United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
Richard Creatura United States Magistrate Judge.
to separate Order by District Judge Robert J. Bryan, this
case was reassigned to District Judge Ronald B. Leighton and
referred to the undersigned for handling of all pretrial
matters. Dkt. 91; Dkt. 92. Another case filed by plaintiff,
Irby v. Guidry et al., 3:17-cv-17-05070-RBL-JRC was
reassigned to the undersigned as a related case. See
Dkt. entry dated May 9, 2017. A third case filed by
plaintiff, Irby v. Gilbert et al., Case No.
16-cv-5052-RBL-JRC is also referred to the undersigned.
actions before the court involve a common question of law or
fact, the court may: (1) join for hearing or trial any or all
matters at issue in the actions; (2) consolidate the actions;
or (3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or
delay.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a). Under Rule 42, the Court
has “broad discretion” to consolidate cases
pending in the same district either upon motion by a party or
sua sponte. In re Adams Apple., Inc. 829 F.2d 1484,
1487 (9th Cir. 1987). In exercising this discretion, the
Court “weighs 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). Consolidation
may be ordered on motion of any party or on the court's
own motion whenever it reasonably appears that consolidation
would aid in the efficient and economic disposition of a
case. See In re Air Crash Disaster at Florida
Everglades on December 29, 1972, 549 F.2d 1006 (5th Cir.
1977). The grant or denial of a motion to consolidate rests
in the trial court's sound discretion, and is not
dependent on party approval. Investors Research Co. v.
United States Dist. Ct., 877 F.2d 777 (9th Cir. 1989);
Cantrell v. GAF Corp., 999 F.2d 1007, 1007, 1001
(6th Cir. 1993). In determining whether to consolidate
actions, the court weighs the interest of judicial
convenience against the potential for delay, confusion, and
prejudice caused by consolidation. Southwest Marine,
Inc., v. Triple A. Mach. Shop, Inc., 720 F.Supp. 805,
807 (N.D. Cal. 1989).
has three open cases in this Court, with overlapping claims
and issues. Plaintiff has filed identical motions in two of
his cases. See Case No. 15-5208 at Dkt. 54; See
also Case No. 17-5070 at Dkt. 49. From March to April
2017, plaintiff filed ten motions for injunctive relief, all
seeking similar relief related to his mental health treatment
and access to legal materials. See Case No. 15-5208
at Dkt. 53, 54, 59, 61; Case No. 17-5070 at Dkt. 41; 43, 46,
49, 50, 56. Plaintiff also appears to seek leave to add his
claims related to Case Nos. 16-5052 and 17-5070 to Case No.
15-5208. See Case No. 15-5208 at Dkt. 61 (Motion to
Join Claim). At this time, plaintiff has twenty-three motions
pending between all three cases. See Case No.
15-5208; Case No. 16-5052; Case No. 17-5070. Plaintiff's
multiple filings have made the three cases difficult to
manage for both the Court and opposing counsel.
March 12, 2017, Magistrate Judge Karen L. Strombom denied
plaintiff's motion to consolidate this case with
plaintiff's two other pending cases, Case No.
16-cv-5052-RBL-JRC and 17-cv-5070-RBL-JRC. Case No. 15-5208
at Dkt. 36. Plaintiff alleged that the three cases raised
identical issues and for the most part, named the same
defendants. Id. Magistrate Judge Strombom denied the
motion to consolidate without prejudice, finding that
plaintiff had failed to meet the requirements of Local Rule
42 and meet and confer with defendants. Id. at Dkt.
44. At that time, no defendants had entered an appearance in
this case. On April 25, 2017, defendants Geurdy, State of
Washington, Zabodny, Warner, Sinclar, Pacholke, Obenland,
David McKinney, Russ McKinney, Brenda McKinney, Kroha,
Johnson, Fobes, Dunleavy, Cleveland, Bowman, Drogseth, and
Roberts entered waivers of service. Id. at Dkts.
on the Court's examination of these three actions, the
three cases require application of similar laws, and involve
similar facts and parties. Thus, the Court finds that
consolidation may result in judicial economy and convenience,
and may reduce confusion. Now that defendants have entered an
appearance in this matter, the Court directs the parties to
show cause on or before May 19, 2017 why this case should not
be consolidated with Case No. 16-cv-5052-RBL-JRC and Case No.
17-cv-5070-RBL-JRC. The parties' response to this Order
is limited to five pages.
respect to plaintiff's pending motions for injunctive
relief, because plaintiff's numerous motions appear to
overlap in allegations and facts, plaintiff is directed to
file ONE complete motion for preliminary injunction,
addressing all of his claims on or before May 19, 2017.
Plaintiff's motion is limited to ten pages. Upon review
of plaintiff's complete motion for injunctive relief, the
Court will determine whether a response from defendants is
addition, the Court orders that all three cases are stayed,
(Case Nos. 15-5208, 16-5052 and 17-5070) pending the
parties' response to this Order. Lockyer v. Mirant
Corp. 398 F.3d 1038, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing
Landis v. North Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936)
(“A district court has the discretionary power to stay
proceedings in its own court.”). The parties are
advised that until the stay is lifted, the Court will not
consider any future filings, aside from the response to this
Order and plaintiff's ONE motion for injunctive relief.
The Court may strike any pleading that does not comply with
Clerk is directed to also file this Order in Case Nos.
16-5052 and 17-5070 and re-note all ...