Honorable Michael W. Fitzgerald

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District Judge

First Street Courthouse, 350 West First Street, Courtroom 5A, Los Angeles, California 90012

Law and Motion Schedule: 

​Civil motions are heard on Mondays at 10:00 a.m.

Criminal motions are heard on Mondays at 1:30 p.m.

(If Monday is a holiday, the next motion date is the following Monday.)

It is not necessary to clear a motion date with the Courtroom Deputy Clerk ("CRD") before filing the motion. Check Closed Motion Dates to the right.

Motions will be heard two weeks after the deadline for filing the Reply. L.R. 7-10. Therefore, Motion papers must be filed and served not later than 28 days before the hearing date. Opposition papers must be filed and served not later than 21 days before the hearing date. Reply papers must be filed and served not later than 14 days before the hearing date. Prior to filing a motion, counsel shall comply with the requirement of conference of counsel under L.R. 7-3.

Judges' 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.

All filings should conform to the applicable requirements specified by Local Rule 11. All papers filed with the Court must conform to Local Rule 11-3.1.1, which generally requires typeface of 14 point or larger for Times New Roman and 12 point or larger for Courier.

All discovery motions and stipulations, including those relating to protective orders, are to be calendared before the magistrate judge whose initials appear in parentheses after the case number.

If counsel has a conflicting appearance in the court of a more senior district judge, counsel must e-mail the CRD indicating the time of the appearance, the case name and number, and the name of the other judge. On the day of the appearance, if possible, request the other district judge's CRD to update Judge Fitzgerald's CRD as to when counsel will be appearing in Judge Fitzgerald's courtroom.

Calls regarding the status of submitted motions, stipulations or proposed orders will not be returned. Counsel may determine the status of any submitted motion, stipulation, or proposed order by accessing the docket report through www.cacd.uscourts.gov, PACER.

Electronic Filing: Counsel shall e-file all criminal and civil filings pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d)(3) and Local Rule 5-4 as follows: Step 1: All non-signature items shall be E-FILED in PDF format. All proposed signature items shall be E-FILED as an attachment to the main document in PDF format. Step 2: All proposed signature items shall be E-MAILED to the chambers' e-mail address at mwf_chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov in Word or WordPerfect format. The case number should be reflected in the subject line. ONLY proposed order signature items should be emailed to the chambers' e-mail address. Do NOT e-mail other associated documents, and do NOT use this e-mail address for communication with the Court or the Clerk.

Under Seal Filings in Civil Cases: Counsel are ORDERED to follow the procedures outlined in L.R. 79-5. 79-6 and 79-7. See http://www.cacd.uscourts.gov/e-filing/sealed-documents.

Documents may not be filed under seal in matters pending before the district judge based on a discovery protective order signed by the magistrate judge. A separate and additional showing of good cause as to each category of document or information is required. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c); Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1212 (9th Cir. 2002). The parties must also comply with Local Rule 79-5 (Confidential Court Records).

Ex Parte Applications: Ex parte applications can be submitted for routine exceptions to the Local Rules. Ex parte applications solely for extraordinary relief are rarely granted. See Mission Power Engineering v. Cont'l Casualty Co., 883 F. Supp. 488, 490-91 (C.D. Cal. 1995). Applications must be e-filed pursuant to the Local Rules. All ex parte applications shall be sent in PDF version to chambers' e-mail at mwf_chambers@cacd.uscourts.gov along with a Word or WordPerfect version of the proposed order. Both the e-mail to the Court and the application should advise whether opposing counsel will be filing opposition. Applications that fail to conform to Local Rule 7-19 and 7-19.1, including a statement of opposing counsel's position, will not be considered. In addition to the requirements of Local Rules 7-19 and 7-19.1, the moving party shall serve the opposing party by e-mail, facsimile transmission or personal service and shall notify the opposing party that opposition papers must be filed no later than 24 hours (or one court day) following such service. The Court considers ex parte applications on the papers and usually does not set these matters for hearing. The CRD will notify counsel of a hearing date and time, if the Court determines a hearing is necessary. Rulings on ex parte applications will be e-filed by the Court. Sanctions may be imposed for misuse of ex parte applications.

