United States District Court, C.D. California
Chris L. Jones, et al.
A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, Ltd., et al.
Present: The Honorable Autumn D. Spaeth, United States
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: CONTEMPT OF COURT AND
November 12, 2019, the Court held a settlement conference
ordered by District Judge Cormac Carney. Judge Carney ordered
the parties to participate in a settlement conference with
the assigned Magistrate Judge after denying both parties'
motions for summary judgment and referring to the
parties' repeated failures to prosecute/defend the case,
follow Court orders, and comply with the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and the Local Rules.
settlement conference was attended by plaintiffs, their
counsel, and defendant's counsel. Defendant made a brief
appearance telephonically at the beginning of the settlement
conference. After separately conferring with plaintiffs and
their counsel, and then defendant's counsel (who did not
attempt to include his client telephonically), the Court
terminated the settlement conference when it became clear
that continued settlement efforts would not be fruitful.
come to the Court's attention that defendant and his
counsel may have committed a fraud on the court in order to
avoid defendant's personal appearance at the
Court-ordered settlement conference. Pursuant to Local Rule
16-15.5(b) and this Court's Order Re: Settlement
Conference [Dkt. No. 66], parties are required to appear in
person at a settlement conference with the Magistrate Judge.
Despite this Court's practice of requiring the personal
appearance of all parties and counsel for settlement
conferences, defendant requested and obtained court
permission to appear telephonically due to a heart condition
(pulmonary edema) and physician advice not to fly due to risk
of pulmonary embolism. Both defendant and his counsel offered
declarations based upon personal knowledge and under penalty
of perjury in support of this request.
defendant's counsel filed an Ex Parte Application to
Appear Telephonically, in which defendant declared under
penalty of perjury:
I am unable to attend the mediation in person per the
Court's order. I reside in Florida. I have a pulmonary
edema condition which means that I have blood in my lungs. My
doctor has advised me that I should not fly because of the
possibility of an embolism. I have been confined to driving
within the vicinity of my residence. I am scheduled to be
admitted to the hospital in December 2019.
[Dkt. No. 65]. Defendant's counsel similarly declared
under penalty of perjury. [Id.]
come to the Court's attention that defendant participated
in the Miami Man Half Triathlon on November 10, 2019. Two
days before the settlement conference, defendant was
physically able to participate in a triathlon competition
involving swimming, biking, and running-strenuous activities
which are known to carry a risk of pulmonary edema.
later than Friday, November 22, 2019, defendant is ORDERED TO
SHOW CAUSE why defendant and defendant's counsel should
not be held in contempt of court and sanctioned for
perpetrating a fraud on the Court; perjury; failing to comply
with Court orders, Local Rules, Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 11, and counsel's duty of candor to the court;
and needlessly increasing the cost of litigation and burden
on the Court.
of declaration under penalty of perjury, defendant and his
counsel must explain and/or provide to the Court the
1. Admit or deny defendant William Redfern participated in
the 2019 Miami Man Half Triathlon on November 10, 2019.
2. Evidence to support each and every statement in
defendant's declaration on page 2, lines 1-5.
3. Evidence to support each and every statement in
defendant's counsel's declaration on page 1, lines