Elofson v. Bivens et al

Filing 31

ORDER DENYING 28 MOTION TO STAY. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 3/9/2016.(blflc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/9/2016)

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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 GREG STEVEN ELOFSON, Case No. 15-cv-05761-BLF Plaintiff, 8 v. ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STAY 9 10 STEPHANIE BIVENS, et al., [Re: ECF 28] Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 Plaintiff Greg Steven Elofson’s Motion to Stay, filed March 8, 2016 and docketed as ECF 13 14 15 16 28, is DENIED for the reasons discussed below. I. BACKGROUND Plaintiff Greg Steven Elofson, proceeding pro se, filed this action on December 16, 2015, 17 challenging Arizona state court orders relating to the guardianship and conservatorship of his 18 father, Milo Elofson. See Compl., ECF 1. Plaintiff expressly seeks relief from those Arizona state 19 court orders under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60, and he asserts numerous related federal and 20 state law claims arising out of alleged civil rights violations, human trafficking, racketeering, 21 breach of fiduciary duty, attorney malpractice, defamation, negligent infliction of emotional 22 distress, elder abuse, and abuse of process. See id. 23 Between January 31, 2016 and February 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for appointment 24 of counsel, a motion for leave to amend his complaint, and an application for a temporary 25 restraining order (“TRO”). See Motion for App’t of Counsel, ECF 8; Motion for Leave to Amend, 26 ECF 18; Applic. for TRO, ECF 20. On February 24, 2016, this Court issued an order denying the 27 motion for appointment of counsel and the application for a TRO and granting the motion for 28 leave to amend the complaint. See Order, ECF 23. Plaintiff timely filed an amended complaint on 1 March 9, 2016. See First Am’d Compl., ECF 29. On February 29, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a motion for 2 3 reconsideration of the Court’s denial of his application for a TRO. See Order Denying Motion for 4 Leave to File Motion for Reconsideration, ECF 25. 5 6 II. MOTION TO STAY On March 8, 2016, Plaintiff filed the present Motion to Stay, indicating that Plaintiff 7 “moves to stay the court’s judgment while Plaintiff appeals and files an Emergency Motion under 8 Fed. R. App. P. Circuit Rule 27-3 with the Ninth Circuit.” Motion to Stay at 2, ECF 28. As set 9 forth above, this Court has not issued a judgment in this case. To the contrary, the Court granted Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint, and Plaintiff timely filed the operative First Amended 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 Complaint in this action on March 9, 2016. Magistrate Judge Howard Lloyd, to whom this case 12 previously was assigned, granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in this action in forma pauperis. See 13 Order Granting Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis and Permission to Participate in Electronic 14 Case Filing, ECF 6. Pursuant to that order, once Plaintiff provides the Clerk with the names and 15 addresses of all Defendants to be served, the Clerk will issue summons, and service of process will 16 be effected by the United States Marshal for the Northern District of California. Because the 17 litigation is ongoing, and no judgment has been issued, Plaintiff’s motion for a stay of judgment is 18 DENIED. 19 Although Plaintiff’s motion is framed as a motion to stay the Court’s “judgment,” see 20 Motion to Stay at 2, ECF 28, the last line of the motion requests a “stay of proceedings, see id. at 21 21. To the extent that Plaintiff requests a stay of the entire litigation, the request is governed by 22 the standards set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248 23 (1936). “[T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every court to 24 control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for 25 counsel, and for litigants.” Id. at 254. A district court’s decision to grant or deny a Landis stay is 26 a matter of discretion. Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005). The 27 moving party has the burden of proving such a stay is justified. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 28 708 (1997). 2 Determining whether to grant a Landis stay requires the district court to weigh the 1 2 competing interests affected by either granting or denying the motion. CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 3 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962) (citing Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55). “Among these competing 4 interests are (1) the possible damage which may result from the granting of a stay, (2) the hardship 5 or inequity which a party may suffer in being required to go forward, and (3) the orderly course of 6 justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law 7 which could be expected to result from a stay.” Id. Plaintiff’s motion does not address these factors. The Court observes that for the most 8 part, the motion simply disputes this Court’s determination that Plaintiff’s TRO application failed 10 to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits because his claims are barred by the Rooker- 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 9 Feldman doctrine. Plaintiff’s unsuccessful motion for leave to file a motion for reconsideration 12 was based upon that very point. Plaintiff’s attempt to reargue the issue in the present motion is 13 inappropriate. Because Plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of establishing a basis for staying 14 the litigation, any intended motion for such a stay is DENIED. 15 16 III. ORDER Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay is DENIED. 17 18 19 20 Dated: March 9, 2016 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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