Morris v. SolarCity Corp.

Filing 34

ORDER by Judge Richard Seeborg denying 25 Motion to Stay. (cl, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/17/2016)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 GEORGE MORRIS, Case No. 15-cv-05107-RS Plaintiff, 11 United States District Court Northern District of California v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STAY 12 13 SOLARCITY CORP., Defendant. 14 15 16 Defendant SolarCity Corp. moves for either (1) a stay of discovery pending any 17 determination that plaintiff has stated a viable claim, or (2) a stay of the entire action pending a 18 Supreme Court decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 135 S. Ct. 1892 (2015), which involves the 19 question of whether a claim for statutory damages gives rise to Article III standing in the absence 20 of actual damages. The motion has been submitted without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local 21 Rule 7-1(b), and will be denied. 22 Although a court generally has discretion to impose stays of the nature requested, 23 SolarCity has not shown that discretion should be exercised to grant such relief in the 24 circumstances here. SolarCity argues that it should not be put to the burden and expense of 25 responding to written discovery where, it believes, it may be able to obtain dismissal of the 26 complaint, without leave to amend, through an anticipated motion under Rule 12(b)(6) of the 27 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. SolarCity, however, has not advanced a basis for distinguishing 28 this case from the vast majority of those in which defendants contend plaintiffs have not stated a 1 claim and have little chance of ever doing so. Yet, other than in actions governed by the Private 2 Securities Litigation Reform Act, the general rule is that the pendency of a motion to dismiss does 3 not stay discovery. 4 Similarly, the possibility that a future decision in Spokeo will be instructive on what 5 plaintiffs must plead to go forward does not support staying the action at this juncture. The 6 timing, the potential scope, and the applicability of that ruling all remain uncertain. Accordingly, 7 the stay motion is denied. 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 Dated: February 17, 2016 ______________________________________ _ _______________________ _ _ ________ _________________ _ _ ___ __ _ RICHARD SEEBORG United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STAY CASE NO. 15-cv-05107-RS 28 2

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