Honorable Karen E. Scott

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Magistrate Judge
​Ronald Reagan Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 411 W. 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Except for Informal Discovery Conferences, all hearings are IN PERSON unless a party timely requests and receives authorization to appear telephonically.
Telephonic Hearings:
Call-in:  714-475-3442   Conf. ID: 977 002 74#


Judge's Procedures: 

Counsel are advised to review and adhere to the Central District's Civility and Professionalism Guidelines. See www.cacd.uscourts.gov, Attorneys, Attorney Admissions, Civility and Professionalism Guidelines.


1. HEARINGS: Unless otherwise directed by the Court, civil motions are heard on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m.  It is not necessary to clear a motion date with the Court’s courtroom deputy clerk (“CRD”) prior to filing the motion, although the Court reserves the right to sua sponte continue motions or decide them on the papers without oral argument. Please check closed motion hearing dates prior to filing.

2. DISCOVERY MATTERS: Discovery motions are to be calendared before the magistrate judge unless otherwise ordered by the district judge. Compliance with Local Rule 37-1 is required, unless the parties use the informal procedures described in Paragraph 3, below. Parties may not rely on unanswered letters or emails to satisfy their obligation to meet and confer. Unanswered correspondence must be followed with a phone call. All proposed protective orders and other filings pertaining to discovery shall include in the caption: "[Discovery Document: Referred to Magistrate Judge Karen E. Scott]."

3. TELEPHONIC INFORMAL DISCOVERY CONFERENCE (IDC) Procedures: With the agreement of the parties, the Court will conduct informal telephonic conferences to resolve discovery disputes outside the formal Local Rule 37 procedures. Before any such IDC, the parties must engage in the pre-filing conference of counsel required by Local Rule 37-1. During such conference, the parties should consider whether the issue can be presented through an IDC rather than filing a formal motion. Should the parties agree to an IDC, the moving party should contact the Court’s CRD by e-mail at KES_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail) to schedule a conference. The moving party should be prepared to provide the Court’s CRD with at least three proposed dates and times for the IDC. The Court prefers to conduct its telephonic conferences at 9:30 am, but other times may be available. Upon receiving a confirmed date/time from the Court, the moving party shall e-file a "Notice of Discovery Motion and Telephonic Conference" using the CM/ECF "Discovery Motions" event.  To avoid surprise and confusion, the Notice shall identify the discovery requests at issue and the legal dispute.

At least 24 hours before the IDC, unless a different deadline is set by the Court, the parties shall e-file letter briefs of no more than 3 pages in length (not counting title page and exhibits) providing a synopsis of the discovery dispute and what meet and confer efforts have been undertaken.  Arguments raised to the Court shall have been discussed earlier by counsel telephonically or in person (i.e., not just by an exchange of letters of emails), or counsel shall explain why such a discussion was infeasible.   The letter briefs shall include a title page and be "linked" to the Notice of Motion as "supplemental briefs."  No paper courtesy copy is required.

At or after the IDC, the Court may issue an order ruling on the issues presented. The Court may also order further briefing if the Court determines that the issues cannot be resolved without further briefing. If the Court orders further briefing, the Court may or may not order the parties to follow the provisions of Local Rule 37-2 et seq.

4. TIMING OF DISCOVERY MOTIONS:  Counsel should carefully read the district judge’s case management orders to determine if the discovery cutoff date (or the discovery motion cutoff date) is the last day to file discovery motions or the last day to hear discovery motions.  Counsel using the Joint Stipulation process required by Local Rule 37-1 should allow enough time after receiving discovery responses to complete that process and notice a hearing.  Counsel using the IDC procedures described in Paragraph 3, above, should note that a discovery motion is deemed filed when the letter briefs are filed, not when the hearing date is requested or when the notice of motion is filed.

5. FORMAT OF DISCOVERY MOTIONS:  Local Rule 37-2.1 provides as follows: “The stipulation shall contain all issues in dispute and, with respect to each such issue, the contentions and points and authorities of each party.  The stipulation shall not refer the Court to any other documents.  For example, if the sufficiency of an answer to an interrogatory is in issue, the stipulation shall contain, verbatim, both the interrogatory and the allegedly insufficient answer, followed by each party’s contentions as to that particular interrogatory, separately stated.”  Parties should comply with this requirement by grouping together discovery that implicates the same issue(s) and making each argument that implicates multiple discovery requests only once.  For example, if the responding party objected to multiple interrogatories as seeking information from irrelevant years, then the parties should brief only once their positions concerning what years are relevant and why (unless different years are relevant to different requests).  The parties should not “cut and paste” the same arguments multiple times.  If the discovery requests at issue rely on defined terms, then the definitions shall be included in the stipulation or in an exhibit.

