United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER IMPOSING MONETARY SANCTION ON CATHERINE M.
CORFEE FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDERS
Aurora Cervantes filed this action alleging violations of the
Americans With Disabilities Act and state law on December 29,
2017. On January 2, 2018, summonses issued and the order
issued setting the mandatory scheduling conference in this
action for April 2, 2018. On February 2, 2018, Plaintiff
filed notices of proof of service of the complaint against
all defendants. Defendants Narinderpal Singh and Nishan Singh
filed an answer on February 16, 2018.
March 27, 2018, the parties filed a joint status report.
Approximately thirty minutes prior to the April 2, 2018
hearing, the courtroom deputy reached out to Catherine
Corfee, counsel for Defendants, and provided her with the
telephone number and passcode to appear telephonically at the
scheduling conference. Counsel Daniel Malakauskas appeared
telephonically for Plaintiff; however, counsel for Defendants
did not appear at the April 2, 2018 hearing.
April 2, 2018, the Court ordered Catherine M. Corfee to show
cause in writing within three days from the date of entry of
the order why monetary sanctions should not be imposed for
the failure to appear at the mandatory scheduling conference.
Catherine M. Corfee did not file a response to the
Court's April 2, 2018 order to show cause. On April 4,
2018, Plaintiff filed a notice of settlement and an order
issued requiring dispositional documents to be filed within
sixty days of April 5, 2018.
April 6, 2018, Catherine Corfee was ordered to personally
appear on April 12, 2018, to show cause why sanctions should
not issue for her failure to appear at the mandatory
scheduling conference and failure to respond to the April 2,
2018 order to show cause. On April 6, 2018, Defendants filed
a response to the order to show cause and Catherine Corfee
filed a declaration in which she requested a continuance of
the order to show cause hearing. On April 9, 2018, an order
was filed continuing the order to show cause hearing to April
April 16, 2018, Catherine Corfee filed a second request for a
continuance of the order to show cause hearing. Counsel did
not appear on April 17, 2018 and an order issued continuing
the order to show cause hearing to May 9, 2018.
9, 2018, Catherine Corfee appeared at the show cause hearing.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the underlying
purpose of the rules is to secure the just, speedy and
inexpensive determination” of an action. Fed.R.Civ.P.
1. To effectuate this purpose the rules provide for sanctions
against parties that fail to comply with court orders or that
unnecessarily multiply the proceedings. See e.g.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(f); Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b). Rule 16(f) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes the court to
issue any just order if a party or attorney fails to obey a
scheduling or other pretrial order.
court also possesses inherent authority to impose sanctions
to manage its own affairs so as to achieve the orderly and
expeditious disposition of cases. Chambers v. NASCO,
Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 43 (1991). The court's inherent
power is that which is necessary to the exercise of all
others, including to protect the due and orderly
administration of justice and maintain the authority and
dignity of the court. Roadway Exp., Inc. v. Piper,
447 U.S. 752, 764 (1980). In order to coerce a party to
comply with the court's orders, the court may issue
sanctions for every day the party fails to respond to the
court's orders to show cause. See Lasar v. Ford Motor
Co., 399 F.3d 1101, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005) (discussing
court's authority to impose civil sanctions
“intended to be remedial by coercing the defendant to
do what he had refused to do.”).
Local Rules of the Eastern District of California
(“L.R.”) provide that “[f]ailure of counsel
or of a party to comply with these Rules or with any order of
the Court may be grounds for imposition by the Court of any
and all sanctions authorized by statute or Rule or within the
inherent power of the Court.” L.R. 110. Further,
“[i]n the event any attorney subject to these Rules
engages in conduct that may warrant discipline or other
sanctions, any Judge or Magistrate Judge may initiate
proceedings for contempt under 18 U.S.C. § 401 or Fed.
R. Crim. P. 42, or may, after reasonable notice and
opportunity to show cause to the contrary, take any other
appropriate disciplinary action against the attorney.”
L.R. 184(a). ...