Continuances: Continuances are granted only on a showing of good cause. 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. Continuances will not be granted routinely.

Telephonic Appearances: The Court may permit appearances by telephone for status conferences and scheduling conferences upon a showing that a personal appearance will cause undue hardship. Only rarely will the Court permit appearances by telephone for oral argument on motions. If you wish to appear by telephone, you must (1) notify the court clerk and opposing counsel at least three court days in advance of the scheduled appearance, (2) provide the CRD with the telephone number (land lines only -- no cellular telephones) at which the Court can reach you, and (3) be available at that number for at least one-half hour before and one-half hour after the time of the scheduled hearing.

Tentative Rulings: Generally, prior to argument, written tentative rulings are provided to counsel on the date of the scheduled hearing. The courtroom is open to the public before calendar call, during which time counsel may obtain such written tentative rulings from the CRD, if available.

Volunimous Trial Materials and Exhibits: Arrangements for bringing voluminous trial materials or exhibits into the Courtroom through the Building Vehicle Loading Dock (if required) may be made through the Space & Facilities (S&F) Help Desk, at (213) 894-1400. Before contacting S&F for a required building security pass, prior approval of delivery time must be coordinated with Judge Fitzgerald's CRD. Once approval from the CRD is received, logistical delivery information must be provided to S&F with adequate notice (at least 24 hours) to create and issue a required building security pass. Counsel and messengers who attempt to access building parking and the loading dock without the required pass will be denied entry and must utilize public entrances located on Main Street, Spring Street, or Temple Street (Roybal Building).

Exhibit Tags: Exhibit tags may be obtained from the receptionist in the Public Intake Section, located on the Main Street level of the courthouse at 312 North Spring Street, Room G-19. Digital exhibit tags are also now available on the Court's website under Court Forms > General Forms > Form G-14A (Plaintiff) and G-14B (Defendant. Digital exhibit tags may be used in place of the tags obtained from the Clerk's Office.

Transcripts: For general information on how to order a transcript of any reported or digitally recorded proceeding, contact (213) 894-3015 or visit www.cacd.uscourts.gov, Clerk Services, Court Reporting Services, Court Reporter/Recorder Transcripts. If you require an estimate of cost 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, visit www.cacd.uscourts.gov, Clerk Services, Court Reporting Services, Court Reporter Schedule and select "By Date." Once you have determined the correct court reporter/recorder for the desired proceeding, select "Phone List" for contact information.

Interpreters: It is the responsibility of counsel in a civil case to arrange for the services of an interpreter. A list of interpreters can be found at www.cacd.uscourts.gov, Clerk Services, Interpreters Services, Local Roster of Interpreters.

In a criminal case, the Court will provide an interpreter at no charge to the parties. The CRD requires advance notice of no less than 24 hours for Spanish language and 48 hours for any other language. The more notice the better, as the CRD cannot guarantee an interpreter on less than one day's notice.

ADR Program: If counsel has received a "Notice to Parties of Court-Directed ADR Program" (form ADR-08), please see General Order 11-10, § 5, which is located in the "General Orders" section on the home page of the Court's website. For information about the Court's ADR Program and Mediation Panel, visit the "ADR" page of the Court website.

Trial Hours: After the first day of trial, trial days are Tuesday through Friday each week, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with two 20-minute breaks.

FOR JUDGE FITZGERALD'S CASE MANAGEMENT, SCHEDULING AND TRIAL PROCEDURES, PLEASE SEE THE STANDING ORDERS BELOW.

Counsel should not contact Judge Fitzgerald's law clerks or judicial assistant unless responding to an inquiry initiated by chambers.

Law clerk and extern applicants may submit applications through the OSCAR electronic system. Applications also may be mailed to The Honorable Michael W. Fitzgerald, United States District Judge, 350 West First Street, Room 4311, Los Angeles, California 90012. Applications are to include a cover letter, resume, law school and undergraduate transcript, and writing sample. Letters of recommendation are also to be directed to this address.