Isaacson et al v. Brnovich et al

Filing 84

ORDER that Plaintiffs' motion to stay briefing and consideration of Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. 73 ) is GRANTED. The Court will hold Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. 68 ) in abeyance pending resolution of Plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal. See document for complete details. Signed by Judge Douglas L Rayes on 11/22/2021. (RMV)

Download PDF
Case 2:21-cv-01417-DLR Document 84 Filed 11/22/21 Page 1 of 3 1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Paul A Isaacson, et al., Plaintiffs, 10 11 ORDER v. 12 No. CV-21-01417-PHX-DLR Mark Brnovich, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 16 Plaintiff filed this lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of two aspects of 17 Arizona’s Senate Bill 1457, which the Court has referred to as the “Reason Regulations” 18 and the “Interpretation Policy.” Plaintiffs moved to preliminarily enjoin enforcement of 19 the Reason Regulations and the Interpretation Policy; the Court granted their motion as to 20 the former and denied it as to the latter. Relying on Webster v. Reproductive Health 21 Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), the Court found that Plaintiffs are unlikely to succeed on 22 their facial vagueness challenge to the Interpretation Policy because that claim is not ripe 23 for consideration. Plaintiffs have since appealed the portion of the Court’s order denying 24 relief as to the Interpretation Policy. Plaintiffs maintain that the Interpretation Policy is 25 materially different from the law at issue in Webster and thus Webster does not control. 26 After Plaintiffs noticed their appeal, Defendants moved to dismiss the challenge to 27 the Interpretation Policy, which sits at Count V of the complaint. (Doc. 68.) Defendants 28 argue that Plaintiffs’ challenge to the Interpretation Policy is not ripe under Webster, and Case 2:21-cv-01417-DLR Document 84 Filed 11/22/21 Page 2 of 3 1 therefore the Court should dismiss Count V for the same reasons it denied preliminary 2 injunctive relief on that claim. 3 Plaintiffs have moved to stay briefing and consideration of Defendants’ motion to 4 dismiss pending resolution of their interlocutory appeal. (Doc. 73.) “[T]he power to stay 5 proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of 6 the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for 7 litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). When deciding whether to stay 8 proceedings, the Court considers factors such as “the possible damage which may result 9 from the granting of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer in being 10 required to go forward, and the orderly course of justice measured in terms of the 11 simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected 12 to result from a stay.” CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962) (citing Landis, 13 299 U.S. at 254-55); see also Kuang v. United States Dept. of Defense, No. 18-cv-03698- 14 JST, 2019 WL 1597495, at *3 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 15, 2019) (observing, based on a survey of 15 case law, that “the Landis test or something similar” governs motions to stay proceedings 16 pending resolution of an interlocutory appeal). 17 The Court finds a stay of proceedings related to Defendants’ motion to dismiss is 18 appropriate. Defendants’ ask the Court to dismiss Count V of the complaint as unripe 19 under Webster. Plaintiffs’ interlocutory appeal asks the Ninth Circuit to find that Webster 20 does not control. Thus, Defendants’ motion to dismiss and Plaintiffs’ interlocutory appeal 21 pose the same fundamental question (albeit in different procedural postures): does Webster 22 foreclose Plaintiffs’ facial challenge to the Interpretation Policy? 23 inefficient use of judicial resources for both this Court and the Ninth Circuit to consider 24 the same issues simultaneously with the looming risk of inconsistent rulings.” SolarCity 25 Corp. v. Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, No. CV-15- 26 00374-PHX-DLR, 2016 WL 5109887, at *2 (D. Ariz. Sept. 20, 2016). This is especially 27 true when the Ninth Circuit’s decision could materially impact the Court’s assessment of 28 Plaintiffs’ claim. See Head v. Citigroup Inc., No. CV-18-08189-PCT-DLR, 2020 WL -2- “It would be an Case 2:21-cv-01417-DLR Document 84 Filed 11/22/21 Page 3 of 3 1 6198950, at *1 (D. Ariz. Sept. 22, 2020). 2 Defendants counter that they would be prejudiced by a stay because they will have 3 to proceed with litigation of Count V despite a fair probability that it is unripe. (Doc. 79 4 at 4.) But Count V is a facial vagueness challenge, which is unlikely to require significant 5 fact discovery. A facial vagueness challenge, by nature, is more of a legal dispute than a 6 factual one. Though a stay will delay consideration of Defendants’ legal arguments, that 7 delay will be more of an inconvenience than meaningful prejudice. For these reasons, 8 IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ motion to stay briefing and consideration of 9 Defendants’ motion to dismiss (Doc. 73) is GRANTED. The Court will hold Defendants’ 10 motion to dismiss (Doc. 68) in abeyance pending resolution of Plaintiffs’ interlocutory 11 appeal. 12 Dated this 22nd day of November, 2021. 13 14 15 16 17 Douglas L. Rayes United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?