United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO CONTINUE AND
DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Crawl Space
Cleaning Pros, Inc.'s (“CSCP”) motion to
continue, Dkt. 185, and CSCP's motion for
reconsideration, Dkt. 183. The Court has considered the
pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion
and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion to
continue and denies the motion for reconsideration for the
reasons stated herein.
November 13, 2019, Plaintiff Clean Crawl, Inc.
(“CCI”) moved to amend or supplement complaint.
Dkt. 159. On November 25, 2019, CSCP responded. Dkt. 161. On
November 29, 2019, CCI replied. Dkt. 164. On December 11,
2019, the Court granted CCI's motion for leave to amend
or supplement complaint. Dkt. 179.
December 17, 2019, CSCP moved for reconsideration. Dkt. 183.
Also on December 17, 2019, CSCP moved to continue trial,
extend existing pretrial deadlines, and extend expert
discovery. Dkt. 185. On December 20, 2019, CCI responded.
Dkt. 188. On December 23, 2019, CSCP replied. Dkt. 190. On
December 24, 2019, CCI filed a notice of intent to surreply.
preliminary matter, the Court notes that the motion for
continuance is likely moot because the Court has a criminal
trial scheduled to begin on the same date as this civil
trial. The criminal trial has priority and the Court has been
informed it is likely to proceed as scheduled.
so, the Court finds that there is good cause for a
continuance in this case due to the Court's previous
potentially mistaken conclusion that allowing amendment would
not substantially prejudice CSCP. See United States v.
2.61 Acres of Land, 791 F.2d 666, 671 (9th Cir. 1985)
(denial of a continuance is reviewed for abuse of discretion
considering the moving party's diligence, the need for a
continuance, the extent to which granting the continuance
would inconvenience the court and the opposing party, and the
harm to the moving party if the continuance was denied).
opposition to the motion to amend, CSCP argued it would
prejudiced if amendment were permitted because it may have
proceeded differently in discovery, pre-trial motion
practice, and trial strategy preparation had it known the
additional claim would be part of the case. Dkt. 179 at 8
(citing Dkt. 161 at 9). In granting the motion to amend, the
Court stated that it would consider a motion for a
continuance if CSCP found it required additional discovery to
fairly present its case and prepare for trial. Id.
at 10. In moving for reconsideration and for a trial
continuance, CSCP argues that it will be necessary to reopen
expert discovery. Dkt. 183 at 4; Dkt. 185 at 1-2. While
CSCP's position regarding expert discovery may have been
helpful to the Court in considering the motion to amend, the
Court finds that CSCP has been reasonably diligent and has
shown a need for, and that it would be prejudiced without, a
continuance. Though CCI argues it will be inconvenienced
because its witnesses have made travel arrangements, Dkt. 188
at 9, that issue is likely moot due to the pending criminal
trial. The Court also notes that though CCI filed a notice of
intent to file a surreply to strike new, false, or otherwise
improper material from CSCP's reply brief, Dkt. 192, the
Court reaches the conclusion that a continuance is warranted
based on CSCP's motion and CCI's response.
that the parties' Joint Status Reports submitted this
past September state that the parties have not designated any
testifying experts and do not anticipate calling experts to
testify, Dkts. 134, 135, the Court will limit each side to
one expert in order to accommodate the identified need for
expert testimony while not extending the trial date any
further than necessary.
parties shall meet and confer to agree upon the earliest
possible trial date and corresponding discovery schedule and
pretrial deadlines consistent with the completion of expert
disclosure and discovery and the schedules of counsel and the
Court. The parties shall inform the Court of their agreement
by filing a Joint Status Report no later than January 9,
CSCP's motion for reconsideration, “a motion for
reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual
circumstances, unless the district court is presented with
newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there
is an intervening change in the controlling law.”
Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d
877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000) (quoting 389 Orange Street
Partners v. Arnold, 179 F.3d 656, 665 (9th Cir. 1999)).
CSCP presented argument in support of its motion which did
not constitute newly discovered evidence, clear error, an
intervening change in the law, or highly unusual
circumstances, so the Court denies the motion.
it is hereby ORDERED that CSCP's motion
to continue, Dkt. 185, is GRANTED, and
CSCP's motion for reconsideration, Dkt. 183, is
DENIED. The pretrial conference currently
scheduled for January 6, 2020 and all other pretrial
deadlines are ...