Renasant Bank v. Park National Corporation et al
Order granting 50 Joint MOTION to Stay. This action is STAYED until 9/23/2013. The parties are ordered by 9/20/2013 to file a joint status report as set out. The 49 Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response to Counterclaim filed by Renasant Bank is granted. Plaintiff's response to counterclaim is due by 10/7/2013. Signed by Chief Judge William H. Steele on 6/25/2013. (tgw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
PARK NATIONAL CORPORATION,
CIVIL ACTION 12-0689-WS-C
This matter comes before the Court on the parties’ Joint Renewed Motion for Stay of
Action (doc. 50) and plaintiff’s Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time (doc. 49).
With respect to the Motion for Stay, the parties are jointly requesting that this action be
stayed for a period of 90 days to allow time for defendant SE Property Holdings, LLC (“SEPH”)
to engage in collection, liquidation and recovery of assets in connection with the underlying
indebtedness owed by certain non-parties to SEPH. In that regard, SEPH represents to the Court
that these efforts (including a foreclosure sale of collateral property which is slated to occur on
July 11, 2013) “are likely to yield sufficient funds to facilitate a compromise of some or possibly
all of the claims asserted in this litigation,” and that “there is a substantial likelihood” that such
efforts will “at least substantially narrow the issues” joined herein. (Doc. 50, at 2.) For its part,
plaintiff, Renasant Bank, states that it lacks personal knowledge of these facts, but that it agrees
there is a “possibility that the fruits of SEPH’s collection efforts may facilitate a compromise
between the parties to this action.” (Id. at 3.)
As this Court has previously acknowledged, the law is clear that district courts are vested
with broad discretion to stay proceedings, which authority is incidental to their inherent powers
to control their dockets and the course of particular litigation. See, e.g., Clinton v. Jones, 520
U.S. 681, 706, 117 S.Ct. 1636, 137 L.Ed.2d 945 (1997) (“The District Court has broad discretion
to stay proceedings as an incident to its power to control its own docket.”); Landis v. North
American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55, 57 S.Ct. 163, 81 L.Ed. 153 (1936) (“[T]he power to stay
proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the
causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.”);
Advanced Bodycare Solutions, LLC v. Thione Int’l, Inc., 524 F.3d 1235, 1241 (11th Cir. 2008)
(“district courts have inherent, discretionary authority to issue stays in many circumstances”). In
exercising this discretion, district courts have considered such factors as: “(1) whether the
litigation is at an early stage …; (2) whether a stay will unduly prejudice or tactically
disadvantage the non-moving party; (3) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question and
streamline the trial; and (4) whether a stay will reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and
on the court.” Grice Engineering, Inc. v. JG Innovations, Inc., 691 F. Supp.2d 915, 920 (W.D.
Although the Court denied the parties’ initial Joint Motion for Stay (doc. 46) filed earlier
this month, their renewed motion sets forth additional facts lending persuasive support to the
parties’ request. Based on the specific facts identified in this latest filing, the Court agrees that
entry of a 90-day stay is substantially likely to simplify the issues, streamline the trial, and
reduce the burden of litigation on the Court and parties alike. Moreover, because all parties have
requested such relief, there is no concern that entry of a stay will unfairly prejudice or
disadvantage any party. And this case is sufficiently early in its lifespan that the contemplated
90-day stay should not disrupt the applicable Rule 16(b) Scheduling Order (doc. 47) in any
In light of the foregoing, the Court finds that there are considerable benefits to entry of a
temporary stay at this time to enable SEPH to focus on collection efforts as to the underlying
debtor/guarantors, with the substantial possibility that such efforts may pave the way for a
reasonable compromise or at least a narrowing of the claims and issues joined in this litigation.
Moreover, a stay will accomplish these benefits with a negligible risk of undue delay, prejudice
or harm to any party. Because entry of the requested stay will serve the interests of justice, the
Court exercises its discretion by granting the Joint Renewed Motion for Stay of Action (doc.
50). This action, and all deadlines therein, is hereby stayed. The stay will expire by its terms
effective September 23, 2013. The parties are ordered to file a joint status report on or before
September 20, 2013, updating the Court on the status of SEPH’s collection efforts and the
parties’ attempts to resolve their dispute. Regardless of the ultimate success of such endeavors,
the parties’ status report must make a specific showing that they have been diligent and that they
have made good, productive use of the 90-day stay allotted to them.
Also pending is plaintiff’s Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time. Pursuant to the
Order (doc. 45) entered on May 29, 2013, plaintiff’s response to SEPH’s Counterclaim was due
on or before June 21, 2013. In its timely Motion for Extension, plaintiff requests that its deadline
for filing this responsive pleading be extended until two weeks after the stay is lifted. For cause
shown, and in the absence of any meaningful risk of prejudice to any other party, the Motion for
Extension (doc. 49) is granted. Plaintiff’s response to SEPH’s Counterclaim must be filed on or
before October 7, 2013.
DONE and ORDERED this 25th day of June, 2013.
s/ WILLIAM H. STEELE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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