United States District Court, E.D. California
CHRISTINE L. CLARK, Plaintiff,
COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.
ORDER ORDER REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO SHOW CAUSE WHY
SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT ISSUE FOR FAILURE TO FILE OPENING BRIEF
FIVE DAY DEADLINE
Christine Clark filed a complaint on March 29, 2016
challenging the Commissioner of Social Security denial of
benefits. On February 17, 2017, the parties filed a
stipulation for an extension of time for Plaintiff to file
her opening brief. On February 21, 2017, an order issued
granting the parties stipulation to extend time. Pursuant to
the stipulation of the parties, Plaintiff's opening brief
was to be filed on or before March 23, 2017. Plaintiff did
not file an opening brief in compliance with the February 21,
the undersigned has entered orders addressing the failure of
counsel for Plaintiff to comply with deadlines in cases
before the Court. See Devore v. Comm. of Soc. Sec.,
No. 1:14-cv-00663-SAB (E.D. Cal. Jan. 8, 2015) (order to show
cause for failure to file opening brief); Kneeland v.
Comm. of Soc. Sec., No. 1:13-cv-01774-SAB (E.D. Cal.
Sept. 11, 2014) (same); Alanis v. Comm. of Soc.
Sec., No. 1:13-cv-01306-SAB (E.D. Cal. May 20, 2014)
(same); Walters v. Comm. of Soc. Sec., No.
1:14-cv-00827-SAB (E.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2014) (directing
Plaintiff to file notice of status of service); Hernandez
v. Comm. Soc. Sec., No. 1:15-cv-01684-SAB (same);
Holguin v. Comm. of Soc. Sec., No. 1:15-cv-00753-SAB
(E.D. Cal. Dec. 18, 2015) (same). Most recently in Duke
v. Comm. of Soc. Sec., No. 1:16-cv-00333-SAB (E.D.
Cal.), the Court issued an order requiring the plaintiff to
show cause for the failure to file an opening brief in
compliance with an order approving the stipulation of the
order discharging the order to show cause in Duke,
counsel was advised that while the Court was sympathetic to
his situation due to the tragic passing of his spouse,
“the issue in the Court's mind is that counsel has
continued to fail to put in place a system by which to track
due dates in pending cases.” (Duke, No.
1:16-cv-00333-SAB, ECF No. 17.) Counsel was advised that if
the plaintiff “needs additional time to comply with the
scheduling order then a stipulation or request for extension
needs to be filed prior to the due date.” Id.
had opening briefs due on March 23 and 24, 2017, in two
actions before this court, the current action and
Alvarado v. Comm. of Soc. Sec., No.
1:16-cv-00746-SAB (E.D. Cal.). Opening briefs were not timely
filed in either action. The Court finds this to be a systematic
issue in counsel's cases pending before the undersigned.
Further, the Court suspects that this is a systemic issue in
other cases in which counsel is representing the appellant in
a Social Security action. See Montalvo v. Comm. of Soc.
Sec., No. 1:16-cv-00606-BAM (E.D. Cal.) (opening brief
not filed by March 28, 2017 deadline); Messerli v. Comm.
Soc. Sec., No. 1:16-cv-00800-SKO (E. D. Cal.) (same);
DeJean v. Comm. of Soc. Sec., No. 1:16-cv-00319-EPG
(E.D. Cal.) (opening brief not filed by March 24, 2017
deadline). Due to the underlying circumstances of
counsel's spouse's illness, the Court has attempted
to be tolerant of the extensions of time and failure to
comply with the scheduling orders, but at this juncture the
Court is concerned that the lives and rights of counsel's
clients are being negatively affected by Plaintiff's
counsel's failure to comply with deadlines in these
the Court shall require counsel to show cause in writing why
sanctions should not issue for the failure to comply with
orders of this Court. Specifically, the Court shall require
Plaintiff's counsel to formulate a plan to address future
conformity with orders of this Court. Counsel shall file a
detailed plan addressing how he, along with members of his
firm, shall address the cases pending before the undersigned.
The Court shall also require the managing partner(s) of
counsel's firm to approve and sign the plan which is
submitted to this Court. The pending cases before the
undersigned which have not been fully briefed are: Duke
v. Commissioner of Social Security, No.
1:16-cv-00333-SAB; Clark v. Commissioner of Social
Security, No. 1:16-cv-00437-SAB; Alvarado v.
Commissioner of Social Security, No. 1:16-cv-00746-SAB;
Lira v. Commissioner of Social Security, No.
1:16-cv-01030-SAB; and Moreno v. Commissioner of Social
Security, No. 1:16-cv-01600-SAB. The Court shall also
require Plaintiffs counsel to serve this order on his client
and the managing partner(s) of his firm and file proofs of
service with the Court.
on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Within five (5) days from the entry of this order, Steven
Rosales shall file a detailed plan addressing how the
scheduling orders will be complied with in the cases pending
before the undersigned;
Plaintiffs counsel shall serve this order on Plaintiff and
the firm's managing partner(s) within five (5) days of
the date of service of this order; and
Within five (5) days of serving this order on Plaintiff,
counsel shall file proofs of service.
 On March 27, 2017, the parties filed a
stipulation for an extension of time to file the opening
brief that shall be addressed by separate ...