Baker v. Moreno, et al.

Filing 30

ORDER GRANTING IN PART 28 Motion to Stay; Discovery and Scheduling Order is Modified to Vacate all current deadlines and stay discovery in this action other than that related to Plaintiff's exhaustion efforts, signed by Magistrate Judge Sheila K. Oberto on 12/4/17. (Martin-Gill, S)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 9 Case No. 1:16-cv-01758-AWI-SKO (PC) TOMMIE LEE BAKER, III, Plaintiff, 10 11 v. 12 ORDER MODIFYING SCHEDULING ORDER STAYING ACTION OTHER THAN REGARDING EXHAUSTION AND DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT MORENO, et al., (Doc. 28) Defendants. 13 14 15 16 17 I. Background Plaintiff, Tommie Lee Baker, III, is a prisoner in the custody of the California Department 18 of Corrections and Rehabilitation (“CDCR”). Plaintiff is proceeding pro se and in forma 19 pauperis in this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds in this action 20 against Correctional Officers Raymond A. Moreno and Mark Evans, as well as Sergeant Choua 21 Yang for retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. 22 On November 27, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, contending 23 that Plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative remedies prior to filing suit. (Doc. 27.) 24 Concurrently therewith, Defendants file a motion seeking to stay all discovery and vacate the 25 26 27 28 discovery and scheduling order. (Doc. 28.) While Plaintiff’s time to file an opposition has not lapsed, (see Docs. 32, 33), Plaintiff will not be prejudiced by the consideration of Defendants’ motion since Plaintiff may engage in discovery on the issue of exhaustion, and full discovery will be re-opened as a new Discovery and Scheduling Order will issue if the exhaustion issue is not 1 1 dispositive. 2 II. 3 Modification of Scheduling Order A party seeking leave of court to amend the schedule of a case must satisfy Federal Rule 4 of Civil Procedure1 16(b)’s “good cause” standard. The good cause standard of Rule 16(b) 5 focuses primarily on the diligence of the moving party, id., and the reasons for seeking 6 modification, C.F. ex rel. Farnan v. Capistrano Unified Sch. Dist., 654 F.3d 975, 984 (9th 7 Cir.2011). If the party seeking to amend the scheduling order fails to show due diligence, the 8 inquiry should end and the court should not grant the motion to modify. Zivkovic v. Southern 9 California Edison, Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002). Here, Defendants have exercised due diligence. The Discovery and Scheduling Order 10 11 issued on August 30, 2017. (Doc. 18.) On November 27, 2017, Defendants filed their motion for 12 summary judgment based on Plaintiff’s asserted failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior 13 to filing suit. (Doc. 27.) Defendants concurrently filed a motion to stay discovery and vacate the 14 deadlines set in the Discovery and Scheduling Order. (Doc. 28.) These motions were timely filed 15 16 before the November 30, 2017 deadline for filing exhaustion motions.2 III. A district court has the inherent power to stay its proceedings, or any portion thereof. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Stay of Proceedings This power to stay 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.” Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936); see also Gold v. Johns-Manville Sales Corp., 723 F.2d 1068, 1077 (3d Cir.1983) (holding that the power to stay proceedings comes from the power of every court to manage the cases on its docket and to ensure a fair and efficient adjudication of the matter at hand). This is best accomplished by the “exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 254– 24 55. In determining whether a stay is warranted, courts consider the potential prejudice to the non25 26 27 1 The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will hereinafter be referred to as “Rule *.” The Court notes that should Defendants’ motion for summary judgment be granted, the case will be dismissed. As such, modification of the Discovery and Scheduling Order will avoid wasted resources by the parties and is in the interests of judicial economy. 2 28 2 1 moving party; the hardship or inequity to the moving party if the action is not stayed; and the 2 judicial resources that would be saved by simplifying the case or avoiding duplicative litigation if 3 the case before the court is stayed. CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.1962). The 4 Ninth Circuit “has sustained or authorized in principle Landis stays on several occasions.” 5 Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir.2005). If Defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s exhaustion efforts is granted, 6 7 the case will be dismissed. As such, it is reasonable to stay discovery other than that related to 8 Plaintiff’s exhaustion efforts pending a ruling on Defendants’ motion for summary judgment.3 9 IV. Order Based on the foregoing, it is HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ motion to stay 10 11 proceedings pending a ruling on their motion for summary judgment on exhaustion issues, filed 12 on November 27, 2017, (Doc. 28), is GRANTED in part. The Discovery and Scheduling Order is 13 MODIFIED to vacate all current deadlines and stay discovery in this action other than that related 14 to Plaintiff’s exhaustion efforts. 15 IT IS SO ORDERED. 16 17 Dated: December 4, 2017 /s/ Sheila K. Oberto . UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Although Defense counsel represents that none of the discovery Plaintiff has propounded address his exhaustion efforts, Plaintiff is not precluded from seeking discovery relating his exhaustion efforts under F.R.C.P. 56(d). 3

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