Leaks v. Graves
MINUTE ORDER by Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix on 1/8/15. Unopposed Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Resolution of the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [#23] is GRANTED.(lgale, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-00696-RM-KLM
ENTERED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE KRISTEN L. MIX
This matter is before the Court on Defendant’s Unopposed Motion to Stay
Discovery Pending Resolution of the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment
[#23]1 (the “Motion”). Defendant asks the Court to stay discovery in this case until after the
District Judge rules on the qualified immunity issue raised in Defendant’s pending Motion
for Summary Judgment [#21]. If granted, the Motion for Summary Judgment would dispose
of the sole claim against the sole Defendant. The discovery deadline is January 22, 2015,
and the dispositive motions deadline is February 23, 2015. See Minute Entry [#13].
Questions of jurisdiction and immunity should be resolved at the earliest stages of
litigation, so as to conserve the time and resources of the Court and the parties. See
Behrens v. Pelletier, 516 U.S. 299, 308 & 310 (1996) (noting that discovery can be
“[#23]” is an example of the convention the Court uses to identify the docket number
assigned to a specific paper by the Court’s case management and electronic case filing system
(CM/ECF). This convention is used throughout this Order.
particularly disruptive when a dispositive motion regarding immunity is pending); Moore v.
Busby, 92 F. App'x 699, 702 (10th Cir. 2004) (affirming trial court's stay of discovery
pending resolution of absolute immunity question); Albright v. Rodriguez, 51 F.3d 1531,
1534 (10th Cir. 1995) (“the Supreme Court has repeatedly ‘stressed the importance of
resolving immunity questions at the earliest possible stage in litigation.’” (citation omitted)).
Qualified immunity “give[s] government officials a right, not merely to avoid ‘standing trial,’
but also to avoid the burdens of ‘such pretrial matters as discovery . . . .’” Behrens, 516
U.S. at 308 (citation omitted). The Court is obligated to “exercise its discretion so that
officials [properly asserting qualified immunity] are not subjected to unnecessary and
burdensome discovery or trial proceedings.” Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 597-98
However, an assertion of qualified immunity “is not a bar to all discovery.” Rome v.
Romero, 225 F.R.D. 640, 643 (D. Colo. 2004). The defense of qualified immunity is
available to 1) individual governmental officials, but not governmental entities; 2) claims for
monetary damages, but not claims for injunctive or declaratory relief; and 3) claims against
individual governmental officials in their individual capacities, not their official capacities.
Rome, 225 F.R.D. at 643 (citations omitted). Here, the sole claim made in this case is
subject to the qualified immunity defense, because Defendant is a government official,
Plaintiff only seeks damages, and the sole claim is asserted against Defendant in his
individual capacity only. Compl. [#1] at 3-4. Thus, the Court finds that a stay of the
discovery and dispositive motions deadlines is warranted here. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion to Stay [#23] is GRANTED. All discovery
is stayed pending resolution of Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment [#21].
DATED: January 8, 2015 at Denver, Colorado.
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