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Begley v. County of Kauai

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

May 3, 2019

MARK N. BEGLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF KAUAI, KAUAI POLICE DEPARTMENT, DARRYL PERRY, ROY ASHER, MICHAEL CONTRADES AND DOE DEFENDANTS 16-100, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT CONTRADES'S MOTION TO AMEND RULE 16 SCHEDULING ORDER AND DENYING THE COUNTY DEFENDANTS' JOINDER OF SIMPLE AGREEMENT

          Leslie E. Kobayashi, United States District Judge

         On March 22, 2019, Defendant Michael Contrades (“Contrades”), in his individual capacity, filed his Motion to Amend Rule 16 Scheduling Order (“Motion”). [Dkt. no. 531.] On March 25, 2019, Defendants County of Kauai (“the County”); Kauai Police Department (“KPD”); Darryl Perry (“Perry”), in his official capacity; and Contrades, in his official capacity (collectively, “County Defendants”), filed a joinder of simple agreement in the Motion (“Joinder”). [Dkt. no. 533.] Plaintiff Mark N. Begley (“Plaintiff”) filed his memorandum in opposition on April 8, 2019, and Contrades filed his reply on April 22, 2019. [Dkt. nos. 541, 551.] The Court finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing pursuant to Rule LR7.2(d) of the Local Rules of Practice for the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii (“Local Rules”). Contrades's Motion and the County Defendants' Joinder are hereby denied for the reasons set forth below.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on June 27, 2016, and he filed his First Amended Complaint on May 5, 2017. [Dkt. nos. 1, 103.] Plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint on February 15, 2018. [Dkt. no. 201.] The operative pleading is Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint, filed on August 31, 2018. [Dkt. no. 349.]

         Prior to the filing of the Third Amended Complaint, trial was scheduled to begin on November 20, 2018, and the dispositive motions deadline was June 20, 2018. [Second Amended Rule 16 Scheduling Order, filed 4/23/18 (dkt. no. 277), at ¶¶ 1, 7.] On June 20, 2018, Perry, in his individual capacity, filed his Motion for Summary Judgment (“Perry Motion”). [Dkt. no. 311.] On June 27, 2018, the County Defendants filed a substantive joinder in the Perry Motion (“County Joinder”). [Dkt. no. 323.]

         After the filing of the Third Amended Complaint, the trial date was subsequently continued to May 6, 2019. [Amended Rule 16 Scheduling Order, filed 9/10/18 (dkt. no. 355) (“9/10/18 Scheduling Order”), at ¶ 1.] The 9/10/18 Scheduling Order specifically stated: “Dispositive motions shall be filed by December 4, 2018. Only Dispositive Motions as to the Emotional Distress Claims may be filed.” [Id. at ¶ 7 (emphasis in original).] It also stated the non-dispositive motions deadline was February 6, 2019. [Id. at ¶ 6.]

         The Perry Motion and the County Joinder were construed as addressing the Third Amended Complaint because: the Second Amended Complaint and the Third Amended Complaint allege the same claims; and “the changes between the Second Amended Complaint and the Third Amended Complaint involved Plaintiff's claims against Contrades, in his individual capacity, which [we]re not at issue in the Perry Motion and the County Joinder, and the timeliness of the [intentional infliction of emotional distress] claim.” [Summary Judgment Order; etc., filed 4/11/19 (dkt. no. 549) (“4/11/19 Summary Judgment Order”), at 24.[1] The Perry Motion was denied in its entirety, and the County Joinder was granted in part and denied in part. 4/11/19 Summary Judgment Order, 2019 WL 1590568, at *21. This Court, inter alia, stated it could not rule on: Perry's qualified/conditional privilege defense on summary judgment; id. at *14; or the County Defendants' qualified immunity defense to Plaintiff's federal retaliation claim, [2] id. at *17. The 4/11/19 Summary Judgment Order also stayed the portions of Plaintiffs' remaining state law claims based on acts related to the County's Return to Work Program (“RTWP”) and directed the parties to submit letter briefs addressing whether the stayed claims can be severed or whether the entire case must be stayed. Id. at *21. The parties submitted their letter briefs on April 26, 2019, [dkt. nos. 553 to 556, ] and the issue is still pending before this Court.

         On September 14, 2018, Contrades filed a motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint (“Motion to Dismiss”). [Dkt. no. 360.] This Court denied the Motion to Dismiss in an order filed on December 27, 2018 (“12/27/18 Dismissal Order”). [Dkt. no. 434.[3] On January 10, 2019, Contrades filed a motion for reconsideration of the 12/27/18 Dismissal Order (“Motion for Reconsideration”), which this Court denied in an order filed on March 7, 2019 (“3/7/19 Reconsideration Order”). [Dkt. no. 520.[4] On April 1, 2019, Contrades filed a notice of appeal from this Court's ruling that he was not entitled to dismissal of Plaintiff's claims based on qualified/conditional privilege.[5][Dkt. no. 535.] The Court directed the parties to submit letter briefs addressing the effect of Contrades's appeal. [EO, filed 4/4/19 (dkt. no. 538).] The parties submitted their letter briefs on April 9, 2019, [dkt. nos. 543 to 546, ] and the Court held a status conference on April 12, 2019, [Minutes, filed 4/12/19 (dkt. no. 550)]. However, this Court ultimately determined that Contrades's appeal does not require a stay of the case.

         On February 14, 2019, Perry, in his individual capacity, moved to continue the May 6, 2019 trial date, in light of his recovery from injuries that he sustained in a serious accident. [Dkt. no. 473.] The motion was granted, and the trial was continued to August 26, 2019. [Minutes, filed 3/14/19 (dkt. no. 523); Amended Rule 16 Scheduling Order, filed 3/18/19 (dkt. no. 527) (“3/18/19 Scheduling Order”), at ¶ 1.] The 3/18/19 Scheduling Order noted that both the non-dispositive motions deadline and the dispositive motions deadline were closed. [Id. at ¶ 7.]

         Contrades filed the instant Motion after the filing of the 3/18/19 Scheduling Order. He seeks an amendment of the 3/18/19 Scheduling Order to allow him to file a motion for summary judgment. Contrades contends there is good cause for the amendment because: the 3/7/19 Reconsideration Order contemplated his filing of a motion for summary judgment; and previously unavailable testimony from Plaintiff and his treating physician demonstrates that Contrades did not act with malice nor animus toward Plaintiff, and Contrades was acting within the authority and discretion of his position with KPD.

         STANDARD

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4) states that a court's scheduling order “may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent.” This district court has stated:

The Rule 16(b) good cause inquiry focuses on the diligence of the party seeking to modify the scheduling order. Zivkovic v. S. Cal. Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002). The pretrial schedule may be modified if the deadline could not have been reasonably met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension. Id. (citing Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992)) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
. . . .
. . . Rule 16 is designed to prevent parties from benefitting from carelessness, unreasonability, or gamesmanship. In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litigation, 2014 WL 4954634, *2 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 1, 2014) (citing Orozco v. Midland Credit Mgmt. ...

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