ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
Re: Dkt. No. 242
KANDIS A. WESTMORE, Magistrate Judge.
On June 26, 2017, Defendants Digital Realty Trust, Inc. and Ellen Jacobs filed a motion for a protective order against Plaintiff Paul Somers. (Defs.' Mot., Dkt. No. 242.) Specifically, Defendants request that Plaintiff be ordered to abstain from: (1) further contact with Ms. Sarah Schubert — Defendants' former human resources consultant and a defense witness — in connection with the instant case except through formal judicial process; (2) threatening any disclosed witness; and/or (3) otherwise engaging in intimidating or abusive communications with such individuals. (Defs.' Mot., Dkt. No. 242.)
Defendants' motion is based on Plaintiff's June 13, 2017 e-mail to Ms. Schubert, in which Plaintiff writes:
(Schubert Decl., Exh. A, Dkt. No. 242-1.) Ms. Schubert has also submitted a declaration stating that she wants Plaintiff to stop contacting her. (Schubert Decl. ¶ 4.)
On June 30, 2017, the presiding judge "lift[ed] the stay for the limited purpose of allowing the parties to adjudicate the instant motion," and referred the motion to the undersigned. (Dkt. No. 244.) Plaintiff's opposition was due on July 11, 2017, but Plaintiff did not file an opposition. The Court deems Defendants' motion for a protective order suitable for disposition without hearing pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). Having considered the papers filed by Defendants and the relevant legal authority, the Court GRANTS the motion for a protective order.
As an initial matter, Defendants' motion is granted as unopposed, as Plaintiff failed to file an opposition. (See Westmore Standing Ord. ¶ 22 ("[t]he failure of the opposing party to file a memorandum of points and authorities in opposition to any motion shall constitute consent to the granting of the motion") (emphasis added).)
Moreover, the Court finds that a protective order is necessary based on Plaintiff's actions. Plaintiff's e-mail to Ms. Schubert is unacceptable; as Ms. Schubert aptly describes, Plaintiff's e-mail is "threatening, highly offensive, and very unwelcome." (Schubert Decl. ¶ 4.) A court has inherent powers to sanction a party if it "act[s] in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive reasons, as well as for willful abuse of the judicial processes." Gomez v. Vernon, 255 F.3d 1118, 1133-34 (9th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation omitted); see also Wharton v. Calderon, 127 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 1997) (acknowledging power of the court to issue protective orders as a sanction "or as necessary to control the courtroom or proceedings pending before the court"). Here, Plaintiff has attempted to intimidate a defense witness, threatening Ms. Schubert with defamation claims "resulting in losses in the millions of dollars" and suggesting that "[t]hings will only get better when you are honest about your guilt . . . ." (Schubert Decl., Exh. A at 2.) Plaintiff has also attacked Ms. Schubert personally, attributing her witness statements to her family situation. The Court will not tolerate such behavior, which is comparable to that in Teledyne Technologies, Inc. v. Shekar, No. 15-cv-1392, 2015 WL 5438648 (N.D. Ill. June 17, 2015). There, the district court issued a protective order after the defendant sent a letter to a third-party witness, which was addressed not to the witness but the Chief of Police, accusing the witness of perjury and accepting bribes to lie to the court, and insulting the witness as a "felon," "dirty old salesman," and "crazy 82-year old jerk." Id. at *1. The Court acknowledges that Teledyne is distinguishable in that the defendant there had threatened other witnesses with criminal prosecution, whereas here this appears to be Plaintiff's first direct attack on a third-party witness.
Accordingly, the Court GRANTS Defendants' motion for a protective order. Plaintiff shall not contact Ms. Schubert in connection with any matter relating to this case except through formal judicial process. Plaintiff is also directed not to threaten any disclosed witnesses, and/or otherwise engage in intimidating or abusive communications with such individuals. This order does not prevent Plaintiff from reaching out to those disclosed witnesses as part of the judicial process, so long as Plaintiff is civil and refrains from personal attacks and threats.
IT IS SO ORDERED.