Strickland v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al
ORDER granting Defendants' unopposed 8 Motion to Stay. It is ORDERED that all proceedings, including discovery, are STAYED pending a ruling on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Magistrate Judge R. Stan Baker on 6/22/2017. (csr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 2:17-cv-58
WAL-MART STORES, INC.; and SCOTT
Defendants Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Scott Kittle removed this case from the State
Court of Wayne County, Georgia, to this Court on May 23, 2017. (Doc. 1.) On this same date,
these Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss for Fraudulent Joinder, (doc. 7), to which Plaintiff
has not yet responded. These Defendants also moved to stay discovery and pretrial deadlines in
this case until their Motion to Dismiss is resolved. Upon careful consideration, the Court
GRANTS Defendants’ unopposed Motion to Stay. (Doc. 8.)
With regard to the timing of discovery, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has
[i]f the district court dismisses a nonmeritorious claim before discovery has
begun, unnecessary costs to the litigants and to the court system can be avoided.
Conversely, delaying ruling on a motion to dismiss such a claim until after the
parties complete discovery encourages abusive discovery and, if the court
ultimately dismisses the claim, imposes unnecessary costs. For these reasons, any
legally unsupported claim that would unduly enlarge the scope of discovery
should be eliminated before the discovery stage, if possible.
Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353, 1368 (11th Cir. 1997) (footnotes omitted).
For these reasons, this Court, and other courts within the Eleventh Circuit, routinely find good
cause to stay the discovery period where there is a pending motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Habib v.
Bank of Am. Corp., No. 1:10-cv-04079-SCJ-RGV, 2011 WL 2580971, at *6 n.4 (N.D. Ga. Mar.
15, 2011) (citing Chudasama, 123 F.3d at 1368) (“[T]here is good cause to stay discovery
obligations until the District Judge rules on [the defendant’s] motion to dismiss to avoid undue
expense to both parties.”); Berry v. Canady, No. 2:09-cv-765-FtM-29SPC, 2011 WL 806230, at
*1 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 2, 2011) (quoting Moore v. Potter, 141 F. App’x 803, 807 (11th Cir. 2005))
(“[N]either the parties nor the court have any need for discovery before the court rules on the
motion [to dismiss].”).
In the case at hand, the Court finds that good cause exists to stay this case until such time
as a ruling is made on Defendants’ Motion and that no prejudice will accrue to the parties if
Defendants’ request is granted. Specifically, a ruling on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss before
the commencement of discovery may save the parties time and resources by clarifying what
issues the parties will need to address in discovery.
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all proceedings, including discovery,
are STAYED pending a ruling by the Court on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.
FURTHER ORDERED that, within fourteen (14) days following the Court’s ruling on
Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, the parties are directed to meet and confer pursuant to Rule
The Court notes the parties met and conferred on June 6, 2017, and filed their Rule 26(f) Report on
June 20, 2017. (Doc. 9.) However, the Court nevertheless directs the parties to meet and confer and file
an Amended Rule 26(f) Report after the Court enters a ruling on Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.
Additionally, the parties are to file a Rule 26(f) Report within seven (7) days of the Rule
26(f) conference, at which time the Court will enter a Scheduling Order.
SO ORDERED, this 22nd day of June, 2017.
R. STAN BAKER
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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