United States District Court, E.D. California
the Honorable Barbara A. McAuliffe, Judge
ORDER REFERRING CASE TO POST-SCREENING ADR AND
STAYING CASE FOR 60 DAYS
James Cato, Jr. is a state prisoner proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis in this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On December 20,
2019, Defendants Denning and Hillman filed an answer to
Plaintiff's complaint. (ECF No. 18.)
it takes years to get to trial, the Court has identified this
case as an appropriate case for post-screening ADR
(Alternative Dispute Resolution), which is an effort to
resolve such cases more expeditiously and less expensively.
No. claims, defenses, or objections shall be waived by the
parties' participation. In appropriate cases, defense
counsel from the California State Attorney General's
Office has agreed to participate in these early settlements.
forth in the e-service order, Plaintiff has stated a
cognizable civil rights claim. However, stating a cognizable
claim does not mean that Plaintiff will prevail at trial.
Thus, the Court stays this action for a period of 60 days to
allow the parties to investigate Plaintiff's claims, meet
and confer, and then participate in a settlement conference.
this case will be referred to Magistrate Judge Barbara A.
McAuliffe to conduct a settlement conference at the United
States Courthouse in Fresno, California on February
27, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. The Court will issue the
necessary transportation order in due course.
issuing this order, there is a presumption that this case
will proceed to a settlement conference. However, if after
investigating Plaintiff's claims and speaking with
Plaintiff, and after conferring with others, defense counsel
in good faith finds that a settlement conference would be a
waste of resources, defense counsel may move to opt-out of
this early settlement conference. A written notice to opt-out
must be filed within twenty-one (21) days of
the date of the issuance of this order.
parties shall each submit to Magistrate Judge Barbara A.
McAuliffe a confidential settlement conference statement, as
described below, to arrive at least seven days (one week)
prior to the conference.
Court puts the parties on notice that if Plaintiff has any
outstanding criminal restitution obligation, fines and/or
penalties, these settlement negotiations shall not be geared
towards what the restitution obligation is, but what the
value the of the case itself is to each side, irrespective of
any outstanding restitution obligation.
accordance with the above, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
action is STAYED for sixty (60) days to
allow the parties an opportunity to settle their dispute
before the discovery process begins. Except as provided
herein or by subsequent court order, no other pleadings or
other documents may be filed in this case during the stay of
this action. The parties shall not engage in formal
discovery, but may engage in informal discovery to prepare
for the settlement conference.
case is set for a settlement conference before Magistrate
Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on February 27, 2020, at
9:30 a.m., at the United States Courthouse located
at 2500 Tulare Street, Fresno, California 93721.
representative with full and unlimited authority to negotiate
and enter into a binding settlement shall attend in person.
Those in attendance must be prepared to discuss the claims,
defenses, and damages.
failure or refusal of any counsel, party or authorized person
subject to this order to appear in person may result in the
cancellation of the conference and the imposition of
sanctions. The manner and timing of Plaintiff's