Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Honorable Fred W. Slaughter

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District Judge
Santa Ana, Courtroom 10D
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Recording, copying, photographing and rebroadcasting of court proceedings is prohibited by federal law. A violation of this prohibition may result in sanctions, including suspension of your license to practice before this court, referral to the state bar, denial of the right to appear by video or telephonically at future proceedings, criminal prosecution, contempt, denial of admission to future hearings, and any other sanctions deemed necessary by the Court.

*Unless the Court specifically orders otherwise, all civil matters (except trials) will be heard via Zoom.* 

Zoom information for all public hearings is posted above and on the Court's daily calendar.  

When you sign in and add your screen name, you must use your full name followed by “(P)” (for plaintiff(s)), “(D)” (for defendant(s)), “(3P)” (for third-party plaintiff(s)), “(3D)” (for third-party defendant(s)), or “CC” (for cross-claimant(s)).  Those participating as members of the public or media are to use "O" (for observer(s)).

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Law and Motion Schedule: 

​CRIMINAL MOTIONS 

Criminal Motions are heard on Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. Counsel must contact the Courtroom Deputy to obtain an available hearing date and time before filing a motion. 

CIVIL MOTIONS 

Civil Motions are heard on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. (If Thursday is a holiday, the next motion date is the following Thursday.) Counsel shall not contact the Courtroom Deputy to clear or reserve a civil motion hearing date. A list of closed dates is located at the top right of this page. Note that if a civil motion date is not expressly designated as “Closed” on this list, it is available, even if the date does not appear anywhere on the list. 

*Motions for Summary Judgment: Must be filed at least forty-two (42) days before the noticed hearing date. See the court's Civil Standing Order for additional information and briefing deadlines regarding Motions for Summary Judgment.

​No party shall file more than one motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, regardless of whether the motion is nominally designated as a motion for summary judgment, summary adjudication, or otherwise, without first obtaining prior leave of the court. Unless the court orders otherwise, the court will not entertain cross-motions. Counsel shall meet and confer prior to filing any such motion to determine which party will move for summary judgment and which will oppose. The court may enter summary judgment sua sponte for the non-moving party where appropriate based on controlling principles of law and undisputed facts. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f). 

MOTION BRIEFING SCHEDULE ​​

Rule 56 Motions: Motions brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 shall be noticed, filed, and served no later than 42 days prior to the hearing date. Oppositions shall be filed and served no later than 28 days prior to the hearing date. Replies shall be filed and served no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date. All Other Motions: All other motions shall be noticed, filed, and served no later than 28 days prior to the hearing date. See L.R. 6-1. Oppositions shall be filed and served no later than 21 days prior to the hearing date. Replies shall be filed and served no later than 14 days prior to the hearing date. See L.R. 7-9, 7-10. The parties may request a different briefing schedule by filing a Stipulation and Proposed Order for the court's approval. 

DISCOVERY MOTIONS AND PROPOSED PROTECTIVE ORDERS 

Unless otherwise ordered, all discovery motions and proposed protective orders are to be calendared and/or presented to the assigned Magistrate Judge.​

EX PARTE APPLICATIONS (CRIMINAL AND CIVIL)​

Ex parte applications are solely for extraordinary relief. To justify ex parte relief, there must be a showing of irreparable prejudice and that the moving party is without fault, or that the crisis occurred as a result of excusable neglect. See Mission Power Engineering Co. v. Continental Casualty Co., 883 F. Supp. 488, 492-93 (C. D. Cal. 1995). The court directs counsel’s attention to Local Rule 7-19. The court considers ex parte applications on the papers. Accordingly, counsel need not set ex parte applications for a hearing date. The other parties’ opposition, or notice of non-opposition (which notice may be provided telephonically to the Courtroom Deputy), to an ex parte application is due 24 hours after the other parties’ receipt of the ex parte application​​​.

Judge's Procedures: 

​​​CONTINUANCES

Continuances are granted only on a showing of good cause. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). Requests for continuances must be by motion, stipulation or application and must be accompanied by a declaration setting forth the reasons for the requested continuance. The declaration also should include whether there have been any previous requests for continuances and whether these requests were granted or denied by the court. Stipulations extending dates set by this court are not effective unless approved by the court. It is best to contact the Courtroom Deputy as soon as you know a request for continuance will be made.

The court’s determination of whether good cause has been shown focuses upon evidence of diligence by the party or parties seeking a continuance and on the potential for prejudice that might result from a denial of the continuance. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4); Matrix Motor Co. v. Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, 218 F.R.D. 667, 671 (C.D. Cal. 2003).

Counsel are not to assume that any request has been granted until it is approved by the court. See L.R. 40-1.

PROPOSED ORDERS AND SIGNATURE ITEMS

Please refer to Local Rule 5-4.4.1 (requiring electronic filing of proposed documents requiring the court’s signature in PDF format) and Local Rule 5-4.4.2 (requiring email submission of documents requiring the court’s signature in Word-processing formats). For email submissions of proposed orders, the court requires that proposed orders be submitted in Word-processing format only. Email submissions of proposed orders and any other signature items should be sent to FWS_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov.

COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE COURT

All inquiries are to be made through the Courtroom Deputy. Unless explicitly requested to do so, counsel shall not attempt to contact the court or its other staff by email, telephone, or by any other ex parte means. Counsel shall not contact court personnel to inquire about the status of a motion, stipulation, or proposed order. Counsel may determine the status of any submitted motion, stipulation, or proposed order by accessing the docket through PACER, which is accessible via the Central District of California’s website.

CALENDAR CONFLICT ISSUES

If a calendar conflict arises, counsel shall notify the Courtroom Deputy prior to the date of the conflict. Counsel shall communicate with all other parties to resolve a calendar conflict before notifying the Courtroom Deputy of any such calendar conflict.

