Harper v. City of Cortez, Colorado
ORDER granting 16 Motion to Stay Discovery. The case is stayed pending a ruling on the Motion to Dismiss. The parties shall file a status report within ten days of the final ruling on the Motion to Dismiss, by Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya on 3/30/2017. (jgonz, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya
Civil Action No. 16–cv–03102–LTB–KMT
MARION ORNESTUS HARPER, III,
CITY OF CORTEZ, COLORADO,
CORTEZ POLICE DEPARTMENT,
OFFICER GUNDERSON, and
This matter is before the court on the Defendants’ “Motion to Stay Discovery.” (Doc.
No. 16, filed February 13, 2017.) Plaintiff has not filed a Response to the same. Currently
pending before the court is Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss arguing Plaintiff’s Complaint should
be dismissed based upon failure to state a claim and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Doc.
No. 6.) Defendants now move for a stay of proceedings pending a ruling on the Motion to
Although a stay of proceedings is generally disfavored, the court has discretion to stay
discovery while a dispositive motion is pending. See Wason Ranch Corp. v. Hecla Mining Co.,
No. 07–cv–00267–EWN–MEH, 2007 WL 1655362, at *1 (D. Colo. June 6, 2007) (“A stay of all
discovery is generally disfavored in this District.”); String Cheese Incident, LLC v. Stylus
Shows, Inc., No. 1:02–cv–01934–LTB–PAC, 2006 WL 894955, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 30, 2006)
(finding that a thirty day stay of discovery was appropriate when a motion to dismiss for lack of
personal jurisdiction was pending); Nankivil v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 216 F.R.D. 689, 692
(M.D. Fla. 2003) (A stay may be appropriate if “resolution of a preliminary motion may dispose
of the entire action.”); 8 Charles Alan Wright, et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 2040, at
521–22 (2d ed. 1994) (“[W]hen one issue may be determinative of a case, the court has
discretion to stay discovery on other issues until the critical issue has been decided.”); see also
Gilbert v. Ferry, 401 F.3d 411, 415–16 (6th Cir. 2005) (finding that ordering a stay of discovery
is not an abuse of discretion when a defendant has filed a motion to dismiss challenging the
court’s actual subject matter jurisdiction); Vivid Techs., Inc. v. Am. Sci. & Eng’g, 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.”); Chavous v. D.C. Fin.
Responsibility & Mgmt. Assistance Auth., 201 F.R.D. 1, 2 (D.D.C. 2005) (“A stay of discovery
pending the determination of a dispositive motion is an eminently logical means to prevent
wasting the time and effort of all concerned, and to make the most efficient use of judicial
resources.” (internal quotation omitted)).
When exercising its discretion, the court considers the following factors: (1) the interest
of the plaintiff in proceeding expeditiously with discovery and the potential prejudice to the
plaintiff of a delay; (2) the burden on the defendants of proceeding with discovery; (3) the
convenience to the court of staying discovery; (4) the interests of nonparties in either staying or
proceeding with discovery; and (5) the public interest in either staying or proceeding with
discovery. String Cheese Incident, 2006 WL 894955, at *2 (citing FDIC v. Renda, No. 85–
2216–O, 1987 WL 348635, at *2 (D. Kan. Aug. 6, 1987)).
As to the first and second String Cheese factors, because Plaintiff has not opposed
Defendants’ request, there is no prejudice that will result from the stay. With regard to the third
factor, it is certainly more convenient for the court to grant the stay until it is clear to what extent
the case will proceed. See Chavous, 201 F.R.D. at 5 (staying discovery pending decision on a
dispositive motion that would fully resolve the case “furthers the ends of economy and
efficiency, since if [the motion] is granted, there will be no need for [further proceedings].”).
Here, the motion to dismiss will resolve all issues in this case if it is granted. Thus, the third
factor weighs in favor of granting a stay.
With regard to the fourth factor, no nonparties with significant particularized interests in
this case have been identified. The court finds that absent any specific nonparty interests that
would be affected, the fourth factor neither weighs in favor of nor against granting a stay.
Finally, with regard to the fifth factor, the court finds the public’s primary interest in this case is
a general interest in its efficient and just resolution. Avoiding wasteful efforts by the court
clearly serves this interest. Thus, the fifth factor weighs in favor of granting a stay.
Weighing the relevant factors, the court finds that a stay of proceedings is warranted in
light of the pending Motion to Dismiss.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED Defendants’ “Motion to Stay Discovery” (Doc. No. 16) is GRANTED. The
case is stayed pending a ruling on the Motion to Dismiss. The parties shall file a status report
within ten days of the final ruling on the Motion to Dismiss.
Dated this 30th day of March, 2017.
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