United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER AMENDING DISCOVERY AND SCHEDULING ORDER (DOCS.
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Randy Langley, a state prisoner proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The current
Discovery and Scheduling Order issued on January 16, 2019 and
set April 16, 2019 as the deadline to file exhaustion
motions; May 16, 2019 as the deadline to amend pleadings;
June 16, 2019 as the discovery cutoff date; and August 19,
2019 as the deadline to file dispositive motions. (Doc. 32.)
On June 3, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting to
either stay the action, or extend all pending deadlines by 60
days. (Doc. 37.) Plaintiff states that this is necessary
because he was transferred from SCC to VSP on May 18, 2019
without any of his property or legal documents, where he
remains with no clear indication when he will be transferred
back to SCC. (Id.) Despite lapse of more than the
allowed time, Defendants have not filed an opposition. The
motion is deemed submitted. L.R. 230 (l).
Stay of Proceedings
district court has the inherent power to stay its
proceedings. This power to stay is “incidental to the
power inherent in every court to control the disposition of
the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for
itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v.
North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936); see
also Gold v. Johns-Manville Sales Corp., 723 F.2d 1068,
1077 (3d Cir.1983) (holding that the power to stay
proceedings comes from the power of every court to manage the
cases on its docket and to ensure a fair and efficient
adjudication of the matter at hand). This is best
accomplished by the “exercise of judgment, which must
weigh competing interests and maintain an even
balance.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55. In
determining whether a stay is warranted, courts consider the
potential prejudice to the non-moving party; the hardship or
inequity to the moving party if the action is not stayed; and
the judicial resources that would be saved by simplifying the
case or avoiding duplicative litigation if the case before
the court is stayed. CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d
265, 268 (9th Cir.1962). The Ninth Circuit “has
sustained or authorized in principle Landis stays on
several occasions, ” Lockyer v. Mirant Corp.,
398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir.2005), none of which apply here.
The Court finds no basis to warrant staying the action at
this time, particularly where a mere extension of the pending
deadlines should obviate any hardship or inequity to
Plaintiff occasioned by his extended retention at VSP.
Modification of Scheduling Order
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) requires a party to
show good cause to modify the schedule of the case. Rule
16(b)'s good cause standard focuses primarily on the
diligence of the moving party, id., and the reasons
for seeking modification, C.F. ex rel. Farnan v.
Capistrano Unified Sch. Dist., 654 F.3d 975, 984 (9th
Cir.2011). If the party seeking to amend the scheduling order
fails to show due diligence, the inquiry should end and the
court should not grant the motion to modify. Zivkovic v.
Southern California Edison, Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087
(9th Cir. 2002).
Court finds Plaintiff has exercised due diligence and has
even already filed a motion to compel responses to his
discovery. (See Docs. 33, 37.) The Court also finds
that Plaintiff's reasons for seeking modification, his
transfer from SCC to VSP without his property and legal
documents with no known date when he will be transferred back
to SCC, justify modifying the Discovery and Scheduling Order
by extending the remaining pending deadlines. Deadlines which
lapsed before Plaintiff filed his motion (i.e. for exhaustion
motions and to amend pleadings) need not be extended.
the Court ORDERS:
the extent Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 37) seeks a stay of
this action, it is DENIED;
the extent Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 37) seeks to extend
dates to modify the scheduling order, it is
GRANTED and the Discovery and Scheduling
Order is AMENDED as follows:
a. the deadline for completion of all discovery, including
filing motions to compel is extended ...