December 18, 2013
Jennifer Marie Jones, Plaintiff(s),
Town of Quartzsite, et al., Defendant(s)
JAMES A. TEILBORG, District Judge.
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's counsel's motion to withdraw and motion for extension of time.
The motion to withdraw, while seemingly well taken, fails to comply with Local Rule Civil 83. Specifically, it contains neither client consent, nor proof of service on the client. Next, it does not contain current contact information for the client which would allow the Court to send notice to her pro se if counsel withdraws. Counsel will be given 7 days to bring the motion into compliance or it will be denied.
Next, counsel for Plaintiff has sought an extension of time to respond to a motion for judgment on the pleadings to give Plaintiff time to obtain new counsel or respond pro se. Counsel has indicated that Defendants will not stipulate to an extension. While the Court notes that the extension sought is quite long, given counsel's many personal issues, it does not seem unreasonable.
Defense counsel's refusal to stipulate to extend this deadline is surprising to the Court. Previously in this case, defense counsel, Lisa S. Wahlin, moved firms. When Ms. Wahlin moved firms, she failed to enter the correct dispositive motion deadline for this case into her new firm's docketing system. As a result, she missed the dispositive motion deadline. By Ms. Wahlin's own statements, Plaintiff's counsel then "graciously" agreed to extend the deadline. Nonetheless, Ms. Wahlin will not stipulate to extend time to respond to this very motion.
Because the deadline to respond has expired, and because Ms. Wahlin will not stipulate to extend it, Ms. Wahlin must see some urgency to this matter. Accordingly, Ms. Wahlin will need to explain to the Court immediately why such a continuance is not warranted.
Further, the Court notes that in Plaintiff's counsel's email attachment to his motion to withdraw, counsel suggests the parties are taking Plaintiff's deposition in January 2014. Discovery closed in this case in August 2013. The Court is confused as to how this deposition could possibly be proceeding in January and orders it vacated if it is in fact scheduled.
Based on the foregoing,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's counsel shall supplement the motion to withdraw within seven days, as indicated above, or it will be denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED setting a hearing on the motion for extension of time (Doc. 23) for tomorrow, December 19, 2013, at 1:05 p.m. Plaintiff's counsel may appear telephonically by calling into the Court at 602-322-7560 at the time set for the hearing. Ms. Wahlin shall appear in person.
IT IS FINALLY ORDERED that Plaintiff's pro se motion to stay (Doc. 25) is denied.