elaga-bey v. Matthews et al
ORDER granting 13 Motion to Stay Discovery. Discovery is stayed pending the ruling from the District Judge on the Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps on 1/17/17. (cmr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
TAQI ELAGA-BEY, Aboriginal Native
American Freehold by Birthright,
KIMBERLEY MATTHEWS, Aldridge
Pite, LLP, 15 Piedmont Center, 3575
Piedmont Road, N.E., Suite 500
Atlanta, Georgia 30305;
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. 420 Montgomery
Street, San Francisco, CA 94104; and
GERLINDE BERRY, Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A., 420 Montgomery
Street, San Francisco, CA 94104,
On December 21, 2016, Defendants filed a motion requesting a stay of discovery,
(doc. no. 13), until a ruling on Defendants’ motion to dismiss (doc. no. 10). Plaintiff has not
opposed the motion. Upon consideration, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS the request.
Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c), this Court has “broad inherent power to stay discovery
until preliminary issues can be settled which may be dispositive of some important aspect of
the case.” Ameris Bank v. Russack, No. CV614-002, 2014 WL 2465203, at *1 (S.D. Ga.
May 29, 2014) (quoting Petrus v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 581, 583 (5th Cir. 1987)). A stay should
be granted where all discovery may be mooted by ruling on a legal issue. See Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982) (“Until this threshold immunity question is resolved,
discovery should not be allowed.”) Moreover, courts have granted motions to stay where the
“resolution on the pending motion . . . may extinguish some or all of the claims . . .
potentially restricting the scope of discovery significantly.”
White v. Georgia, No.
1:07CV01739WSD, 2007 WL 3170105, at *2 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 25, 2007).
The court may take a “preliminary peak” at the merits of the dispositive motion to
assess the likelihood that it will be granted. Russack, 2014 WL 2465203, at *1 (citing
Feldman v. Flood, 176 F.R.D. 651, 652 (M.D. Fla. 1997)). Here, because a cursory review of
the motion to dismiss suggests it has the potential to be “case-dispositive,” Feldman, 176
F.R.D. at 653, or could restrict the scope of discovery, discovery should be stayed. See
Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353, 1367 (11th Cir. 1997); see also Moore v.
Potter, 141 F. App’x 803, 808 (11th Cir. 2005).
Thus, the Court GRANTS Defendants’ request (doc. no. 13) and STAYS discovery
until the District Judge’s ruling on the motion to dismiss, in which case remaining parties shall
confer and submit a revised scheduling order within fourteen days. Such order should include
date-certain deadlines through the filing of summary judgment motions.
SO ORDERED this 17th day of January, 2017, at Augusta, Georgia.
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