Huthsing v. Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L. et al
ORDER denying 26 motion to stay. Signed by Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell on 4/17/2015. (AHH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
DANELL A. HUTHSING,
Case No: 8:14-cv-2694-T-36TBM
LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL C.
CONSUEGRA, P.L. and DYCK-O’NEAL,
This cause comes before the Court upon the Motion to Stay, filed by Defendants Law
Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L. and Dyck-O’Neal, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”) (Doc.
26). Plaintiff Danell A. Huthsing responded in opposition to the Motion (Doc. 27). The Court,
having considered the motion and being fully advised in the premises, will now DENY
Defendants’ Motion to Stay.
This lawsuit arises over alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15
U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. (“FDCPA”). Specifically, Huthsing alleges that Defendants violated the
FDCPA by knowingly filing a deficiency judgment action against her in an improper venue, in
order to unfairly increase the difficulty of defending the action. Doc. 1 (“Compl.”) ¶¶ 6, 14, 18,
20-21, 26-27. Dyck-O’Neal subsequently filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Huthsing has
failed to state a claim for relief because deficiency actions are not subject to the provisions of the
FDCPA. See Doc. 12. Huthsing filed an opposition to the motion. See Doc. 17.
Defendants now seek to stay discovery until the Court rules on Dyck-O’Neal’s motion to
dismiss. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) permits a court to stay discovery if “good cause”
is shown by the party seeking the stay. See McCabe v. Foley, 233 F.R.D. 683, 685 (M.D. Fla.
2006). “In deciding whether to stay discovery pending resolution of a pending motion, the Court
inevitably must balance the harm produced by a delay in discovery against the possibility that the
motion will be granted and entirely eliminate the need for such discovery.” Feldman v. Flood,
176 F.R.D. 651, 652 (M.D. Fla. 1997). Accordingly, courts may “take a preliminary peek at the
merits of the allegedly dispositive motion to see if on its face there appears to be an immediate and
clear possibility that it will be granted.” Id.
Defendants argue that discovery should be stayed because it is irrelevant to the resolution
of Dyck-O’Neal’s motion. Defendants add that a preliminary peek at Dyck-O’Neal’s motion
would reveal it to be clearly meritorious and case dispositive. Thus, according to Defendants,
discovery would cause a substantial and needless waste of resources by all parties. In response,
Huthsing argues that the propounded discovery is “relatively light,” consisting mostly of the
production of documents that would support the number of “a very specific type of case” filed in
the Florida courts on a volume basis (presumably, some subset of deficiency actions). Huthsing
also challenges the merits of Dyck-O’Neal’s motion to dismiss.
Upon consideration of the parties’ arguments, the Court finds that a stay of discovery is
not warranted. First, after taking a preliminary peek at Dyck-O’Neal’s motion to dismiss, the
Court cannot conclude that there is “an immediate and clear possibility that it will be granted,”
Feldman, 176 F.R.D. at 653. Moreover, the resolution of the motion is clearly not case dispositive,
as it was submitted by only one of the two defendants. Accordingly, even if this Court were to
grant the motion to dismiss, that would not obviate the need for discovery, as the Law Offices of
Daniel C. Consuegra, P.L., would remain as a defendant in this case. “A request to stay discovery
pending a resolution of a motion is rarely appropriate unless resolution of the motion will dispose
of the entire case.” McCabe, 233 F.R.D. at 685.
Second, Defendants have not explained why, specifically, discovery would be
“substantial.” Compare Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353, 1357, 1368 (11th Cir.
1997) (holding that the district court abused its discretion by not ruling on a motion to dismiss a
count of questionable validity that had been pending for almost two years, resulting in discovery
that ultimately included, inter alia, 121 requests for production and 635 interrogatories).
Finally, there is no general rule or presumption that discovery should be stayed while a
motion to dismiss is pending. See Koock v. Sugar & Felsenthal, LLP, Case No. 09-cv-609, 2009
WL 2579307, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 19, 2009). Defendants have not otherwise carried their burden
of showing good cause for the stay. See id.
For the above reasons, it is hereby ORDERED:
Defendants’ Motion to Stay (Doc. 26) is DENIED.
DONE AND ORDERED in Tampa, Florida on April 17, 2015.
Counsel of Record and Unrepresented Parties, if any
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