United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR. DISTRICT JUDGE.
minors and their guardians-bring various causes of action
based on allegations that the minors were abused by their
teacher at Breen Elementary School, which is a part of the
Defendant School District. Currently before the Court is
Defendants' Motion to Modify Scheduling Order, ECF No.
125, in which they seek to extend the time for discovery by
eight days and the time for expert disclosure by thirty days.
For the reasons that follow, that Motion is GRANTED. The
Pretrial Scheduling Order is modified as described below.
April 30, 2015, the original complaint was filed, naming six
minors and their guardians as Plaintiffs. Five of those six
minors and their respective guardians settled with
Defendants, leaving only N.P. and his two guardians to
prosecute this action. The Court issued a Pretrial Scheduling
Order (“PTSO”), which set, among other things, a
discovery deadline of October 17, 2016. On April 6, 2016,
Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint, ECF No. 80,
seeking to add three additional minors and their guardians as
plaintiffs. In light of that Motion, the deadline for
completion of discovery was extended twice by stipulation,
first to February 28, 2017, and then to June 20, 2017. The
Court subsequently granted the Motion to Amend on January 17,
2017, and Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint
(“FAC”), ECF No. 108, on February 16, 2017.
Twelve days later, Defendants filed a first Motion to Modify
Scheduling Order, seeking to extend discovery a year from the
date of the FAC to February 28, 2018. The Court granted that
motion in part, extending discovery only until August 31,
2017. ECF No. 123.
support of their first Motion to Modify Scheduling Order,
Defendants argued that additional time would be needed to
conduct discovery relating to the medical and psychological
records of the three new minor Plaintiffs. Id. at
2-3. In the instant Motion to Modify Scheduling Order,
Defendants seek an extension of eight days to allow their
medical experts to conduct medical examinations of the three
new minor Plaintiffs. Mot. to Modify Scheduling Order, at 5.
The only dates Defendants' three medical experts have
been able to agree on are June 19, August 25, and September
8, with the September 8 date falling eight-days outside the
limits set by the PTSO. Id. They also seek an
extension of thirty days for expert disclosure in light of
the dates they have secured to conduct those medical
district court has issued a PTSO pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 16, that Rule's standards control.
Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604,
607-08 (9th Cir. 1992). Prior to the final pretrial
conference in this matter the Court can modify its PTSO upon
a showing of “good cause.” See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b). “Rule 16(b)'s ‘good
cause' standard primarily considers the diligence of the
party seeking the amendment.” Johnson, 975
F.2d at 609. In explaining this standard, the Ninth Circuit
A district court may modify the pretrial schedule “if
it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the
party seeking the extension.” Moreover, carelessness is
not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers no
reason for granting of relief. Although the existence or
degree of prejudice to the party opposing the modification
might supply additional reasons to deny a motion, the focus
of the inquiry is upon the moving party's reasons for
seeking modifications. If that party was not diligent, the
inquiry should end.
Id. (citations omitted).
argue that good cause exists to modify the PTSO because they
have been diligent in securing dates for the required medical
examinations, and only request a modest extension of eight
days. See Mot. to Modify Scheduling Order, at 3-4.
Defendants also contend that their willingness to compromise
on examination dates shows diligence-they agreed to a June 19
examination date, even though only two of their three experts
could be present. Defs.' Reply, ECF No. 131, at 3.
Finally, Defendants contend that a recently reached
settlement with N.P. and his two guardians will remove all
the original Plaintiffs from the case. Id. at 2.
Thus, they claim that “[f]or all intents and purposes,
this is a new action, just filed on February 13, 2017.”
Id. Plaintiffs, conversely, argue that any extension
would be “unreasonable and prejudicial to
Plaintiffs.” Pls.' Opp'n, ECF No. 130, at 3.
They do not explain why, however.
Court finds good cause to make the modest modification of the
PTSO requested by Defendants, and Defendants' motion, ECF
No. 125, is therefore GRANTED. In light of the facts outlined
above, it is reasonable to extend the discovery deadline and
expert disclosure by the amounts sought by Defendants.
Accordingly, the deadlines in the PTSO are modified as
discovery, with the exception of expert discovery, shall be
completed by September 8, 2017. All counsel are to designate
in writing, file with the Court, and serve upon all other
parties the name, address, and area of expertise of each
expert that they propose to tender at trial ...