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United States District Court for the Southern District of California
February 8, 2013, Decided; February 8, 2013, Filed
Case No. 11CV2592- LAB (BLM)
ORDER (1) DENYING DEFENDANT'S EX PARTE MOTION FOR DISCOVERY SANCTIONS INCLUDING ISSUE PRECLUSION AND DISMISSAL OF ACTION FOR PLAINTIFF'S FAILURE TO ATTEND DEPOSITION, (2) SETTING DATE CERTAIN FOR PLAINTIFF'S DEPOSITION, (3) RESETTING DATES, AND (4) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE
Currently before the Court is Defendant's January 2, 2013 Motion for Discovery Sanctions Including Issue Preclusion and Dismissal of Action for Plaintiff's Failure to Attend Deposition [ECF No. 13 (Def.'s Mot.")] and Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Defendant's Ex Parte Motion for Discovery Sanctions, Including Issue Preclusion and Dismissal of Action for Plaintiff's Failure to Attend Deposition 2013, which the Court is interpreting as an opposition to Defendant's motion. ECF No. 17 ("Oppo.").
For the reasons set forth below, the Court RECOMMENDS that both Plaintiff and Defendant's motions be DENIED.
On November 7, 2011, Plaintiff David Johnson, currently detained [*2] at George Bailey Detention Facility in San Diego, California, and proceeding pro se, filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff claims a San Diego Police Officer used excessive force during his arrest in April 2011. Id. Defendant answered the complaint through his counsel, Mr. John Riley, on June 5, 2012. ECF No. 7. On June 6, 2012, the Court issued an order finding an Early Neutral Evaluation inappropriate and setting various discovery and pretrial deadlines. ECF No. 8. In the order, the Court warned the parties that "failure to comply with [any] discovery order of the court may result in the sanctions provided for in Fed. R. Civ. P. 37." Id. at 2. In accordance with the order, the Court convened a Mandatory Settlement Conference ("MSC") on October 19, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. ECF No. 9. Mr. Riley appeared in person at the MSC with the appropriate representatives from the City of San Diego and Officer Garren and Plaintiff appeared telephonically. At the beginning of the MSC, Plaintiff informed the Court that he was unaware of the MSC and that although no counsel had entered an appearance on the docket, he was represented by counsel, Mr. Raymond Pacello. [*3] The Court attempted to call Mr. Pacello during the conference, but he did not answer and the Court left a message asking Mr. Pacello to return its call. The Court then informed Plaintiff that he needed to contact Mr. Pacello and verify that he was representing Plaintiff in this matter. Because Plaintiff claimed to be represented, the Court ended the MSC. After the MSC, the Court issued an Order setting an additional MSC for January 28, 2013. ECF No. 10. Mr. Pacello did not return the Court's call and did not enter an appearance on behalf of Plaintiff.
On December 11, 2012, Mr. Riley filed an ex parte motion to schedule the deposition of Plaintiff or, in the alternative, to extend the fact discovery cut-off date. ECF No. 11. In support, Mr. Riley stated that after the October 19, 2012 MSC, he left a message for Mr. Pacello asking about his representation of Plaintiff and Mr. Pacello did not respond. Id. at 2. Mr. Riley noticed the deposition of Plaintiff for December 5, 2012 and appeared at the detention facility to depose Plaintiff with City Investigator Maggio, a court reporter, and a videographer. Id. Plaintiff appeared and refused to be deposed since he claimed to have legal representation. [*4] The City Investigator called Mr. Pacello from the detention facility on December 5, 2012. Id. Mr. Riley stated that Mr. Pacello informed him that he was representing Plaintiff and that he had been too busy to call the City before the noticed deposition. Id. Despite several requests from Mr. Riley to Mr. Pacello after the attempted deposition asking Mr. Pacello to file a substitution of counsel and provide a day for Plaintiff's deposition, Mr. Pacello did not respond other than to say that he was in trial and very busy. Id. In light of the lack of response from Mr. Pacello and the failed deposition attempt, Mr. Riley requested that the Court set a date certain for Plaintiff's deposition. Id.
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2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17552 *; 2013 WL 499869
DAVID JOHNSON, Plaintiff, v. D. GARREN, I.D. NO. 5945, Defendant.
Prior History: Johnson v. Garren, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49066 (S.D. Cal., Apr. 5, 2012)
deposition, settlement, sanctions, discovery, appearance, parties, Attend, dismissal of action, confidential, notice, parte