United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
CHAMBERS) - DEFENDANT'S EXPARTE APPLICATION TO SET ASIDE
PORTIONS OF THE COURT'S NOVEMBER 14, 2019 ORDER (Dkt. [
41 ], filed November 20, 2019)
Court is in receipt of defendant Harvest of Pasadena,
LLC's ("Harvest") ex parte
application, dkt. 41 ("Mot."), to set aside
portions of the Court's November 14, 2019 order, dkt. 40
("Order"). For the following reasons, Harvest's
application is DENIED.
to a joint stipulation between plaintiff The Atrium Group,
LLC ("Atrium"), and defendant City of Pasadena
("the City"), defendant Hinderliter, de Llamas and
Associates ("HdL"), defendant Steven Mermell
("Mermell"), and defendant David Reyes
("Reyes") (collectively, "the stipulating
defendants"), the Court previously continued the hearing
on the stipulating defendants' motions to dismiss from
December 2, 2019, to March 2, 2020. Order at 1. Harvest was
not a party to the joint stipulation between Atrium
and the stipulating defendants. Dkt 35. On the Court's
own motion, however, the Court also continued the hearing on
Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion from December 2, 2019, to
March 2, 2020. Order at 1. The Court also ordered that
"[t]he briefing deadlines on these motions shall be
calculated from this new hearing date." Id. at
now seeks ex parte relief from the Court's
November 14, 2019 order on two bases. First, Harvest contends
that the Court's order "violated CCP section
425.16(f) that requires anti-SLAPP Motions be heard within 30
days of filing unless the docket conditions of the court
require a later hearing. The new hearing date continues
Harvest's anti-SLAPP Motion for 91 days." Mot. at 2.
Second, according to Harvest, the Court's order
"violated Local Rule 7-9 and Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 6(b)(1) . . . [s]ince Atrium failed to timely file
opposition papers[, ] [Rule] 6(b)(1)(B) mandates that an
extension may be granted only by way of a
motion based on excusable neglect." Id. at 2-3
(emphasis in original).
anti-SLAPP statute, which authorizes a defendant to bring a
special motion to strike claims designed to chill expression,
The special motion may be filed within 60 days of the service
of the complaint or, in the court's discretion, at any
later time upon terms it deems proper. The motion shall be
scheduled by the clerk of the court for a hearing not more
than 30 days after the service of the motion unless the
docket conditions of the court require a later hearing.
Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 425.16(f). Section 425.16(g)
further provides that "[a]ll discovery proceedings in
the action shall be stayed upon the filing of a notice of
motion made pursuant to this section. The stay of discovery
shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the order
ruling on the motion." Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §
425.16(g). These provisions create a mechanism for
"early resolution [that] is consistent with the
statutory design to prevent SLAPPs by ending them early and
without great cost to the SLAPP target, a purpose reflected
in the statute's short time frame for anti-SLAPP filings
and hearings and provision for a stay of discovery."
Equilon Enterprises v. Consumer Cause, Inc., 29
Cal.4th 53, 65 (2002) (internal citations and quotation marks
Ninth Circuit has determined that, "[t]ogether, these
two subsections create a default rule that allows the
defendant served with a complaint to immediately put the
plaintiff to his or her proof before the plaintiff can
conduct discovery." Metabolife Int'l, Inc. v.
Wornick. 264 F.3d 832, 846 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted). As such, "the
requirements set forth in subsections 425.16(f) and (g)
fundamentally collide with federal courts' rules of
procedure." Sarver v. Chartier, 813 F.3d 891,
900 (9th Cir. 2016). "For this reason, sections
425.16(f) and (g) do not apply to litigation in federal
court." Wichmann v. Levine, No.
2:16-cv-00841-KJM-EFB, 2016 WL 4368136, at *4 (E.D. Cal. Aug.
16, 2016). The Court therefore concludes that Section
425.16(f), which requires the clerk of court to schedule a
hearing on an anti-SLAPP motion no more than 30 days after
the service of the motion, does not apply in federal court.
6(b)(1)(B) provides that [w]hen an act may or must be done
within a specified time, the court may, for good cause,
extend the time ... on motion made after the time has expired
if the party failed to act because of excusable
neglect." Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B). The Local Rules of
the Court provide that '[e]ach opposing party shall, . .
. not later than twenty-one (21) days before the date
designated for the hearing of the motion in all other
instances," file any opposition brief. CD. Cal. L.R.
7-9. According to Harvest, "[s]ince Atrium failed to
timely file opposition papers [to Harvest's anti-SLAPP
motion] pursuant to Local Rule 7-9, Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 6(b)(1)(B) mandates that an extension may be
granted only by way of a motion based on
excusable neglect." Mot. at 7 (emphasis in original).
contends that Atrium's opposition to Harvest's
anti-SLAPP motion was due on November 12, 2019. Mot. at 7. On
November 12, 2019, that same day, the Court ordered that
"[t]he hearing on Stipulating Defendants' Motions to
Dismiss . . . which are presently set before this Court for
December 2, 2019, are continued to March 2, 2020[.]"
Dkt. 36. The Court's order, however, specifically
referenced Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion as one of the
motions for which the Court was continuing the hearing from
December 2, 2019, to March 2, 2020. Id. On November
14, 2019, after Harvest submitted a request for clarification
noting that Harvest "was not a stipulating
defendant," the Court clarified that, '[o]n the
Court's own motion," the Court was continuing the
hearing on Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion to March 2, 2020.
Order at 2. Because the Court's initial order on November
12, 2019, the same day on which Atrium's opposition would
have been due, specifically referenced Harvest's
anti-SLAPP motion by its docket number and continued the
hearing on that motion until December 2, 2019, the Court
concludes that Atrium was not required to file an opposition
to Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion on November 12, 2019.
Therefore, for the purposes of Local Rule 7-9, Atrium's
time for filing an opposition did not expire, and Atrium need
not seek an extension by way of a motion pursuant to Rule
6(b) that demonstrates that Atrium "failed to act
because of excusable neglect." Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B).
"[d]istrict courts have 'inherent power' to
control their dockets." S. California
Edison Co. v. Lynch, 307 F.3d 794, 807 (9th Cir. 2002).
Indeed, "[t]he district court has considerable latitude
in managing the parties' motion practice and enforcing
local rules that place parameters on briefing."
Christian v. Mattel Inc., 286 F.3d 1118, 1129 (9th
Cir. 2002). To the extent that Atrium was required to file an
opposition brief on November 12, 2019, the Court's
November 14, 2019 order clarified that although Harvest was
not a party to the joint stipulation between Atrium and the
stipulating defendants, the Court was continuing the hearing
on Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion to March 2, 2020, and that
"[t]he briefing deadlines . . . shall be calculated from
this new hearing date." Order at 2.
foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES
Harvest's ex parte application. The hearing on
stipulating defendant's motions to dismiss and
Harvest's anti-SLAPP motion shall remain set for hearing
on March 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.
Additionally, the briefing ...