Jacobson v. Credit Control Services, Inc.
ORDER granting 16 Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion to Stay Discovery Pending the Court's Ruling on the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. This matter is STAYED pending ruling on defendant's Motion to Dismiss 15 . By Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe on 5/22/2014.(emill)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 13-cv-03307-WYD-MJW
CREDIT CONTROL SERVICES, INC., a Delaware corporation,
d/b/a CREDIT CONTROL COLLECTION SERVICES,
PLAINTIFF’S UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY
(Docket No. 16)
MICHAEL J. WATANABE
United States Magistrate Judge
This case is before this court pursuant to an Order Referring Case (Docket No. 4)
issued by Senior Judge Wiley Y. Daniel on December 10, 2013.
Now before the court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay Discovery Pending the Court’s
Ruling on the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 16). The court has carefully
considered the subject motion. In addition, the court has taken judicial notice of the
court’s file, and has considered the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and
case law. The court now being fully informed makes the following findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and order.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for a stay of
proceedings. See String Cheese Incident, LLC v. Stylus Shows, Inc.,
02–cv–01934–LTB–PA, 2006 WL 894955, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 30, 2006) (unpublished).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 does, however, provide that “[a] party or any person
from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the
action is pending. The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or
person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense . . .
.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a).
Moreover, “[t]he power to stay proceedings 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. How this can best be done calls for the
exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even
balance.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-255 (1936) (citing Kansas City S.
Ry. Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 760, 763 (1931)). An order staying discovery is thus
an appropriate exercise of this court's discretion. Id.
A stay of all discovery is generally disfavored. Bustos v. United States, 257
F.R.D. 617, 623 (D. Colo. 2009). However, “a court may decide that in a particular case
it would be wise to stay discovery on the merits until [certain challenges] have been
resolved.” 8A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Richard L. Marcus, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 2040, at 198 (3d ed. 2010). Thus, courts have routinely
recognized that discovery may be inappropriate while issues of immunity or jurisdiction
are being resolved. See, e.g., Siegert v. Gilley, 500 U.S. 226, 231–32 (1991) (noting
that immunity is a threshold issue and discovery should not be allowed while the issue is
pending); Workman v. Jordan, 958 F.2d 332, 336 (10th Cir. 1992) (same). Similarly, a
stay may be appropriate if “resolution of a preliminary motion may dispose of the entire
action.” Nankivil v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 216 F.R.D. 689, 692 (M.D. Fla. 2003). See
also Vivid Techs., Inc. v. Am. Sci. & Eng'r, Inc., 200 F.3d 795, 804 (Fed. Cir. 1999)
(“When a particular issue may be dispositive, the court may stay discovery concerning
other issues until the critical issue is resolved.”).
When considering a stay of discovery, this court has considered the following
factors: (1) the plaintiff's interests in proceeding expeditiously with the civil action and
the potential prejudice to plaintiff of a delay; (2) the burden on the defendants; (3) the
convenience to the court; (4) the interests of persons not parties to the civil litigation;
and (5) the public interest. See String Cheese Incident, 2006 WL 894955, at *2.
Here, plaintiff seeks to stay all discovery pending resolution of defendant’s
Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 15). In its Motion to Dismiss, defendant argues that
plaintiff’s complaint should be dismissed pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1).
Specifically, defendant argues this matter has been rendered moot by virtue of a Rule
68 offer extended to plaintiff.
As to the first and second String Cheese factor, the court recognizes that plaintiff
has an interest in proceeding expeditiously. However, since plaintiff consents to the
stay, it cannot be said that plaintiff will suffer any prejudice. Furthermore, the court
recognizes that there is certainly a burden on defendant if a stay is not put in place.
Defendant (and plaintiff) would be forced to conduct discovery which may not otherwise
be necessary. Furthermore, the court notes that, if granted, defendant’s Motion to
Dismiss would dispose of the matter in its entirety.
As to the remaining factors, the court finds that the convenience to the court, the
interest of nonparties, and the public interest in general do not weigh heavily in either
Accordingly, on balance, the court finds that a stay of discovery is appropriate in
WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Unopposed Motion to Stay Discovery Pending the
Court’s Ruling on the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. 16) is GRANTED.
This matter is STAYED pending ruling on defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Docket No.
Date: May 22, 2014
s/ Michael J. Watanabe
Michael J. Watanabe
United States Magistrate Judge
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