In the aftermath of Judge James Robart’s bombshell order earlier this week asking the City of Seattle and the DOJ to explain why he shouldn’t find that the city has fallen out of compliance with the Consent Decree, today
both parties jointly asked Robart to amend his order and allow more time for briefings to be filed. the DOJ asked Robart, with the city’s assent, to allow more time for it to file its briefing.
On Monday, Robart ordered the City and the DOJ to file briefs by December 17th. In today’s motion, the DOJ suggested that it would make more sense for the City to go first keeping to the original deadline of December 17th, then the DOJ to respond by January 9th and the City to have a chance to reply by January 16th.
This is probably closer to what the parties had in mind when the city informed Robart on November 30th that they were working on a jointly proposed briefing schedule. However, it means that the inevitable oral hearing on the issue wouldn’t be scheduled until the second half of January. Under Robart’s order, he could schedule it for before Christmas — indeed, any time after December 17th.
There are two other parties who are expected to file briefs: Merrick Bobb, the court-appointed police monitor, and the CPC. The motion filed today is silent on whether the briefing schedule would change for them as well.
It’s anyone’s guess how Robart will respond to this motion. He is clearly impatient for an official forum to express his opinions on the SPOG contract, and he might not give the usual deference to a joint request from the parties in the case to take more time.