Blake v. Santa Clara Department of Correction et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01239

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART {{15}} MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE; GRANTING {{22}} REQUEST TO MODIFY BRIEFING SCHEDULE.

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 SHAWNCEY BLAKE, ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND 7 DENYING IN PART MOTION TO Plaintiff, CONSOLIDATE; GRANTING 8 REQUEST TO MODIFY BRIEFING v. SCHEDULE 9 HOYT, et al., Case No. 15-cv-00720-HSG 10 Defendants. 11 Re: Dkt. Nos. 16, 23 12 Northern District of California United States District Court SHAWNCEY BLAKE, 13 Case No. 15-cv-01239-HSG Plaintiff, 14 v. 15 Re: Dkt. Nos. 15, 22 HOYT, et al., 16 Defendants. 17 18 19 Plaintiff, an inmate at the Santa Clara County Jail, has filed the above two pro se civil 20 rights action — Blake v. Hoyt, et al., C No. 15-cv-00720 HSG (―Blake II‖); Blake v. Hoyt, et al., C 21 No. 15-cv-01239 HSG (―Blake III‖) — under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that prison officials 22 violated his right to access the courts and retaliated against him for exercising his First 23 Amendment rights when they charged him with, and found him guilty of a major rule infraction 24 for disobeying a prior order not to send grievances via confidential legal mail. Pending before the 25 Court are Plaintiff's motion to consolidate cases and Defendants' motion requesting a 26 modification of the briefing schedule. The Court addresses each motion below 27 I. Motion to Consolidate Cases 28 Plaintiff seeks to consolidate these two actions with Blake v. Gillote, et al., C No. 14-cv- 1 03727 HSG (―Blake II‖) and Blake v. Santa Clara Dept. of Corrections, et al., C No. 15-cb- 2 03352-HSG (―Blake IV‖). For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's request to consolidate this 3 case with the other cases is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. 4 Blake IV has been remanded to state court, so to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to 5 consolidate this action with Blake IV, that request is DENIED AS MOOT. This Court has already 6 DENIED Plaintiff's request to consolidate Blake I with Plaintiff's other pending cases in the Order 7 Denying Motion to Consolidate, issued in Blake I. The only remaining issue is Plaintiff's 8 unopposed request to consolidate Blake II and Blake III. 9 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) permits the Court to consolidate actions involving a 10 common question of law or fact, and consolidation is proper when it serves the purposes of 11 judicial economy and convenience. ―The district court has broad discretion under this rule to 12 consolidate cases pending in the same district.‖ Investors Research Co. v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 877 F.2d Northern District of California United States District Court 13 777, 777 (9th Cir. 1989). In determining whether to consolidate actions, the Court weighs the 14 interest of judicial convenience against the potential for delay, confusion, and prejudice caused by 15 consolidation. Zhu v. UCBH Holdings, Inc., 682 F.Supp.2d 1049, 1052 (N.D. Cal. 2010). The 16 Court may decline to consolidate the actions if they are at different stages of discovery or trial 17 preparation. Single Chip Sys. Corp. v. Intermec IP Corp., 495 F.Supp.2d 1052, 1057 (S.D. Cal. 18 2007). 19 Here, consolidation of Blake II and Blake III is appropriate. Blake II and Blake III, 20 concern prison officials' issuance of rule infractions to Plaintiff for sending grievances in 21 envelopes labelled ―confidential legal mail.‖ See Blake II, Docket No. 14 at 2–3; Blake III, 22 Docket No. 13 at 2–3. Both cases are in similar procedural postures, with pending summary 23 judgment motions that are not fully briefed. Accordingly, in the interests of justice, the Court 24 GRANTS Plaintiff's unopposed request to consolidate Blake II and Blake III. 25 II. Defendants' Request for a Modification of the Briefing Schedule 26 Plaintiff has filed summary judgment motions in both Blake II and Blake III. Defendants' 27 oppositions to these summary judgment motions are due December 7, 2015. Defendants' 28 dispositive motions in both cases are due December 31, 2015. Defendants have requested that the 2 1 Court grant an extension of time to December 31, 2015, to file their oppositions to the summary 2 judgment motions. Good cause being shown, the Court GRANTS Defendants' request for a 3 modification of the briefing schedule. The revised briefing schedule is set forth below. 4 CONCLUSION 5 1. Plaintiff's motions to consolidate (Blake II, Docket No. 16; and Blake III, Docket 6 No. 15) are GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. Only Blake II and Blake III shall be 7 consolidated. The earlier-filed action, Case No. 15-00720, shall serve as the lead case. The clerk 8 is directed to administratively close the later-filed action, Case No. 15-01239. All future filings 9 should be done in the lead case only. 10 2. Defendants' requests to modify the briefing schedule (Blake II, Docket No. 23; and 11 Blake III, Docket No. 22) are GRANTED. The revised briefing schedule is as follows: 12 Defendants' oppositions to the pending summary judgment motions are due by December Northern District of California United States District Court 13 31, 2015. Plaintiff's replies in support of his summary judgment motions are due by January 18, 14 2016. 15 Defendants' summary judgment or other dispositive motions are due by December 31, 16 2015. Plaintiff's opposition to the summary judgment or other dispositive motion must be filed 17 with the Court and served upon defendants no later than 28 days from the date the motion is filed. 18 Defendants shall file a reply brief no later than 14 days after the date the opposition is filed. The 19 motion shall be deemed submitted as of the date the reply brief is due. No hearing will be held on 20 the motion. 21 3. This order terminates Docket Nos. 16 and 23 in Blake II, and Docket Nos. 15 and 22 22 in Blake III. 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 Dated: 12/8/2015 25 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. 26 United States District Judge 27 28 3