Torres v. Key Energy Services, LLC

Filing 19

ORDER STAYING THE ACTION, signed by Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on 5/19/2015. (Hall, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ROLANDO TORRES, et al., Plaintiffs, 12 v. 13 14 KEY ENERGY SERVICES, LLC, 15 Defendant. ) Case No.: 1:15-cv-00103 AWI JLT ) ) ORDER STAYING THE ACTION ) ) ) ) ) ) 16 17 On May 8, 2015, the Court held a scheduling conference at which the parties discussed 18 whether the matter should be stayed. Through filings in advance of the hearing, Defendant advised the 19 Court that a similar case raising similar class and collective claims had been filed in the Central 20 District of California and the motion for class certification was pending. (Doc. 15 at 8-10) Defendant 21 urged that the matter should be stayed until the Central District ruled. Because Plaintiff had not had 22 an opportunity to consider or brief whether the action should be stayed, the Court authorized the 23 parties to file briefs on the topic. In response, Mr. Torres now indicates that he agrees that the matter 24 should be stayed to allow the determination of the class claims in the Central District. (Doc. 17) For 25 the reasons set forth below, the Court STAYS this action. 26 I. The Court has the authority to stay the action 27 A district court has the inherent power to stay its proceedings. This power to stay is 28 “incidental to the power inherent in every court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket 1 1 with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. North American 2 Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936); see also Gold v. Johns–Manville Sales Corp., 723 F.2d 1068, 1077 (3d 3 Cir.1983) (holding that the power to stay proceedings comes from the power of every court to manage 4 the cases on its docket and to ensure a fair and efficient adjudication of the matter at hand). This is 5 best accomplished by the “exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain 6 an even balance.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 254–55. In determining whether a stay is warranted, courts 7 consider the potential prejudice to the non-moving party; the hardship or inequity to the moving party 8 if the action is not stayed; and the judicial resources that would be saved by simplifying the case or 9 avoiding duplicative litigation if the case before the court is stayed. CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 10 11 265, 268 (9th Cir.1962). As noted above, the case in the Central District, Grillo v. Key Energy Services, LLC, No. 2:14- 12 cv-00881 AB AGR, raises issues in common with the instant matter. Defendant notes, “the Torres 13 Action involves claims for unpaid wages, non-compliant wage statements, and unpaid meal period 14 premiums, each of which the plaintiffs in the Grillo Action are attempting to certify through the 15 Motion for Class Certification. Thus, the outcome of the Motion for Class Certification will dictate 16 whether and on behalf of whom the claims in the Torres Action may proceed. To avoid duplicative 17 efforts by the Parties and the Court, the Court should stay the Torres Action pending resolution of the 18 Motion for Class Certification.” (Doc. 18 at 2) In addition, the Court notes that the Grillo matter 19 raises a PAGA claim which is also raised here. 20 Considering the factors set forth above, the Court finds that staying the action would pose no 21 hardship on any party; to the contrary it would relieve the hardship on Defendant from having to 22 engage in discovery that would duplicate the Grillo discovery. Likewise, it would relieve Plaintiff 23 from having to expend resources to discover this case when, it appears, his rights—and those of the 24 class he seeks to represent—may be vindicated in the Grillo matter. There appears to be no claim that 25 prejudice would result from the stay and, in light of the discovery effort expended in the Grillo matter, 26 it does not appear there is any risk of prejudice. Finally, allowing the difficult class issues to be 27 resolved in the Central District without duplicating this effort here, is a wiser use of judicial resources 28 and would conserve the very limited resources existing in the Eastern District. Thus, the matter will 2 1 be STAYED. 2 ORDER 3 Based upon the foregoing, the Court ORDERS: 4 1. The matter is STAYED; 5 2. No later than September 7, 2015 and every 45 days thereafter until the stay is 6 lifted, the parties SHALL file a joint statement that details the status of the Grillo v. Key Energy 7 Services, LLC, No. 2:14-cv-00881 AB AGR matter and describes their positions on whether the stay 8 should be lifted. 9 10 11 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 19, 2015 /s/ Jennifer L. Thurston UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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