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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/11/2019 at 00:22:41 (UTC).

CYNTHIA MEYER VS FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 07/05/2016 CYNTHIA MEYER filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are HOWARD L. HALM and ROBERT B. BROADBELT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****5867

  • Filing Date:

    07/05/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

HOWARD L. HALM

ROBERT B. BROADBELT

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

MEYER CYNTHIA

Defendants and Respondents

SAYE COURTNEY

DOES 1 TO 100

FFS HOLDING LLC

FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LLC

MUETING JOHN

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SHEGERIAN & ASSOCIATES INC.

SHEGERIAN CARNEY R. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

THARPE & HOWELL LAW OFFICES OF

MAILE CHRISTOPHER S. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

PROOF OF SERVICE

12/22/2017: PROOF OF SERVICE

Minute Order

1/29/2018: Minute Order

JOINT EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE; DECLARATION OF RICHARD C. MOORE

1/29/2018: JOINT EX PARTE APPLICATION TO CONTINUE TRIAL DATE; DECLARATION OF RICHARD C. MOORE

PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, LLC'S AND FFS HOLDING LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMAR JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF I

2/26/2018: PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER'S MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, LLC'S AND FFS HOLDING LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMAR JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF I

PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER'S NOTICE OF FILING COMPLETE DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS IN. OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, LLC'S AND FFS HOLDING, LLC?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY AD

2/26/2018: PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER'S NOTICE OF FILING COMPLETE DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS IN. OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS FARMERS FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, LLC'S AND FFS HOLDING, LLC?S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY AD

DEFENDANTS' REPLY BRIEF RE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

3/7/2018: DEFENDANTS' REPLY BRIEF RE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT/SUMMARY ADJUDICATION OF ISSUES

Minute Order

3/19/2018: Minute Order

DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.2 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF COLLATERAL SOURCE BENEFITS

7/3/2018: DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN LIMINE NO.2 TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE OF COLLATERAL SOURCE BENEFITS

JOINT LIST OF EXHIBITS

7/5/2018: JOINT LIST OF EXHIBITS

DEFENDANTS' REQUEST TO LODGE ORIGINAL DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS

7/11/2018: DEFENDANTS' REQUEST TO LODGE ORIGINAL DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS

Minute Order

7/13/2018: Minute Order

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

9/4/2018: NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT

9/13/2018: NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT

Minute Order

10/11/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

4/11/2019: Minute Order

Notice

5/2/2019: Notice

SUMMONS

7/5/2016: SUMMONS

STIPULATION AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

12/19/2016: STIPULATION AND PROTECTIVE ORDER

96 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/20/2019
  • Opposition (OPP MIL 4 - RELATIONSHIP MUETING SAYE); Filed by Cynthia Meyer (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/15/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings - Not Held - Taken Off Calendar by Court

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  • 05/15/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Jury Trial ((10 days)) - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/15/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/15/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (erroneously ...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 05/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/07/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Hearing on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/03/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Rescheduled by Court

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  • 05/02/2019
  • PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER?S SECOND AMENDED NOTICE TO DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE WITNESSES AT TRIAL (C.C.P. 1987(b)); PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER?S SECOND AMNEDED NOTICE TO DEFENDANTS TO PRODUCE DOCUMENTS AT TRIAL (C.C.P.; Filed by Cynthia Meyer (Plaintiff)

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  • 05/02/2019
  • Notice (of change of hearing date); Filed by Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC (Defendant)

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212 More Docket Entries
  • 07/19/2016
  • NOTICE OF ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING RE FAILURE TO FILE PROOF OF SERVICE

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  • 07/14/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Cynthia Meyer (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/14/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Cynthia Meyer (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS

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  • 07/07/2016
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 07/07/2016
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 07/05/2016
  • PLAINTIFF CYNTHIA MEYER S COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF AGE IN VIOLATION OF FEHA; ETC

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  • 07/05/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Cynthia Meyer (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/05/2016
  • SUMMONS

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC625867    Hearing Date: October 21, 2020    Dept: 53

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles – Central District

Department 53

cynthia meyer ;

Plaintiff,

vs.

farmers financial solutions, llc , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC625867 (r/w 20STCV14187)

Hearing Date:

October 21, 2020

Time:

10:00 a.m.

