Doe et al v. USD 237, the Smith Center School District et al
ORDER granting 50 Defendant Hutchinson's Renewed Motion for Stay of Discovery on Qualified Immunity Grounds. All discovery and case deadlines set in the 52 Scheduling Order as to all parties in this case are hereby stayed until the Tenth Circuit issues its decision on Defendant Hutchinson's interlocutory appeal of the Court's qualified immunity ruling. The parties shall promptly file a status report or motion to lift the stay of discovery when the Tenth Circuit issues its decision on Defendant Hutchinson's interlocutory appeal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 10/27/2017. (byk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
JANE DOE, a minor individual,
and ANGELA HARRISON, Jane Doe’s
Mother, as next friend of Jane Doe,
USD No. 237, THE SMITH CENTER
SCHOOL DISTRICT, and BROCK
Case No. 16-cv-2801-JWL-TJJ
ORDER GRANTING STAY OF DISCOVERY AND SCHEDULING ORDER
DEADLINES PENDING DEFENDANT HUTCHINSON’S INTERLOCUTORY APPEAL
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Hutchinson’s Renewed Motion for Stay of
Discovery on Qualified Immunity Grounds (ECF No. 50). Defendant requests a stay of all
discovery on all Plaintiffs’ claims against him and co-defendant USD No. 237, The Smith School
District (“School District”) in this case until the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals resolves his
pending interlocutory appeal. Defendant Hutchinson filed a notice of appeal of the Court’s
March 2, 2017 Memorandum and Order denying his motion to dismiss Plaintiffs’ Section 1983
equal protection claim on the basis of qualified immunity. Plaintiffs oppose a stay of this case
that would further delay resolution of their claims against Defendant School District—which has
not claimed qualified immunity—during the pendency of the Defendant Hutchinson’s
Although it has long been the general policy in the District of Kansas not to stay
discovery even if a dispositive motion is pending, exceptions to this policy are recognized.1
Pertinent here is the exception that recognizes a defendant is entitled to have questions of
immunity resolved before being required to engage in discovery and other pretrial proceedings.2
“One of the purposes of immunity . . . is to spare a defendant not only unwarranted liability, but
unwarranted demands customarily imposed upon those defending a long drawn out lawsuit.”3
The Supreme Court has made it clear that until the threshold question of immunity is resolved,
discovery should not be allowed.4
District Judge Lungstrum resolved the threshold question of immunity in his March 2,
2017 Memorandum and Order denying Defendant Hutchinson’s motion to dismiss on the basis
of qualified immunity. Defendant Hutchinson has filed a notice of interlocutory appeal of the
March 2 decision. In Stewart v. Donges, the Tenth Circuit held that “an interlocutory appeal from
an order refusing to dismiss on . . . qualified immunity grounds relates to the entire action and,
therefore, it divests the district court of jurisdiction to proceed with any part of the action against
an appealing defendant.”5 Thus, upon the filing of Defendant Hutchinson’s notice of appeal, this
court only retained “jurisdiction to proceed with matters not involved in that appeal.”6 The Court
will therefore grant Defendant Hutchinson’s request for a complete stay of all case deadlines and
Wolf v. United States, 157 F.R.D. 494, 495 (D. Kan. 1994).
Siegert v. Gilley, 500 U.S. 226, 232 (1991).
Id.; Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982).
Stewart v. Donges, 915 F.2d 572, 576 (10th Cir. 1990).
Id. at 576 (emphasis in original) (quoting Garcia v. Burlington N. R. Co., 818 F.2d 713, 721
(10th Cir. 1987)).
discovery on Plaintiffs’ claims asserted against him pending his interlocutory appeal of the
qualified immunity decision.
The Court will also stay all Scheduling Order deadlines and discovery with respect to
Plaintiffs’ claims against the School District pending a decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of
Appeals on Defendant Hutchinson’s interlocutory appeal. The Court recognizes that Defendant
School District has not asserted qualified immunity as a defense, is not involved in Defendant
Hutchinson’s interlocutory appeal, and a stay may further substantially delay resolution of
Plaintiffs’ claims against School District. However, because Defendants have raised a question
with respect to the Court’s jurisdiction and because Defendant Hutchinson is the alleged
perpetrator of the acts upon which Plaintiffs’ claims against the School District are primarily
based, out of an abundance of caution the Court will stay all discovery and Scheduling Order
deadlines for all parties in this case pending resolution of Defendant Hutchinson’s qualified
immunity interlocutory appeal.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT Defendant Hutchinson’s Renewed Motion for
Stay of Discovery on Qualified Immunity Grounds (ECF No. 50) is GRANTED. All discovery
and case deadlines set in the Scheduling Order (ECF No. 52) as to all parties in this case are
hereby stayed until the Tenth Circuit issues its decision on Defendant Hutchinson’s interlocutory
appeal of the Court’s qualified immunity ruling.
IT IS FURTH
ERED THA the partie shall prom
mptly file a st
tatus report or
motion to lift the stay of discover when the Tenth Circu issues its decision on Defendant
IT IS SO ORD
Dated this 27th day of Oc
ctober 2017, at Kansas C
Teresa J. James
U. S. M
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