NGV Gaming, LTD. v. Upstream Point Molate, LLC et al

Filing 179

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti granting 165 Motion to Stay (sclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/18/2008)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) HARRAH'S OPERATING COMPANY, INC., a) ) Delaware Corporation, ) ) Defendant. ) ) NGV GAMING, LTD., Case No. 04-3955 SC ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS The present matter comes before the Court on the Motion to Stay Proceedings ("Motion") filed by the defendant Harrah's Operating Company, Inc. ("Harrah's" or "Defendant"). 165. Docket No. The plaintiff NGV Gaming, LTD. ("NGV" or "Plaintiff") Docket Nos. See, submitted an Opposition and Harrah's filed a Reply. 168, 173. Both parties also submitted additional briefing. e.g., Docket Nos. 170, 175, 177. Court GRANTS Harrah's Motion. For the following reasons, the Proceedings in the present action are STAYED pending the ruling by the United States Supreme Court on Harrah's petition for certiorari. The facts of this case have been extensively briefed by both parties and have been recited in both this Court's previous Orders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit's recent opinion by a divided panel reversing this Court's Order denying NGV's motion for summary judgment. See Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians v. NGV Gaming, The parties' familiarity with LTD., 531 F.3d 767 (9th Cir. 2008). the facts is therefore presumed. For present purposes, the Court notes that Harrah's has filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit's decision. Neither party disputes the fact that "[d]istrict courts have inherent authority to stay proceedings before them." Rohan ex rel. Gates v. Woodford, 334 F.3d 803, 817 (9th Cir. 2003) (citing Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). "In deciding United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 whether to issue or grant a stay, a Court should weigh the competing interests of the case, e.g., the possible hardship to the parties, the orderly course of justice, and the possible damage that may result from a delay." Bankston v. Bayer Corp., No. C-06-0783 SC, 2006 WL 889180, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2006). After reviewing the arguments and evidence presented by both parties, the Court finds that a stay will promote the orderly course of justice without causing hardship to either party. In a surreply filed without leave from the Court, NGV argues that it might be prejudiced because of "the likelihood of an impending insolvency at the time of any final judgment awarding monetary damages to NGV." Docket No. 175. As Harrah's points out, however, this claim is undercut by the very evidence presented and relied upon by NGV. Further supporting the stay is a recent decision by the Second Circuit agreeing with the dissent and rejecting the 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 For the Northern District of California majority in the Ninth Circuit's decision in Guidiville, thereby creating a possible circuit split. See Catskill Dev., L.L.C. v. Park Place Entm't Corp., --- F.3d ---, Docket No. 06-5860, 2008 WL 4630309, at *7 (2nd Cir. Oct. 21, 2008)(citing the Honorable Judge Smith's dissent in Guidiville). Although far from a sure thing, this holding by the Second Circuit would tend to increase the prospect for review of Guidiville by the Supreme Court. For the reasons stated herein, the Court STAYS the proceedings pending the Supreme Court's ruling on Harrah's petition for certiorari. United States District Court 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Dated: November 18, 2008 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE IT IS SO ORDERED.

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