Devine v. United States
ORDER granting re 71 Motion to Stay Discovery. The Court STAYS all discovery in this action pending resolution of Defendants re 70 motion to dismiss. Should any portion of the case remain after resolution of the motion, the parties shall confer and submit a Rule 26(f) Report, with proposed case deadlines, within seven days of the presiding District Judges ruling. Signed by Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps on 5/10/22. (loh)
Case 1:18-cv-00195-JRH-BKE Document 78 Filed 05/10/22 Page 1 of 2
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
The Court GRANTS Defendant’s motion to stay discovery, (doc. no. 71), pending
resolution of its motion to dismiss, (doc. no. 70). The “[C]ourt has broad inherent power to
stay discovery until preliminary issues can be settled which may be dispositive of some
important aspect of the case.” Feldman v. Flood, 176 F.R.D. 651, 652 (M.D. Fla. 1997).
Before deciding to stay discovery, the Court should:
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.
This involves weighing the likely costs and burdens of proceeding with
discovery. It may be helpful to 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. (internal citation and quotation omitted).
Based on a preliminary peek at the defense motion, the Court finds an immediate and
clear possibility of a ruling “which may be dispositive of some important aspect of the case.”
Indeed, Defendant has moved to dismiss two of Plaintiff’s three claims in his amended
complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to potential sovereign immunity. (See
Case 1:18-cv-00195-JRH-BKE Document 78 Filed 05/10/22 Page 2 of 2
doc. no. 70.) When balancing the costs and burdens to the parties, the Court concludes
discovery should be stayed pending resolution of Defendant’s motion. See Chudasama v.
Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353, 1367 (11th Cir. 1997) (“Facial challenges to the legal
sufficiency of a claim or defense, such as a motion to dismiss based on failure to state a claim
for relief, should, however, be resolved before discovery begins.” (footnote omitted)); see also
Moore v. Potter, 141 F. App’x 803, 807-08 (11th Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (“[D]elaying a ruling
on the motion to dismiss ‘encourages abusive discovery and, if the court ultimately dismisses
the claim, imposes unnecessary costs . . . . [A]ny legally unsupported claim that would unduly
enlarge the scope of discovery should be eliminated before the discovery stage, if possible.’”).
Thus, the Court STAYS all discovery in this action pending resolution of Defendant’s
motion to dismiss. Should any portion of the case remain after resolution of the motion, the
parties shall confer and submit a Rule 26(f) Report, with proposed case deadlines, within seven
days of the presiding District Judge’s ruling. In the event the presiding District Judge, in his
ruling on the pending dispositive motion, provides further instructions to the parties that
justifies continuation of the stay, the parties shall inform the undersigned to that effect in a
status report to be filed within seven days of the presiding District Judge’s ruling.
SO ORDERED this 10th day of May, 2022, at Augusta, Georgia.
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