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Moralez v. Young

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 12, 2017

GLORIA PALACIOS MORALEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
MIKE YOUNG[1], Acting Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SUPSEND AND RESET DISCOVERY DEADLINES (DOC. 411) ORDER SETTING TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE

          BARBARA A. MCAULIFFE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiff Gloria Palacios Moralez's motion to suspend discovery and reset the discovery deadlines after resolution of her pending motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 411). Defendant Mike Young, Acting Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture (“Defendant”) opposed the motion, and Plaintiff replied. (Docs. 412, 415). The Court heard oral argument on April 7, 2017. Plaintiff's counsel Brandon Nagy, Phillip Fraas and Michael Tucci appeared by telephone. Defendant's counsel Joseph Frueh also appeared by telephone.

         For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's motion to suspend discovery is discovery shall be denied as moot, but her request to reset the deadline for non-expert liability discovery after resolution of the motion for reconsideration shall be granted.

         I. Background

         On March 1, 2016, Plaintiff's claims were transferred to this Court. (Doc. 376). Pursuant to a stipulation of the parties, Plaintiff filed a fourth amended complaint on May 13, 2016. The amended complaint alleged two claims: (1) a violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), 15 U.S.C. 1691(a), for alleged discrimination related to loans or loan servicing during the periods January 1, 1981 to December 1, 1996, and October 13, 1998 to October 13, 2000; and (2) a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) for alleged discrimination in connection with the denial of crop disaster benefits in 1993. (Doc. 391). Defendant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture answered the fourth amended complaint on June 13, 2016. (Doc. 392).

         On July 28, 2016, the Court issued a Scheduling Order, which set the deadline to complete nonexpert/liability discovery as April 14, 2017. (Doc. 396). Thereafter, the parties exchanged initial disclosures and written discovery. (Doc. 411-1 at p. 2 and Doc. 412 at p. 3).

         On October 3, 2016, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's first cause of action for violation of the ECOA for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and, in the alternative, for partial summary judgment. (Doc. 399). On December 21, 2016, the Court denied Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction, but granted Defendant's motion for summary adjudication, allowing the matter to proceed against Defendant only on Plaintiff's second cause of action for violation of the APA. (Doc. 405).

         On December 30, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's order granting summary adjudication and limiting this action to her second cause of action for violation of the APA. (Doc. 406). On February 1, 2017, the Court deemed the matter suitable for decision without oral argument, and the motion for reconsideration was taken under submission as of February 6, 2017. (Doc. 410).

         On March 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to suspend discovery and reset the discovery deadlines after the Court rules on the pending motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 411). Defendant opposed the motion, and Plaintiff replied. (Docs. 412, 415).

         Following oral argument on the motion to suspend discovery and resent deadlines, the District Court denied Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. Therefore, the case proceeds solely on Plaintiff's claim for violation of the APA based on alleged discrimination in connection with the denial of crop disaster benefits in 1993. (Doc. 420).

         II. Legal Standard

         Pursuant to Rule 16(b), a scheduling order “may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The “good cause” standard “primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the amendment.” Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). The court may modify the scheduling order “if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension.” Id. If the party was not diligent, the inquiry should end. Id.

         III. Discussion

         A. ...


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