Counsel shall notify both of the Judges’ courtroom deputies at least three (3) days in advance. Counsel should defer to the most senior of the Judges. A priority before that Judge should be requested.

EXTERNS

Questions regarding extern positions should be directed to the Courtroom Deputy at FWS_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov. Applications for the Spring, Summer, and Fall terms are accepted on a rolling basis.

TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS

​For general information on ordering a transcript of any reported or digitally recorded proceeding, please call 213-894-3015 or visit the court’s website (www.cacd.uscourts.gov) and refer to the section on Court Reporter/Recorder Transcripts. To obtain an estimate of the cost for the preparation of a transcript, please contact the court reporter/recorder for the proceeding. To determine the court reporter/recorder for a particular proceeding, please refer to the Court Reporter Schedule web page and click on View by Date. Then click on Court Reporter Phone and Email list for contact information.

INTERPRETERS

Counsel in civil actions are responsible for arranging for the services of an interpreter. The Interpreter’s Office may be reached at (213) 894-4599.

ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT IN THE COURTROOM

Parties and counsel are directed to contact the Courtroom Deputy well in advance of an appearance at which they want to use electronic equipment in the courtroom.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) PROGRAM

Under the Court-Directed ADR Program, parties who receive a “Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program” (form ADR-08), will be presumptively referred to the Court Mediation Panel or a private dispute resolution process at the time of the initial scheduling conference. General Order 11-10, § 5.1. Counsel are directed to furnish and discuss the Notice with their clients in preparation for the parties’ Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) conference. L. R. 26-1(c). In their written report submitted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f) and Local Rule 26-1, the parties may inform the court of their preference(s) between the Court Mediation Panel and other private dispute resolution processes, and when the preferred dispute resolution process should occur. For information about the Court’s ADR program, please see General Order 11-10, available at https://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/general-orders/GO-11-10.pdf.

STPULATIONS AND REQUESTS FOR ALTERATIONS OF TIME

All stipulations (for trial and otherwise) and requests for alterations of time shall be in writing and accompanied by a proposed order.  All such stipulations and requests shall proposed new dates for all relevant deadlines on which the parties seek modification.

TRIALS

  1. Trials are generally held Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The final determination of trial hours will be made at the Final Pretrial Conference and on a case-by-case basis.
  2. For civil trials, please refer to the Civil Standing Order.
  3. For criminal matters, please refer to the procedures listed below.
  4. The court will conduct voir dire. The court asks prospective jurors basic questions (jurors’ place of residence, employment, whether familiar with the parties or counsel, etc.), and may ask additional case-specific questions. On or before five (5) days before the Final Pretrial Conference, counsel may, but are not required to, file proposed case-specific voir dire questions for the court’s consideration. Final determination of voir dire will be discussed at the Final Pretrial Conference.
  5. Exhibits - Preparation and Submission
    1. Exhibits should be placed in three-ring binders, not to exceed 3”, with tabbed dividers. Each tab should bear the corresponding exhibit number. All original exhibits must have an exhibit tag filled out and printed on green paper, and attached to the upper right hand corner of the exhibit. Exhibit tags are available on the court’s website. Counsel shall submit two copies of their exhibit binders to chambers, and one copy to each opposing party. However, the parties can agree with opposing counsel to deliver their exhibit binders in a different format or through different means, such as electronic delivery.
    2. The court disfavors requesting admission of multiple exhibits at the close of a party’s respective case when the corresponding witness is not on the stand.
  6. Jury instructions are due five (5) days before the Final Pretrial Conference.
  7. The verdict form is due five (5) days before the Final Pretrial Conference.
  8. Counsel shall have a meaningful meet and confer regarding the exhibit list, witness list, jury instructions, and verdict form prior to filing the respective documents. Counsel shall email Word-processing versions of these documents to the Courtroom Deputy at FWS_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov five (5) days before the Final Pretrial Conference ans bring hard copies for the court on the first day of trial.
  9. Counsel shall be prepared to give the Courtroom Deputy all original exhibits and copies at the start of trial.
  10. Counsel shall submit Word-processing versions of proposed orders accompanying any motion in limine to FWS_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov.
  11. Counsel shall instruct their clients and all witnesses as to any applicable motion in limine rulings.
  12. Counsel shall conduct all questioning and argument from the lectern.

COURTROOM DECORUM

  1. Counsel shall instruct their clients and witnesses:
    1. As to proper behavior around jurors;
    2. Not to discuss the case in the presence of jurors; and
    3. Against engaging in conversation with a juror until after the case has been concluded.
  2. All witnesses, except witnesses under the age of 14, are to be addressed only by their last names. Counsel must request permission to approach a witness or diagram near the witness, but must return to the lectern after the purpose has been accomplished.

Counsel must refrain from making speaking objections in front of the jury. Opposing counsel should not speak before the court rules unless the court requests input or unless counsel requests to respond and is granted permission by the court. Any substantial discussion regarding objections will take place outside the presence of the jury at a side bar. Objections, statements, and arguments are to be addressed to the court rather than to opposing counsel or to the witness.

ELECTRONIC DOCUMENT SUBMISSION SYSTEM (EDSS)

People who are not represented by attorneys may now submit documents for filing through the court’s Electronic Document Submission System (“EDSS”) instead of mailing or bringing documents to the Clerk’s Office. EDSS is not the same as filing documents electronically in the court's CM/ECF System. Registration is not required to use EDSS and you do not need a PACER account; only internet access and an email address are required. Attorneys may not use EDSS to submit documents on behalf of their clients. To access EDSS and for additional information, visit the court’s website at https://apps.cacd.uscourts.gov/edss.