United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER [DOCKET NO. 37]
J. Koppe United States Magistrate Judge.
governing extensions of discovery deadlines and the
parties' duty to diligently engage in discovery is
the Court authorizes earlier discovery, the discovery process
begins upon the holding of a Rule 26(f) conference.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(d)(1). Based on the
discussions at that conference, the parties file a discovery
plan. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f)(3). The Court considers that
discovery plan and enters a scheduling order establishing
deadlines for the completion of discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P.
the scheduling order is entered, it “controls the
course of the action unless the court modifies it.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(d). The deadlines in the scheduling order are
not recommendations, they are directives with which
compliance is mandatory absent court approval to the
contrary. See, e.g., Johnson v. Mammoth
Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 610 (9th Cir. 1992)
(“A scheduling order ‘is not a frivolous piece of
paper, idly entered, which can be cavalierly disregarded by
counsel without peril'”); Martin Family Trust
v. Heco/Nostalgia Enterps. Co., 186 F.R.D. 601, 603
(E.D. Cal. 1999) (“Calendars are simply too crowded for
parties to treat scheduling orders as
optional”). The Court does not simply rubber-stamp
requests to modify the scheduling order. Instead, all such
requests must show that “good cause” exists for
an extension, Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4); Local Rule 26-4, an
inquiry that turns on whether the deadline at issue cannot be
met despite the diligence of the party or parties
seeking the extension, see Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609.
When diligence is lacking, “the inquiry should
end.” Id. If the deadline at issue has already
expired before the request is filed, an even more rigorous
showing is required (in addition to the good cause standard)
that the failure to timely seek the extension was the result
of excusable neglect. Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(B); Local Rule
axiomatic that the mere filing of a motion to dismiss,
standing alone, is not grounds to delay discovery.
E.g., Kor Media Grp., LLC v. Green, 294
F.R.D. 579, 581 (D. Nev. 2013) (“The Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure do not provide for automatic or blanket stays
of discovery when a potentially dispositive motion is
pending”) (Koppe, J.); Ministerio Roca Solida v.
U.S. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, 288 F.R.D. 500, 502
(D. Nev. 2013) (Ferenbach, J.); Tradebay, LLC v. eBay,
Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 601 (D. Nev. 2011) (Leen, J.);
Jones v. Wirth, 2016 WL 4994962, at *3 (D. Nev.
Sept. 16, 2016) (Foley, J.); Martinez v. MXI Corp.,
2015 WL 8328275, at *3 (D. Nev. Dec. 8, 2015) (Cooke, J.);
Cruz v. Wabash Nat'l Corp., 2013 WL 6837717, at
*1 (D. Nev. Dec. 26, 2013) (Hoffman, J.); Money v. Banner
Health, 2012 WL 1190858, at *4 (D. Nev. Apr. 9, 2012)
(Cobb, J.). That settled proposition is not altered by the
fact that the parties may have agreed among themselves
(without seeking court approval) to forego their discovery
obligations during the pendency of a motion to dismiss.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 29(b); see also Local
Rule 7-1(b). Indeed, the parties expressly acknowledged this
truism in their discovery plan that they filed in this case,
stating plainly that “[i]t is not good cause for a
later request to extend discovery that the parties informally
postponed discovery.” Docket No. 18 at 3.
reasons that are unclear, the parties did not adhere to their
own recitation of this settled principle. The discovery
cutoff expired a month ago, on April 16, 2018. Docket No. 19.
That deadline was stipulated to by the parties and ordered by
the Court. See Id. Now pending before the Court is
the parties' stipulation seeking an
“extension” of the discovery cutoff to an uncertain
date that is 90 days after resolution of certain pending
motions, including motions to dismiss. Docket No.
The stipulation reveals that-despite having months during
which to conduct discovery and despite the parties' own
acknowledgement that they are not entitled to postpone
discovery without court approval-virtually no discovery was
conducted in this case during the now-expired discovery
period. To the contrary, some initial disclosures were
exchanged and one deposition was taken. Id.
at 2. The parties indicate that the full panoply
of discovery remains: depositions, interrogatories, requests
for admission, and requests for production. Id.
from the stipulation is any basis on which the Court could
find that the parties have been diligent and that, despite
such diligence, they could not reasonably comply with the
deadlines in place. Good cause is therefore lacking. Also
missing from the stipulation is any basis on which the Court
could find that the parties' failure to file their
request in a timely fashion before the discovery cutoff was
the result of excusable neglect. Without those showings, the
relief requested will not be granted.
the stipulation is DENIED without prejudice.
 A “district court needs the
authority to manage the cases before it efficiently and
effectively. In these days of heavy caseloads, trial courts
in both the federal and state systems routinely set schedules
and establish deadlines to foster the efficient treatment and
resolution of cases. Those efforts will be successful only if
the deadlines are taken seriously by the parties, and the
best way to encourage that is to enforce the deadlines.
Parties must understand that they will pay a price for
failure to comply strictly with scheduling and other
orders.” Wong v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 410
F.3d 1052, 1060 (9th Cir. 2005); see also Cornwell v.
Electra Cent. Credit Union, 439 F.3d 1018, 1027 (9th
Cir. 2006) (“The use of orders establishing a firm
discovery cutoff date is commonplace, and has impacts
generally helpful to the orderly progress of litigation, so
that the enforcement of such an order should come as a
surprise to no one”).
 These standards apply whether the
request is presented in the form of a motion or stipulation.
See Local Rule 26-4; see also Adrian v. OneWest
Bank, FSB, 686 Fed.Appx. 403, 405 (9th Cir. 2017)
(affirming denial of a stipulation to extend the discovery
cutoff where the parties had not been diligent in pursuing
discovery; “Although the parties styled their agreed
extension as a stipulation to extend the discovery deadline,
the district court properly treated it as a joint motion
because the judge must consent to any modification of a
 As the stipulation was filed a month
after the expiration of the discovery cutoff, the parties are
not actually seeking an “extension, ” they are
seeking that discovery be “reopened.” A request
to extend and a request to reopen are conceptually distinct
matters and ...