6. PRE-FILING CONFERENCE OF COUNSEL FOR DISCOVERY MOTIONS:  Until further notice, the Court suspends the requirement in Local Rule 37-1 that counsel located in the same county meet and confer in person.  This does not prevent counsel who agree that meeting and conferring in person would be helpful from doing so if they so choose.  In any event, no party may raise the opposing party’s failure to confer in person under Local Rule 37-1 as a reason to grant or deny a discovery motion.  In no event may the parties stipulate to conduct their meet and confer efforts exclusively via emails, letters, or voicemail messages with no same-time interactions by phone, Zoom, or in person.  The Court expects the parties to extend professional courtesies in scheduling such conferences, to come prepared, to listen to the other side’s position in good faith, and to use reasonable efforts to try to resolve the discovery dispute.

7. PROPOSED ORDERS FOR DISCOVERY MOTIONS:  The moving party shall submit a proposed order per the procedures in Local Rule 5-4.4.  The proposed order may be submitted with the Joint Stipulation or with the Supplemental Memorandum.  The proposed order shall not merely say “motion granted.”  The proposed order shall state what relief is requested for the discovery requests in dispute.  For example, a proposed order might state as follows: “Defendant Widgets, Inc., shall provide supplemental written responses to Requests for Production nos. 1, 2, and 3 and produce responsive documents and a privilege log no later than X date.”

8. SANCTIONS REQUESTS IN DISCOVERY MOTIONS:  The moving party shall specify the authority for any requested sanctions and explain how the situation meets the standard(s) for awarding sanctions (e.g., the opposing party’s discovery position lacked substantial justification).  If the moving party seeks to recover reasonable expenses incurred in making the motion, including attorney’s fees, then the moving party must either: (1) include evidence to support the amount of the requested sanctions in the joint stipulation (or letter brief if the parties are proceeding under Paragraph 3, above); or (2) state the amount of the requested sanctions in the joint stipulation (or letter brief) and offer to provide supporting evidence later.  The Court will give the opposing party the opportunity to respond to any sanctions-related evidence submitted after a ruling on the merits of the discovery dispute.

9. TENTATIVE RULINGS: Tentative rulings may be issued as appropriate. If issued, they will be available by clicking on the "Tentative Rulings" below, and/or approximately 1/2 hour prior to the hearing in the courtroom. If all parties submit on the tentative ruling, please advise the CRD, and no appearance will be required.

10. EX PARTE APPLICATIONS: Compliance with Local Rules 7-19 and 7-19.1 is required. An ex parte application is usually considered on the papers only. If the application is opposed, opposition papers should be filed no later than noon on the first court day following service of the application. In most cases, the Court will wait until that time before ruling. If needed, the Court will schedule a hearing. Discovery disputes should generally not be brought to the Court’s attention in an ex parte application.

11. CHAMBERS COPIES: ***ALL PARTIES ARE EXCUSED FROM DELIVERING CHAMBERS COPIES OF E-FILED DOCUMENTS TO THE COURTHOUSE UNTIL FURTHER ORDER OF THE COURT.*** Electronic copies of proposed orders in Microsoft Word format must be e-mailed to the Court at KES_Chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov.

12. TELEPHONIC APPEARANCES: Any party who wishes to appear at a hearing by telephone must file such a request at least two business days before the hearing.

13. SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES: The parties should email the CRD with proposed date(s) for any settlement conference.  The proposed date(s) should be at least three weeks in advance.  Once a date is confirmed, the Court will issue an Order re Settlement Conference which may include deadlines for settlement conference briefs and a date for a pre-settlement conference call with counsel only.  

Per Local Rule 16-15.8, the parties may not disclose the substance of settlement conferences to the district judge or otherwise publish it. 

14. CONTACTS WITH CHAMBERS: Inquiries regarding the status of a motion, stipulation, proposed order or other filing should be made by checking the online docket. If the information sought is unavailable, counsel may contact the Court’s CRD. Counsel are not allowed to call chambers or the Court’s law clerks unless specifically directed to do so by the Court or the Court’s CRD.

15. CONTINUANCES: To request a continuance of any scheduled court proceeding, submit a stipulation and proposed order no less than three business days before the scheduled hearing.

