Baker v. Cacoa et al

Filing 43

ORDER Regarding Defendants' Request to Stay Non-Exhaustion Discovery, and Plaintiff's Request for Modification of the Discovery and Scheduling Order, signed by Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on 11/17/17. 39 , 40 and 41 (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 MIKE BAKER, 9 Plaintiff, 10 v. 11 S. CACOA, et al., 12 Defendants. 13 14 15 16 17 I. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: 1:15-cv-00693-AWI-BAM (PC) ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS’ REQUEST TO STAY NON-EXHAUSTION DISCOVERY, AND PLAINTIFF’S REQUEST FOR MODIFICATION OF THE DISCOVERY AND SCHEDULING ORDER (ECF Nos. 39, 40, 41.) Introduction Plaintiff Mike Baker is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis in this civil 18 rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter proceeds on Plaintiff’s claims Defendants 19 Ponce De Leon and Vasquez for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment, and against 20 Defendants Cacoa, Ponce De Leon, Guizar, Vasquez, Singh and Jane Doe for deliberate indifference 21 to serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment, medical malpractice, violations of 22 California Government Code § 845.6, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. 23 Currently before the Court is Defendants’ request to stay non-exhaustion discovery, contained 24 in their motion for summary judgment for the failure to exhaust administrative remedies, filed on 25 October 27, 2017. (ECF No. 39) Plaintiff filed an opposition on November 13, 2017, in addition to his 26 own motion to modify the discovery and scheduling order. (ECF No. 40.) Defendants’ filed a 27 statement supporting their request for a stay and opposing Plaintiff’s modification request, on 28 November 16, 2017. (ECF No. 41.) These motions are deemed submitted. Local Rule 230(l). 1 1 II. Defendant’s Motion to Stay and Plaintiff’s Motion to Modify the Scheduling Order 2 A. Arguments 3 Defendants seek a protective order staying discovery unrelated to the issue of exhaustion 4 pending the outcome of their motion for summary judgment for the failure to exhaust administrative 5 remedies. (ECF No. 39-1, at pp. 15-16.) Defendants argue that success on their motion will dispose of 6 several claims in this action, which will significantly reduce the scope of this case and thus the scope 7 of merits discovery. 8 Plaintiff opposes the request to stay, arguing that the motion for summary judgment has no 9 merit and that a stay will lengthen the litigation here and waste time. Plaintiff states that he has not 10 served any discovery requests, but he intends to serve minimal discovery requests of limited scope. 11 Plaintiff also seeks some unspecified modification of the deadlines in the discovery and scheduling 12 order. (ECF No. 40.) 13 In reply, Defendants renew their request for a stay of non-exhaustion discovery based on their 14 earlier arguments, and oppose Plaintiff’s request based on a lack of clarity regarding what 15 modification Plaintiff seeks. (ECF No. 41). 16 B. Analysis 17 Courts may issue a protective order staying discovery pending the resolution of potentially 18 dispositive motions. See e.g., Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir. 1988) (no abuse 19 of discretion where district court stayed discovery until issue of immunity was decided on 20 summary judgment). A district court “has broad discretion to stay proceedings as an incident to its 21 power to control its own docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706 (1997) (citing Landis v. North 22 American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936)). The party seeking the stay bears the burden of establishing 23 the need to stay the action. Clinton, 520 U.S. at 708. 24 Here, the Court finds that Defendants have met the burden of showing good cause to stay all 25 non-exhaustion related discovery in this case. Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). A stay here will further the 26 goal of efficiency for the courts and litigants by preventing a waste of resources on potentially 27 unnecessary discovery and motion practice. Furthermore, Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by a modest 28 delay in proceeding with non-exhaustion related discovery under the circumstances. Thus, non2 1 exhaustion discovery in this case will be stayed pending the resolution of Defendant’s motion for 2 summary judgment. To the extent Plaintiff’s intended discovery requests are directed at issues related 3 to the exhaustion of administrative remedies, they are not precluded by this order. The Court does not find good cause to grant Plaintiff’s request to modify the discovery and 4 5 scheduling order. As Defendants argue, it is not clear what deadline Plaintiff seeks to modify, or why 6 additional time is needed. 7 III. Conclusion and Order 8 Accordingly, it is HEREBY ORDERED that: 9 1. Defendants’ request to stay non-exhaustion discovery pending resolution of motion for 10 summary judgment on issue of exhaustion is granted. As noted above, the parties are not precluded 11 from engaging in discovery related to the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies; 12 13 14 2. Upon the resolution of Defendants’ pending motion for summary judgment, the Court will issue an order lifting the stay of non-exhaustion discovery; and 3. Plaintiff’s motion for modification of the discovery and scheduling order is denied. 15 16 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: /s/ Barbara November 17, 2017 A. McAuliffe _ UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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