[Tentative] Order RE:

plaintiff cynthia meyer’s motion for leave to amend her operative complaint according to proof, or in the alternative, consolidate her two actions

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Cynthia Meyer

RESPONDING PARTIES: Defendants Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC and FFS Holding, LLC

Plaintiff Cynthia Meyer’s Motion for Leave to Amend Her Operative Complaint According to Proof, Or In the Alternative, Consolidate Her Two Actions

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

Background

Plaintiff Cynthia Meyer (“Plaintiff”) filed this action on July 5, 2016, against defendants Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC, FFS Holding, LLC, Courtney Saye, and John Mueting. The operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) was filed on September 9, 2016, asserting causes of action for violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), violations of the Labor Code and the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against defendants Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC, and FFS Holding, LLC (“Defendants”). On September 6, 2016, defendants Courtney Saye and John Mueting were dismissed from this action with prejudice.

On January 30, 2017, the court issued an order sustaining Defendants’ demurrer to the fourth cause of action for harassment in violation of FEHA and the sixteenth cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, with leave to amend. (Order, filed January 30, 2017.) Plaintiff did not amend the FAC as to those causes of action.

On March 19, 2018, the court issued an order granting in part and denying in part Defendants’ motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication, and granted Defendants’ motion for summary adjudication in favor of Defendants on all causes of action except the sixth cause of action for failure to provide reasonable accommodation in violation of FEHA. (Order, filed March 19, 2018.)

Trial in this action was originally set for January 31, 2018. On July 13, 2017, the court issued an order granting Defendants’ ex parte application and continuing the trial date to April 11, 2018, pursuant to stipulation of the parties. (Order, filed July 13, 2017.) On January 29, 2018, the court issued an order continuing the trial date from April 11, 2018, to July 25, 2018. (Order, filed January 29, 2018.) On July 13, 2018, the court issued an order vacating the July 25, 2018 trial date and setting a new trial date for May 15, 2019. (Minute Order, filed July 13, 2018.) On April 25, 2019, the court issued an order continuing the trial date from May 15, 2019, to October 2, 2019. (Order, filed April 25, 2018.) On September 20, 2019, the court issued an order vacating the October 2, 2019 trial date. (Minute Order, filed September 20, 2019.) On September 23, 2019, the court issued an order setting a new trial date for June 24, 2020. (Minute Order, filed September 23, 2019.) On May 4, 2020, the court issued an order continuing the trial date from June 24, 2020, to December 9, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Minute Order, filed May 4, 2020.)

On April 13, 2020, Plaintiff filed a separate action against Defendants and Courtney Saye, asserting causes of action for (1) violation of Labor Code section 230, (2) wrongful termination in violation of Labor Code section 230, and (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress (Case No. 20STCV14187) (the “2020 Action”). On April 29, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed defendant Courtney Saye from the 2020 Action as to the third cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Case No. 20STCV14187, Request For Dismissal, filed April 29, 2020.)

On April 22, 2020, the court issued an order that (1) this action (Case No. BC625867) and the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187) are related within the meaning of California Rules of Court, rule 3.300(a), (2) this action is the lead case, and (3) the cases are assigned to Department 53 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse for all purposes. (Minute Order, filed April 22, 2020.)

Plaintiff now seeks leave to amend the FAC in order to (1) add Courtney Saye as a defendant in this action, (2) add a cause of action for violation of Labor Code section 230, (3) add a cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of Labor Code section 230, and (4) add a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. In the alternative, Plaintiff moves to consolidate this action (Case No. BC625867) and the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187) for all purposes. Defendants oppose the motion for leave to amend and the motion to consolidate.

MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND

Code of Civil Procedure section 473, subdivision (a)(1) provides, in relevant part: “[t]he court may . . . in its discretion, after notice to the adverse party, allow, upon any terms as may be just, an amendment to any pleading . . . .” The court may, in furtherance of justice, allow the amendment of any pleading at any time before or after commencement of trial. (Code Civ. Proc., § 576.) “[T]he court’s discretion will usually be exercised liberally to permit amendment of the pleadings. [Citations.]” (Howard v. County of San Diego (2010) 184 Cal.App.4th 1422, 1428.) “If the motion to amend is timely made and the granting of the motion will not prejudice the opposing party, it is error to refuse permission to amend . . . .” (Morgan v. Sup. Ct. (1959) 172 Cal.App.2d 527, 530.) Prejudice includes “delay in trial, loss of critical evidence, or added costs of preparation.” (Solit v. Tokai Bank, Ltd. New York Branch (1999) 68 Cal.App.4th 1435, 1448.)

A motion to amend a pleading before trial must include a copy of the proposed amendment or amended pleading, which must be serially numbered to differentiate it from previous pleadings or amendments. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(a).) The motion must also state what allegations are proposed to be deleted or added, by page, paragraph, and line number. (Ibid.) Finally, rule 3.1324(b) states: “A separate declaration must accompany the motion and must specify: (1) The effect of the amendment; (2) Why the amendment is necessary and proper; (3) When the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered; and (4) The reasons why the request for amendment was not made earlier.”

