United States District Court, D. Nevada
U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs,
SFR INVESTMENTS POOL 1, LLC, et al., Defendants.
J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is an order for attorneys Yanxiong Li and
Adam Knecht to show cause in writing, no later than March 15,
2019, why they should not be sanctioned in a fine of up to
$500 each. Docket No. 87. Mr. Li filed a response. Docket No.
88. Mr. Knecht did not respond.
parties and their counsel have had multiple problems getting
this case wrapped up. Plaintiff and the HOA recently filed a
supplemental status report specifically requesting that they
have until March 7, 2019 to file dismissal papers or an
updated status report. Docket No. 85 at 2. The Court then
granted that request, ordering that “dismissal papers
or a further status report for the claims involving the HOA
shall be filed by March 7, 2019.” Docket No. 86.
Notwithstanding that they themselves proposed this deadline,
Plaintiff and the HOA did not comply with it. The instant
order to show cause relates to whether counsel for Plaintiff
(Mr. Li) and counsel for the HOA (Mr. Knecht) should be
are not suggestions or recommendations, they are directives
with which compliance is mandatory. See, e.g.,
Chapman v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co., 613 F.2d
193, 197 (9th Cir. 1979); see also Weddell v.
Stewart, 261 P.3d 1080, 1085 & n.9 (Nev. 2011). Rule
16(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
sanctions for non-compliance with any “scheduling or
other pretrial order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(f)(1)(C). Minute
orders constitute “orders” for purposes of Rule
16(f). See, e.g., Gfeller v. Doyne Med. Clinic,
Inc., 2015 WL 5210392, at *8 (D. Nev. Sept. 3, 2015).
of orders setting deadlines are neither technical nor
trivial, but instead “involve a matter most critical to
the court itself: management of its docket and the avoidance
of unnecessary delays in the administration of its
cases.” Martin Family Trust v. Heco/Nostalgia
Enters. Co., 186 F.R.D. 601, 603 (E.D. Cal. 1999)
(quoting Matter of Sanction of Baker, 774 F.2d 1440,
1441 (10th Cir. 1984) (en banc) (internal quotations
omitted)). Rule 16(f) is “broadly remedial and its
purpose is to encourage forceful judicial management.”
Sherman v. United States, 801 F.2d 1133, 1135 (9th
Cir. 1986) (per curiam). When a court determines that Rule
16(f) has been triggered, it has broad discretion in
fashioning an appropriate sanction. See, e.g.,
Official Airline Guides, Inc. v. Goss, 6 F.3d 1385,
1397 (9th Cir. 1993). While not expressly enumerated, the
imposition of court fines is within the scope of the
“just orders” permitted by Rule 16(f). See,
e.g., Nick v. Morgan's Foods, Inc., 270 F.3d 590,
595-96 (8th Cir. 2001). In determining the appropriate
sanction, a primary objective is to deter similar misconduct.
See, e.g., Martin Family Trust, 186 F.R.D.
responding to the order to show cause, Mr. Li represents that
his violation of the above order stems from a firm-wide
transition of server systems. Docket No. 88 at 2. In
particular, Mr. Li indicates that this transition
unexpectedly impacted the firm's calendaring system such
that his internal notification was not provided to him with
respect to the March 7 deadline set by the Court. See
Id. Given the circumstances, the Court
CAUTIONS Mr. Li that he and his firm must
put in place proper safeguards to ensure compliance with the
Court's orders moving forward, but the Court otherwise
DISCHARGES the order to show cause with
respect to Mr. Li.
other hand, Mr. Knecht did not respond to the order to show
cause at all. As such, he violated yet another order-the
order to show cause itself, which required Mr. Knecht to
respond in writing. See Docket No. 87 at 2.
Moreover, Mr. Knecht has provided no justification of any
kind as to why he violated the order at Docket No. 86. Given
the violation of a clear order and the provision of no
explanation of any kind with respect to Mr. Knecht, the Court
SANCTIONS him in the form of a $200 fine.
The Court believes that sanction is necessary and appropriate
to deter future violations. This sanction is to be paid
personally by Mr. Knecht and shall not be passed on in any
way to his client. Payment of the fine shall be made to the
“Clerk, U.S. District Court” no later than April
1, 2019. Mr. Knecht is also ordered to file a proof of
payment on the docket by that date. The Court also
CAUTIONS Mr. Knecht that the Court expects
strict compliance with all orders moving forward.
reasons discussed above, the Court hereby
CAUTIONS both Mr. Li and Mr. Knecht. In
addition, the Court SANCTIONS Mr. Knecht in
a fine of $200. In all ...