United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS TO APPOINT MEDIATOR
AS ESTABLISHED BY LCR 7 (F), FOR TRO, AND FOR DEFAULT
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's Motion
to Appoint Mediator as Established by [Local Rule W.D. Wash.]
(“Local Rule”) 7 (f) (Dkt. 23), Motion for
Default Judgment (Dkt. 33), and Motion Requesting Temporary
Restraining Order (Dkt. 32). The Court has reviewed the
pleadings filed regarding the motions and remaining record.
breach of contract case was filed by Plaintiff, pro
se, who is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis (“IFP”). Dkts. 1, 6, and 7. He
claims, in part, that the Defendant publishing company failed
to pay him royalties on books that he wrote. Dkt. 7.
21, 2017, the Court directed the Clerk of the Court to send
to Defendant by U.S. mail at the address provided in the
summons filled out by Plaintiff (Dkt. 10): copies of
Plaintiff's Complaint (Dkt. 7), the order directing
service, the notice of lawsuit and request for waiver of
service of summons, and a waiver of service of summons. Dkt.
13. On August 21, 2017, a waiver of service of summons was
returned to the court, signed by “Melissa M. Bauer,
Secretary Get Published! LLC, successor in interest to
Trafford Publishing, LLC, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington,
IN, 47403.” Dkt. 21.
September 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed this Motion to Appoint
Mediator as Established by Local Rule 7 (f). Dkt. 23. In this
pleading, Plaintiff states that it is “[his] deepest
desire to resolve this dispute amicably, ” and so moves
for appointment of a mediator. Id. He asserts that
“this forum will best serve resolution in civil suit
September 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for default
judgment, asserting that default judgment should be entered
against Defendant for failure to appear and to be represented
by an attorney admitted to practice before this Court. Dkt.
filed a motion for a temporary restraining order
(“TRO”) against the Defendant. Dkt. 32. Plaintiff
argues in that motion, “that until this lawsuit is
resolved, it is not fair for Defendant to continue to gain
financially from Plaintiff's copyrighted work.”
Id. Plaintiff noted the motion for September 13,
2017. Id. This motion was entered into the case
docket after the Court denied, on September 14, 2017,
Plaintiff's motion for a TRO (Dkt. 26) “to stop
Defendant from selling any of Plaintiff's books
nationally and internationally ‘until this civil suit
is settled or otherwise resolved.'” Dkt. 28.
Plaintiff has also filed motions for TROs to force the Pierce
County, Washington jail, where he is being held, to pay for
his postage and copies on all legal documents. Dkts. 24 and
26. Both of those motions were denied. Dkts. 25 and 27.
September 19, 2017, Defendant appeared and filed an Answer to
the Complaint. Dkt. 28. (In the Court's September 20,
2017 order, a typographical error appears: the order states
that “[o]n October 19, 2017, defense counsel appeared
for Defendant and Defendant filed an Answer to the
Complaint.” Defense counsel appeared and an answer was
filed on September 19, 2017. Dkt. 28. The Court's
September 20, 2017 order (Dkt. 31), page 2, line 3 should be
amended as follows: the month of “October” is
changed to “September” to properly reflect the
September 22, 2017, Defendant filed a response opposing
Plaintiff's motion for a TRO. Dkt. 35. Defendant argues
that the Plaintiff fails to show that he is entitled to a
TRO, and in any event, it has “immediately placed a
hold on all distribution of Plaintiff's books, ” so
Plaintiff cannot demonstrate irreparable harm if the TRO is
not granted. Id.
opinion will first address Plaintiff's motion for
appointment of a mediator, then his motion for default
judgment, and lastly, his motion for a TRO.
for Appointment of Mediator. Plaintiff's Motion
to Appoint Mediator as Established by Local Rule 7 (f) (Dkt.
23) should be denied without prejudice. Local Rule 7 (f) does
not apply to Plaintiff's motion; it addresses motions to
file over-length briefs. Under Local Rule 39.1 (c)(1), the
parties may, by stipulation, move “for mediation under
this rule at any time.” While mediation may be a
possible way to resolve this dispute, the Defendant did not
join in this motion as is required in a stipulation. This
motion should be denied without prejudice.
for Default Judgment. Plaintiffs Motion for Default
Judgment (Dkt. 33) should be stricken as moot. Fed.R.Civ.P.
55 provides: “[w]hen a party against whom a judgment
for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or