Robinson v. City of Tupelo, Mississippi et al
ORDER granting 28 Motion to Stay Discovery. Signed by Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders on 9/12/17. (def)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:17CV-55-SA-DAS
CITY OF TUPELO, MISSISSIPPI, et al.
ORDER STAYING DISCOVERY
The court has considered the defendant’s motion to stay discovery pending resolution of
the motion by the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant, Kaitlyn Weeks. In the motion she
claims that she is entitled to qualified immunity. The local rules mandate the stay of discovery
under the present circumstances. “Filing a …motion asserting an immunity defense stays the
attorney conference and disclosure requirements and all discovery, pending the court’s ruling on
the motion, including any appeal.” L.U.Civ.R. 16(b)(3)(B). Therefore it appears that the court
lacks any discretion to deny entry of a discovery stay.
Because the opposition to the entry of a stay appears, at least in part, to be a dispute about
the scope of discovery plaintiff may seek related to the qualified immunity defense, the court has
considered the arguments of counsel and reviewed the cited authorities. The court must limit
discovery at this time to those matters pertinent to the qualified immunity defense. Lion Boulos
v. Wilson, 834 F.2d 504 (5th Cir. 1987).
The defendants argue that a determination that there was probable cause for Officer
Weeks to arrest the plaintiff will moot all issues in this case, save the issues related to the failure
to return the plaintiff’s cash and cash bail, after the dismissal of charges. The plaintiff contends
that policies in Tupelo providing incentives to officers for issuing tickets and making arrests
without probable cause lead to this plaintiff’s arrest. He further argues that Weeks’ immunity
defense does not preclude discovery regarding his claims for the taking of this cash and cash
The court agrees with the defendant that, if the court finds probable cause supports the
arrest, most issues in this action will be mooted. Allowing the court to reach the issue of
qualified immunity regarding probable cause has the potential for streamlining the case and will
serve the interests of judicial economy. Furthermore, while the immunity motion will not
preclude discovery on the disappearance of his cash and the refusal to return his cash bond, it
will necessarily delay it. A defendant entitled to claim qualified immunity is shielded not only
from liability but also from “the costs of trial [and] ... the burdens of broad-reaching discovery.”
Harlow v Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 817-18 (1982).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that all discovery, save that related to the issues of
qualified immunity are hereby stayed. Should any dispute arise related to the limits of that
discovery, parties are directed to contact chambers for a conference.
SO ORDERED this day of 12th day of September, 2017.
/s/ David A. Sanders
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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