As an initial matter, the court agrees with Defendants that Plaintiff’s motion is not accompanied by a separate declaration specifying (1) the effect of the amendment, (2) why the amendment is necessary and proper, (3) when the facts giving rise to the amended allegations were discovered, and (4) the reason why the request for amendment was not made earlier, as required by California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(b). Although Plaintiff has submitted a supplemental declaration on reply, which attempts to make the required statements under California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(b), the court finds that Plaintiff has not complied with California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(b). (See Jay v. Mahaffey (2013) 218 Cal.App.4th 1522, 1537 [“The general rule of motion practice . . . is that new evidence is not permitted with reply papers.”].) Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion is procedurally defective.

On the merits, Plaintiff states in her memorandum of points and authorities that she became aware of additional information to support her proposed causes of action for violations of Labor Code section 230 and intentional infliction of emotional distress “in or about early April of 2020, when she was first informed that defendants had particularly exhibited direct bias involving jury service, including discriminatory, retaliatory, and harassing animus by defendants’ director of operations and Meyer’s direct supervisor in the year 2014.” (Plaintiff’s Memo. of Ps & As, filed April 15, 2020, p. 5:11-15.) Plaintiff further states: “[Plaintiff] became aware of additional facts that despite a diligent investigation of her own circumstances throughout the litigation, could not have reasonably discovered facts regarding the events to support this cause of action within the applicable statute of limitations [sic]. [Plaintiff] learned that the same treatment she had been exposed to by Saye because of her civic duty of taking time off as required by law for jury duty, was also exposed to by another employee of defendants.” (Id. at p. 8:22-27.) Plaintiff contends that Defendants will not be prejudiced by the proposed amendments because the proposed amendments are based upon the same general set of facts pleaded in the FAC, and Defendants have been aware of these facts since July 2016 when Plaintiff filed this action. Plaintiff also contends that Defendants will be able to conduct additional discovery on her new claims before the trial date.

In opposition, Defendants contend that Plaintiff unreasonably delayed in seeking leave to add her proposed causes of action, and that Defendants will be prejudiced if Plaintiff’s motion is granted. Defendants point out that Plaintiff has been on notice of these claims since at least 2016 because Plaintiff alleged the facts on which her proposed amendments are based in her original Complaint and the FAC, both filed in 2016. Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has failed to identify what “additional facts” she learned in April 2020, other than to conclusorily assert that one or more other employees may have been treated similarly to her, or why she was unable to discover this new information earlier. Defendants contend that Plaintiff has failed to provide any legitimate reason for why she did not assert her Labor Code section 230 claims earlier, regardless of whether she subsequently obtained new information relating to other employees that may have been similarly adversely affected. The court agrees that Plaintiff has not been diligent in seeking her proposed amendments and that Plaintiff has unreasonably delayed filing her motion to amend. However, even if a plaintiff has unreasonably delayed moving to amend, “it is an abuse of discretion to deny leave to amend where the opposing party was not misled or prejudiced by the amendment. [Citation.]” (Kittredge Sports Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 213 Cal.App.3d 1045, 1048.)

Defendants contend that Plaintiff’s proposed amendments will prejudice Defendants because, after more than four years of litigation, multiple pleadings, extensive discovery, summary adjudication, mediation, six trial continuances, and a Final Status Conference being held, the trial is now set for December 9, 2020. Defendants state that, because Plaintiff does not identify any “new information” supporting her proposed Labor Code section 230 claims, Defendants do not have adequate notice of what new alleged facts they would be charged with. Defendants contend that, if leave to amend is granted based on Plaintiff’s vague and conclusory allegations, the trial date will need to be continued, and Defendants will be prejudiced by increased trial preparation costs (because Defendants have already prepared for trial on the one remaining cause of action in this case -- the sixth cause of action for failure to provide reasonable accommodation in violation of FEHA), further law and motion, and additional discovery costs. Defendants state that additional discovery will be necessary to identify the other employee that Plaintiff has identified, other witnesses to these new facts will need to be deposed, and Defendants will be entitled to file a motion for summary adjudication of issues as to the new causes of action.

