The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLAK
LOUIS H. POLLAK, District Judge.
These six cases involve claims by employees and former employees of the Philadelphia Traffic Court that they were harassed or terminated due to their political or union affiliations. These cases have become bogged down in a series of motions. Discovery has yet to begin in any substantial way. When discovery does begin, it will consist of depositions of defendants and certain others. It will also consist of plaintiffs' depositions which, because these six cases involve roughly fifty plaintiffs, will involve considerable time and expense.
These six cases have been consolidated for pretrial purposes. However, coordination of six separate litigations, as conducted to this date, has at least taxed this court's filing system. Since some parties have represented to the court that they have not received certain papers, it appears that managing these six cases has also taxed the filing and communication systems of counsel.
A conference was held on March 20, 1984, to resolve pending motions and address housekeeping matters. The essential thrust of my determinations as explained at conference and as set out below is that the present record -- or lack thereof -- does not permit me to grant in full any of the pending motions to dismiss or for summary judgment. These cases should move forward with discovery. After development of some factual context, any of the defendants still contending that they should prevail as a matter of law may again move for summary judgment.
This Memorandum describes the rulings and agreements reached at the March 20 conference. It briefly describes some of the court's reasoning, more fully explained at conference. I have filed an appropriate, but terse, Order for each of the six cases implementing the discussion in this Memorandum. I have appended copies of all six Orders to this Memorandum for convenient reference.
(a) Proper Filing and Service
Certain conventions of filing and service may aid all parties and the court in maintaining their records of these six matters.
(i) Counsel should formally file all papers in any of the six cases which request court action. The parties should avoid letters to the court whenever possible.
(ii) Counsel should serve copies of all papers and correspondence on all counsel, even if the paper or letter does not formally relate to all six of these cases.
(iii) Counsel should caption all filed papers with the captions of the cases to which the papers pertain, preferably in chronological order.
(iv) Counsel should adopt a convention of noting on the face of all papers that the paper pertains to some or all of the cases in the Traffic Court Litigation, citing all six docket numbers.
(v) Counsel should provide the Clerk with an original of each paper for filing with the lowest numbered case to which that paper pertains and for docketing in all cases to which that paper pertains. Counsel should also provide the Clerk with an additional copy for docketing and filing with No. 81-2660. In this way, all dockets will reflect ...