Landrith v. Kansas Attorney General et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 33 Defendant Stanton A. Hazlett and Derek Schmidt's Motion to Stay Discovery. All proceedings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 for all defendants are hereby stayed until the Court rules on the three pending dispositive motions (ECF Nos. 24, 27, and 31). Signed by Magistrate Judge Gerald L. Rushfelt on 6/18/2012. (byk)
IN THE UNITED STATED DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
BRET D. LANDRITH,
Case No. 12-2161-CM-GLR
KANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
The Court has under consideration Defendant Stanton A. Hazlett and Derek Schmidt’s
Motion to Stay Discovery (ECF No. 33). Defendants seek to stay all proceedings under Fed. R. Civ.
P. 26 pending a ruling on their pending motion to dismiss (ECF No. 31). Plaintiff opposes the
motion to stay. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the motion.
Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs requests to stay discovery.1
Whether to stay or otherwise limit discovery lies within the sound discretion of the Court.2 In
general, the pendency of a dispositive motion is not a sufficient reason to stay discovery.3 The
Court, however, may stay discovery until a ruling on a dispositive motion “where the case is likely
to be finally concluded as a result of the ruling thereon; where the facts sought through uncompleted
discovery would not affect the resolution of the motion; or where discovery on all issues of the broad
Steil v. Humana Health Care Plans, Inc., No. 99-2541-KHV, 2000 WL 730428, at *1 (D.
Kan. May 1, 2000).
Kerr v. Dillard Store Servs., Inc., No. 07-2604-KHV-GLR, 2008 WL 687014, at *1 (D. Kan.
Mar. 10, 2008); Evello Invs. N.V. v. Printed Media Servs., Inc., No. 94-2254-EEO, 1995 WL
135613, at *3 (D. Kan. Mar. 28, 1995).
Wolf v. United States, 157 F.R.D. 494, 495 (D. Kan. 1994); Kutilek v. Gannon, 132 F.R.D.
296, 297 (D. Kan. 1990).
complaint would be wasteful and burdensome.”4 A stay is also appropriate when the requesting
party has asserted immunity as a defense.5 The moving party must clearly show that there is a compelling reason to stay discovery.6
The pro se Plaintiff in this action has filed an 86-page amended complaint against numerous
defendants.7 So far, four defendants – including the two movants here – have moved to dismiss the
amended complaint.8 With respect to the other defendants who have appeared in this action, the
Court has extended the time to answer or otherwise plead to the amended complaint.9 As characterized in his response to the motion for stay,10 Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Schmidt are
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for his role as defense attorney in a case against Judge John
Gariglietti and Kansas Supreme Court Clerk Carol G. Green.11 Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Schmidt joined an ongoing civil conspiracy described in his first amended complaint.12 As
Wolf, 157 F.R.D. at 495.
See, e.g., Siegert v. Gilley, 500 U.S. 226, 231 (1991) (until the “threshold immunity question
is resolved,” discovery and other pretrial proceedings should not be allowed); Workman v. Jordan,
958 F.2d 332, 336 (10th Cir. 1992) (when a defendant asserts qualified immunity, the court should
grant the defendant’s request for stay of discovery until the immunity issue is resolved).
Evello, 1995 WL 135613, at *3.
See Am. Compl. (ECF No. 18).
See ECF Nos. 24, 27, and 33.
See ECF Nos. 55, 56, and 57.
For purposes of this Memorandum and Order, the Court accepts Plaintiff’s characterization
of his claims as accurate rather than searching through the 86-page amended complaint for his
claims against the two movants.
See ECF No. 38 at 1.
characterized in his response to the motion for stay, Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Hazlett are
for injunctive relief under § 1983 for participating in “ongoing violations of federal law.”13
Defendants seek to stay all proceedings under Rule 26, because Plaintiff’s complaint is subject to
dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, lack of jurisdiction, immunity
– both qualified and absolute.14 Plaintiff opposes the requested stay on grounds that his claims have
merit and that the movants are not entitled to immunity.15
Given the nature of Plaintiff’s claims and the asserted defenses, Defendants have carried
their burden to clearly show a compelling reason to stay discovery. Not only have they asserted
immunity as a defense, but even without such assertion, they have shown a compelling reason for
the requested stay. Until the Court resolves the dispositive legal issues raised in the pending
motions to dismiss, discovery and other Rule 26 activities would be wasteful and burdensome.
Granting the requested stay as to all defendants is consistent with the dictates of Fed. R. Civ. P. 1
that the courts construe and administer the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “to secure the just,
speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.” When faced with a broad
complaint and multiple challenges to the legal sufficiency of such complaint, the Court may properly
stay discovery and other proceedings contemplated by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 pending resolution of the
legal challenges to the complaint.
Accordingly, the Court grants Defendant Stanton A. Hazlett and Derek Schmidt’s Motion
to Stay Discovery (ECF No. 33) and stays all proceedings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 for all defendants
See id. at 2.
ECF No. 34 at 2.
ECF No. 38 at 1-6.
until the Court has issued a ruling on the pending motion to dismiss (ECF No. 31). On its own
motion, the Court likewise stays all proceedings under Rule 26 for all defendants pending a ruling
on the other pending motions to dismiss (ECF Nos. 24 and 27).16 Given the three pending motions
to dismiss, it is within the Court’s inherent authority and consistent with Fed. R. Civ. P. 1 to stay the
Rule 26 proceedings until the Court has resolved all three pending dispositive motions.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 18th day of June, 2012.
S/Gerald L. Rushfelt
Gerald L. Rushfelt
United States Magistrate Judge
The federal courts possess the inherent power “to manage their own affairs so as to achieve
the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases.” Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31,
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?