United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S LCR 42 MOTION TO
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff LHF Productions,
Inc.'s (“LHF”) LCR 42 Motion to Consolidate
Cases (Dkt. #71). For the reasons discussed herein, the Court
DENIES LHF's motion.
February 15, 2017, this Court granted in part and denied in
part LHF's motion for default judgment against four named
Defendants. See Dkt. #70. The Defendants were named
in the same Amended Complaint because LHF alleged those
Defendants were part of the same BitTorrent
“swarm” that infringed a particular digital copy
of the motion picture London Has Fallen. Dkt. #13
¶¶ 1, 10, 35, 36, 41, 36. Aside from the Defendants
named in this case, LHF filed sixteen other matters with the
Court alleging the infringement of different digital copies
of London Has Fallen by nearly two hundred other
named defendants. Orders granting in part and denying in
part LHF's motions for default judgment in nine of those
other matters were also issued on February 15,
2017. Of the ten matters in which the Court
issued orders granting in part and denying in part LHF's
motions for default judgment, five were closed because of the
issuance of the Court's orders. Although LHF did not seek
to consolidate any of its cases before the Court issued its
orders, LHF now seeks to consolidate the ten matters in which
the Court issued an order granting in part and denying in
part LHF's motions for default judgment. LHF's
request for consolidation appears motivated by its intent to
appeal the Court's Orders in the ten matters.
See Dkt. #71 at 3-4.
42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits courts
to consolidate actions if they “involve a common
question of law or fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a). This rule
affords courts “broad discretion” to consolidate
cases pending in the same district, either upon a party's
motion or sua sponte. In re Adams Apple,
Inc., 829 F.2d 1484, 1487 (9th Cir. 1987). Courts
“weigh the saving of time and effort consolidation
would produce against any inconvenience, delay, or expense
that it would cause.” Huene v. United States,
743 F.2d 703, 704 (9th Cir. 1984). Additionally, Local Civil
Rule 42(b) requires parties to meet and confer to
“attempt to reach agreement regarding whether the cases
should be consolidated and whether consolidation should
extend through trial.”
initial matter, the Court notes that LHF's Rule 42(a)
request to consolidate Case Nos. C16-552RSM, C16-621RSM,
C16-623RSM, C16-865RSM, and C16-1015RSM is improper. As noted
by this district, Rule 42(a) applies to actions pending
before the Court. Abels v. Skipworth, No.
C10-5033BHS, 2010 WL 2376230, *1 (W.D. Wash. June 9, 2010)
(denying request to consolidate cases where one case was
closed and no longer pending before the court). Because Case
Nos. C16-552RSM, C16-621RSM, C16-623RSM, C16-865RSM, and
C16-1015RSM were closed and a judgment by the Court was
rendered in each matter on February 15, 2017, those matters
were no longer pending before the Court when LHF filed its
motion to consolidate on March 16, 2017. Consequently, Rule
42(a) does not apply to those matters, and LHF's request
to consolidate Case Nos. C16-552RSM, C16-621RSM, C16-623RSM,
C16-865RSM, and C16-1015RSM is DENIED.
the ten matters LHF seeks to consolidate involve application
of the same laws, they do not involve the same facts or the
same defendants. On the contrary, it appears LHF filed
seventeen matters for precisely that reason. In the amended
complaints of the ten matters LHF now seeks to consolidate,
LHF alleged the defendants in each matter were named in the
same complaint because they allegedly infringed “the
exact same unique copy” of London Has Fallen
“within the same serious of transactions or occurrences
. . . . ” See Dkt. #13 ¶ 36.
Consequently, although the named defendants in a particular
matter allegedly infringed the same unique copy of London
Has Fallen with each other, the dates, times, and copies
of the movie allegedly infringed by the defendants in the
separate matters is different. What's more, the Court
notes the ten matters LHF seeks to consolidate are at
different procedural postures. While five of the matters are
closed, five remain open, and LHF has filed a Joint
Status Report indicating that it is ready to proceed to trial
on one of these matters. Consolidation of these cases now would
not only prejudice the remaining defendants in the
outstanding matters, it would also prejudice the defendants
named in the closed matters.
the Court notes that LHF failed to comply with Local Civil
Rule 42(b)'s meet and confer requirement. LHF argues,
without citing any authority, this requirement is moot in
Case No. C16-864RSM because the last named defendant in that
case has since been dismissed; LHF also argues this
requirement is moot in Case No. C16-1017RSM because the named
defendant in that matter is in default. Dkt. #71 at 4.
Regarding Case Nos. C16-551RSM, C16-731RSM, and C16-1175RSM,
LHF reasons the meet and confer requirement is moot because
LHF could not reach the remaining named defendants in those
matters. Id. The Court is not persuaded by LHF's
arguments. With respect to Case Nos. C16-864RSM and
C16-1017RSM, the Court does not agree the meet and confer
requirement is moot. LHF cites no authority for this
proposition, and the Court declines to adopt this stance. The
Court also declines to render LCR 42(b)'s meet and confer
requirement moot simply because LHF could not contact the
remaining defendants in Case Nos. C16-551RSM, C16-731RSM, and
C16-1175RSM. While the Court acknowledges that, in certain
cases, good cause may be shown for a party's failure to
comply with LCR 42(b), here LHF fails to identify the efforts
it took to comply with this requirement. LHF's failure
to comply with LCR 42(b) thus further supports the
Court's denial of LHF's motion to consolidate.
summary, the Court cannot consolidate five of the ten matters
LHF seeks to consolidate because those matters are no longer
pending before the Court and Rule 42(a) does not apply.
Regarding the five matters pending before the Court, the
Court declines to consolidate those matters because they
involve different facts and defendants, and because LHF
failed to comply with Local Rule 42(b)'s meet and confer
requirement. Accordingly, LHF's LCR 42 Motion to
Consolidate Cases (Dkt. #71) is DENIED.
 See Case Nos. C16-552RSM,
C16-621RSM, C16-623RSM, C16-731RSM, C16-864RSM, C16-865RSM,
C16-1015RSM, C16-1017RSM, C16-1175RSM, C16-1089RSM,
C16-1090RSM, C16-1273RSM, C16-1354RSM, C16-1588RSM,
C16-1648RSM, and C17-254RSM.
 See Case Nos. C16-552RSM at
Dkt. #51, C16-621RSM at Dkt. # 39, C16-623RSM at Dkt. #83,
C16-731RSM at Dkt. #87, C16-864RSM at Dkt. #76, C16-865RSM at
Dkt. #72, C16-1015RSM at Dkt. #88, C16-1017RSM at Dkt. #78,
and C16-1175RSM at Dkt. #73.
 See Case Nos. C16-552RSM,
C16-621RSM, C16-623RSM, C16-865RSM, and C16-1015RSM.
See Case Nos. C16-551RSM,
C16-731RSM, C16-864RSM, C16-1017RSM, and ...