16. CALENDAR CONFLICTS: In the event of a calendar conflict, counsel should immediately advise the Court’s CRD telephonically and attempt to secure other counsel’s agreement to stipulate to a new date. If opposing counsel will not agree to a continuance, the request should be made by ex parte application.

17. CRIMINAL E-FILING PILOT PROJECT REQUIREMENTS: In accordance with General Order 19-01 and the Local Rules of the Central District of California, the following guidelines shall apply:


Upon receipt of the quality control notification email from the Clerk’s office, counsel is directed to forward the email to KES_CrimDuty@cacd.uscourts.gov (link sends e-mail). The email shall include the agent’s and AUSA’s contact information, a list of related applications (if any), and a copy of the documents e-filed in the case (e.g., the application, proposed warrant, and sealing order). 


     a. Chambers hard copies must include the CM/ECF header showing that the instant documents for signature have been e-filed. They can be clipped or stapled.

     b. Chambers will not make or print copies for conforming. Conformed copies will only be given using the copy set brought by the agent.

3. If counsel amends a document, they must promptly notify the CRD and indicate where and why the document is being amended.

4. If an application is filed after 12:00 p.m. and the warrant is needed before 5:00 p.m. on the same day, please inform chambers staff either by email at the email address above or by phone at (714) 338-3966.

5. Federal law enforcement agents and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are encouraged to advise the CRD in advance of anticipated submission of lengthy affidavits in support of warrants, criminal complaints, and other applications for the Court’s review.

18. TRANSCRIPTS AND RECORDINGS: For general information on how to order a transcript of any reported or digitally recorded proceeding, please call (213) 894-3015 or visit the court's website (www.cacd.uscourts.gov) section referring to Court Reporter/Recorder Transcripts. If you require a cost estimate for the preparation of a transcript, contact the court reporter/recorder for the desired proceeding.

To determine the court reporter/recorder for a particular proceeding, go to the Court Reporter Schedule web page and click on View by Date. Once you have determined the correct court reporter/recorder for the desired proceeding, click on Court Reporter Phone and Email List for contact information.

19. INTERPRETERS: It is the responsibility of the requesting party to secure its own interpreter for a particular matter in a civil case. The requesting party may arrange for an outside interpreter or may make an arrangement with the Court Interpreter Services Manager at [213-894-4559] to secure an interpreter. The requesting party will bear the cost.

20. STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDERS: Parties frequently file stipulated protective orders that do not satisfy Rule 26 and the Ninth Circuit’s standards for protective orders. All proposed protective orders must describe the documents to be protected with particularity. Rivera v. Nibco, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057, 1063 n.3 (9th Cir. 2004). Therefore, the documents, information, items or materials that are subject to the protective order shall be described in a meaningful fashion (for example, "personnel records," or "market surveys," etc.). It is insufficient to use only conclusory terms such as "confidential or proprietary information." Also, the Court cannot agree to "seal all confidential documents." If confidential material is included in any papers to be filed in Court, such papers shall be accompanied by an application, pursuant to Local Rule 79-5.1, to file the papers – or the confidential portion thereof – under seal. The application shall be directed to the judge to whom the papers are directed. Pending the ruling on the application, the papers or portions thereof subject to the sealing application shall be lodged under seal. In the event of a dispute regarding the designation of confidential information, the procedure for obtaining a decision from the Court is that set forth in Local Rule 37. All proposed protective orders must include a statement establishing the requisite good cause. Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2003) (holding that court’s protective order analysis requires examination of good cause).

The Court may only enter a protective order upon a showing of good cause. Kamakana v. City and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1176 (9th Cir. 2006) (holding that parties must make a "particularized showing" under Rule 26(c)’s good cause showing for court to enter protective order). Even stipulated protective orders require a showing of good cause. The Court recommends that a separate paragraph be included in each protective order and that paragraph should be labeled "GOOD CAUSE STATEMENT." The parties should then set forth the reasons establishing good cause.

The parties may find it useful to use the standard form protective order developed by the Los Angeles County Bar Association. A copy of that standard form order is attached below. Parties who submit a proposed protective order based on this standard form should identify (either by a description or an attached redline) what changes they have made, if any.

21. LAW CLERK AND EXTERN POSITIONS:  To apply for summer externships, submit a letter, resume, and writing sample to chambers via mail or email. For Law Clerk positions, information is available at https://oscar.uscourts.gov.

22. SPECIAL APPEARANCES: The Court typically does not permit special appearances. Counsel of record shall appear at all court proceedings, unless prevented by extraordinary circumstances.

23. ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT: Permission to bring in or use audio, video or electronic equipment should be requested from the CRD at least three business days in advance of the date of the court proceeding.

24. PROCEDURE FOR PRESENTING DOCUMENTS ELECTRONICALLY FOR SEALING:  Attorneys are required by Local Rule 79-5.2 to electronically file all sealed documents and applications for leave to file under seal in regular civil cases. The Clerk's office has created a comprehensive guide to assist attorneys and their staff in how to electronically file under-seal documents. The guide is posted on the court website at http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/e-filing/sealed-documents.

25. JUDGMENT DEBTOR EXAMINATIONS: Parties applying for an order setting a JDE may either (1) request a date/time in their proposed order consistent with Judge Scott's civil hearing calendar or (2) email the Court's CRD to request other dates/times.

26. MAGISTRATE JUDGE VOLUNTARY CONSENT PROGRAM: Judge Scott is one of the Central District magistrate judges who participates in the Magistrate Judge Voluntary Consent Program.  That means that civil litigants can consent to proceed before Judge Scott for all purposes, even if Judge Scott is not the magistrate judge assigned to their case.  It also means that civil litigants can pick any participating magistrate judge as their judge for all purposes.  Judge Scott encourages counsel to meet and confer about consenting to her or one of the other participating magistrate judges.  For more information, please see http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/judges-requirements/court-programs/voluntar....

27. SOCIAL SECURITY CASES: Social Security cases filed on or after December 1, 2022 shall be governed by the New Supplemental Rules for Social Security Actions under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).  The new Supplemental Rules can be found online at https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/supplemental-rules-for-social-sec...

Rule 6 of the Supplemental Rules for Social Security Actions requires Plaintiff to file a brief explaining why they are entitled to relief.  Rule 7 requires the Commissioner to file an opposition brief, and Rule 8 allows Plaintiff to file a reply brief.

Plaintiff’s initial brief must contain a section labeled “Issues Presented” that enumerates each claimed error by the Administrative Law Judge.  The Court will not search the briefing for other issues and will only consider issues identified in the “Issues Presented” section of the brief.  Any issue not raised as an “Issue Presented” may also be deemed waived.  Any issue not adequately supported by cites to legal authority or evidence from the administrative record may be deemed waived.  Parties may not raise new issues in reply briefs.  Plaintiff’s brief must also identify the relief requested (e.g., a sentence four remand, sentence six remand, remand for the award of benefits, etc.).  Plaintiff need not submit a proposed order or judgment with their brief.

All briefs must comply with L.R. 11-6 and include a certificate of compliance with the word count limit. Plaintiff must also comply with Local Rule 7-3 by discussing the issues raised in their initial brief with counsel for the Commissioner at least seven days prior to filing the brief. 

28. LENGTH LIMITATIONS FOR BRIEFS. Local Rule 11-6.1 specifies length limits for briefs. A handwritten brief or a brief prepared using a typewriter may not exceed 25 pages, excluding the caption (if on a separate cover page), the table of contents, the table of authorities, the signature block, and any indices and exhibits.  All other memorandums of points and authorities, pretrial briefs, trial briefs, and posttrial briefs (including motions, oppositions, and replies) may not exceed 7,000 words.  For briefs subject to the word count limit, a certificate of compliance is required under Local Rule 11-6.2.  Only in rare instances and for good cause shown will the Court grant an application to extend these length limitations.  These limits apply even to parties who are self-represented.  Discovery motions are not subject to these limits but are instead governed by Local Rule 37-2.1.

​29. PROPOSED ORDERS ON DISCOVERY-RELATED SEALING APPLICATIONS.  Proposed Orders submitted with any discovery-related sealing applications should separately identify (1) each document or specific information (by page/line cites) that the applicant seeks to seal; (2) where the document can be found on the docket (in redacted and unredacted form, if applicable); (3) a general description of the document (e.g., excerpts of Dr. Smith's deposition transcript, a 30-page technical manual for the accused device, a 1-page email message from X to Y, etc.) including BATES numbers, if applicable; and (4) a space or column for the Court to use to grant or deny the application as to each item.  Parties who later file a "good cause" declaration under Local Rule 79-5.2.2 should use this same structure to identify the "good cause" that exists to seal or redact each item.  Declarants should not lump all the items together to try to justify sealing or redacting all of them with a single, overly broad, unexplained assertion (like "they contain confidential information: or "the reveal trade secrets").

Orders & Additional Documents