The court agrees that Plaintiff’s proposed amendments would substantially prejudice Defendants by causing (1) the trial to be continued again for a long period of time[1] (in a case that is now already over 4 years old and has been continued six times), and (2) Defendants to incur substantial additional attorney’s fees and costs to take additional discovery, to file a motion for summary adjudication, to prepare for trial in connection with the new causes of action, and to revise the trial documents they have already prepared for trial on the sixth cause of action for failure to provide reasonable accommodation in violation of FEHA. The court therefore finds that Plaintiff’s proposed amendments would not be in furtherance of justice because (1) Plaintiff has not complied with the requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 3.1324(b), (2) Plaintiff unreasonably delayed in seeking leave to amend, and (3) Defendants would be prejudiced by Plaintiff’s proposed amendments.

For the reasons set forth above, the court exercises its discretion to deny Plaintiff leave to file her Second Amended Complaint. (Code Civ. Proc., § 473, subd. (a)(1).)

MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE

Code of Civil Procedure section 1048 grants discretion to trial courts to consolidate actions involving common questions of law or fact. “Consolidation is not a matter of right; it rests solely within the sound discretion of the trial judge.” (Fisher v. Nash Bldg. Co. (1952) 113 Cal.App.2d 397, 402.) There are two types of consolidation under section 1048: “a consolidation for purposes of trial only, where the two actions remain otherwise separate; and a complete consolidation or consolidation for all purposes, where the two actions are merged into a single proceeding under one case number and result in only one verdict or set of findings and one judgment.” (Hamilton v. Asbestos Corp. (2000) 22 Cal.4th 1127, 1147.)

Pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.350(a)(1)(A), a notice of motion to consolidate must list all named parties in each case, the names of those who have appeared, and the names of their respective attorneys of record. Rule 3.350(a)(1)(C) also states that a notice of motion to consolidate must be filed in each case sought to be consolidated. Here, although the notice of motion contains the names of the parties who have appeared and the names of the attorneys of record of the parties, the motion to consolidate does not appear to have been filed in the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187). In any event, the court will consider the merits of this motion notwithstanding the procedural defect.

Plaintiff moves to consolidate this action with the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187) for all purposes because both actions arise out of events and circumstances involving Plaintiff’s employment with Defendants, and both actions involve the same parties. Plaintiff concedes that the two actions present different allegations concerning Defendants’ liability, but contends that any minor differences between the legal claims of the two actions would not justify the burden and expense of trying two separate actions before the same court.

In opposition, Defendants contend that consolidation of this action and the 2020 Action would not promote convenience or conserve judicial resources because consolidation would cause unnecessary costs and delay in this action. Defendants point out that they have not yet been served with the Complaint in the 2020 Action, and that the December 9, 2020 trial date in this action is two months away. Defendants state that Plaintiff’s only remaining cause of action in this action is a FEHA cause of action for failure to provide reasonable accommodation for Plaintiff’s disability, and that the 2020 Action involves a completely different issue relating to Plaintiff’s jury duty allegations. Defendants contend that consolidation will result in the trial date in this action being continued for the seventh time because the two actions do not contain common questions of law or fact, and the parties will need time to for additional discovery and a motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s new claims relating to Plaintiff’s jury duty allegations in the 2020 Action. Defendants contend that, since the two actions do not share a common question of fact or law, there is no risk for inconsistent or conflicting adjudications.

After considering the arguments presented, the court finds that this action (Case No. BC625867) and the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187) do not involve common questions of law or fact, and that consolidation of this action and the 2020 Action would not benefit judicial economy and convenience, or preserve the resources of the parties. Among other things, consolidation would necessitate continuing trial of this action (Case No. BC625867) for a substantially longer period of time than will already be necessary under the Presiding Judge’s October 9, 2020 General Order. Therefore, the court exercises its discretion to deny Plaintiff’s motion to consolidate this action (Case No. BC625867) with the 2020 Action (Case No. 20STCV14187). (Code Civ. Proc., § 1048.)

ORDER

For the reasons set forth above, the court denies plaintiff Cynthia Meyer’s motion for leave to file her Second Amended Complaint.

The court denies plaintiff Cynthia Meyer’s motion for consolidation.

The court orders defendants Farmers Financial Solutions, LLC, and FFS Holding, LLC to give notice of this order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: October 21, 2020

_____________________________

Robert B. Broadbelt III

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] In her reply, Plaintiff argues that granting her motion to amend would not delay trial because the trial would have to be continued anyway in light of the Presiding Judge’s October 9, 2020 General Order, which provides that civil jury trials may not commence until on or after January 4, 2021. (Plaintiff’s Reply, filed October 9, 2020, p. 8:2-5.) Although the October 9, 2020 General Order will require the trial to be continued for a short period time, granting Plaintiff’s motion to amend would necessitate a much lengthier continuance of the trial than that which will be effected by the General Order.

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