospective jurors numbered one through the number of prospective jurors who remain after challenges for cause. The parties will then pass the list between themselves exercising up to three peremptory challenges (three per side maximum). A pass does not count as a challenge. After the parties exercise their peremptory challenges, the examined jurors will be asked to return to the public seats in the courtroom and the eight who will serve as the jury will be called back to the jury box by the courtroom deputy. The jurors will be the first eight unchallenged prospective jurors on the list provided to the parties.

         IV. EXAMINATION AND PRESENTATION OF EVIDENCE

         The court is aware that both plaintiffs are representing themselves and that Mr. Hiramanek has been assisting Ms. Hiramanek in preparation of this case. Plaintiffs must understand that Mr. Hiramanek cannot act as Ms. Hiramanek’s attorney, but the court will allow some leeway to assist Ms. Hiramanek in presenting her case. The plaintiffs may call each other as witnesses. Alternatively, the court will allow the Hiramaneks to provide their direct testimony in a narrative fashion, assuming they limit their narratives to relevant testimony. If they fail to do so, they will be required to ask themselves questions or announce the intended subject matter of testimony to come so that the court can determine the testimony’s relevance to issues remaining in the case. For example, testimony regarding alleged failure to accommodate a disability is irrelevant to issues remaining in the case.

         V. ...


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