United States District Court, S.D. California
MALLORY CAVADA, an individual, on behalf of herself and on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiff,
INTER-CONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP, INC.; IHG MANAGEMENT MARYLAND LLC; INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP RESOURCES LLC; INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP RESOURCES, INC.; and DOES 1-50, Defendants.
ORDER: (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART JOINT
MOTION TO CONTINUE EARLY NEUTRAL EVALUATION CONFERENCE AND
CORRESPONDING DEADLINES; and (2) RESETTING EARLY NEUTRAL
EVALUATION AND CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE [ECF No.
Honorable Allison H. Goddard United States Magistrate Judge
the Court is the parties' joint motion to continue the
Early Neutral Evaluation Conference (“ENE”) and
Case Management Conference (“CMC”), currently set
for November 13, 2019. ECF No. 18. The parties seek an order
from the Court vacating the ENE and rescheduling the CMC.
Id. at 2. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN
PART the motion.
seeking to continue an ENE must demonstrate good cause. ECF
No. 11 at 4 (“An ENE may be rescheduled only upon a
showing of good cause”); Chmb.R. at 2 (stating that any
request for continuance requires “[a] showing of good
cause for the request”); see, e.g., Fed. R.
Civ. P 6(b) (“When an act may or must be done within a
specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the
time”); Fed. R. Civ. P 16(b)(4) (“A schedule may
be modified only for good cause and with the judge's
cause” is a non-rigorous standard that has been
construed broadly across procedural and statutory contexts.
Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., 624 F.3d 1253,
1259 (9th Cir. 2010). The good cause standard focuses on the
diligence of the party seeking to amend the scheduling order
and the reasons for seeking modification. Johnson v.
Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir.
1992) (“[T]he focus of the inquiry is upon the moving
party's reasons for seeking modification. . . . If that
party was not diligent, the inquiry should end.”)
(internal citation omitted).
initial matter, the parties' motion is deficient. The
parties failed to provide a declaration from counsel, as
required by the Court's Chambers Rules. Id.
(requiring that the joint motion for continuance include a
“declaration from counsel seeking the continuance that
describes the steps taken to comply with the existing
deadlines, and the specific reasons why the deadlines cannot
be met”). The Court will take the parties at their
words without the required declaration, but will not do so
parties have represented to the Court that they need
additional time to meet and confer regarding disputes about
the scope of the case (i.e., the number of employees at
issue) because this would impact the potential for settlement
at an ENE. ECF No. 18 at 2- 3. The parties have also
represented that they plan to exchange information prior to
the ENE, which has not yet been completed. Id. at 3.
After the exchanges have been made, the parties plan to
explore the possibility of private mediation. Id.
(noting that the parties intend to “confer regarding
whether a private mediation is agreeable”).
Additionally, the parties have represented that that lead
in-house counsel for Defendants is unavailable to attend the
ENE due to previously scheduled business and travel
commitments on the same date. Id.
the joint motion's shortcomings, the Court finds that the
parties have demonstrated the diligence necessary to meet the
good cause standard as to why the November 13, 2019 date
should be rescheduled. Therefore, the Court
GRANTS the motion insofar as it seeks to
continue the CMC. However, the joint motion provides no
reasoning as to why the ENE should be vacated in lieu of
being rescheduled, other than the parties' desire to
consider mediation as a potential option. This
district's Local Rules require ENEs in all civil cases,
with limited exceptions that do not apply here. See
CivLR 16.1(c)(1); CivLR 16.1(e). Thus, for lack of good
cause, the Court DENIES the motion insofar
as it seeks to vacate the ENE.
the ENE and CMC originally set for November 13, 2019
are hereby RESET for January 15,
2020 at 2:00
p.m. before the Honorable Allison H. Goddard.
Her chambers are located on the third floor of the Edward J.
Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, Suite 3142, San
Diego, California 92101. Do not report to Courtroom 3B;
report to Chambers. In the event the case does not
settle at the ENE, the Court will immediately thereafter hold
the ENE has been continued, the accompanying pre-conference
dates are also continued as follows: (1) the Confidential ENE
Statements must be lodged with the Court no later than
January 10, 2020; (2) the parties
must meet and confer pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) no later
than December 24, 2019; (3) an
updated Joint Case Management Statement must be filed by
January 5, 2020; and (4) initial
disclosures pursuant to Rule 26(a)(1)(A-D) must occur by
January 8, 2020. The parties must
abide by all other pre-conference procedures set forth in the
Court's initial Order resetting the ENE and issuing
pre-conference procedures following the transfer of this
case. See ECF No. 11.
IS SO ORDERED.
 “There can be no question that
courts have inherent power to enforce compliance with their
lawful orders . . .” Shillitani v. United
States, 384 U.S. 364, 370 (1966); see CivLR
83.1 (authorizing imposition of sanctions based on a
party's failure to comply with a court order).
 The parties requested the CMC be reset
for January 14, 2020 or January 16, 2020. ECF No. 18 at 4.
However, those dates are unavailable on the Court's
calendar. The Court has reset the ENE and ...