Leinert et al v. Saint Louis County, Missouri et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion for a stay of proceedings, or, alternatively, for an order to show cause [Doc. # 43 ] is denied. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 1/26/16. (JAB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
KELLY LEINERT, et al.,
SAINT LOUIS COUNTY, MISSOURI,
Case No. 4:14-CV-1719 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the plaintiffs’ motion for a stay of
proceedings, or, in the alternative, for an order directing the defendants to show
cause why they should not be sanctioned for abusive behavior and improper litigation
Defendants St. Louis County and Adam Kavanaugh have responded in
opposition, and the issues are fully briefed.
The plaintiffs in this case, Kelly Leinert and her minor children, filed this action
on October 8, 2014, asserting violations of their civil rights and state law tort claims
stemming from alleged misconduct by St. Louis County police officers. In the instant
motion, plaintiffs state that on November 5, 2015, defendant Adam Kavanaugh, a St.
Louis County police officer, led a SWAT raid of their home during which their electronic
devices were confiscated.
Plaintiffs contend that the raid was designed to intimidate
them and was conducted in retaliation for filing this lawsuit.
They further allege that
Kavanaugh may have been conducting electronic surveillance of plaintiff Kelly Leinert
and, as a result, may have intercepted privileged attorney-client communications.
Plaintiffs seek an order directing the defendants to provide more information about
the raid and a stay of proceedings so that they may determine whether the
defendants’ conduct warrants a request for sanctions.
In response to the motion, defendants St. Louis County and Kavanaugh state
that a search warrant was executed at plaintiffs’ home on November 4, 2015.
purpose of the warrant was to search for child pornography that was believed to be in
the possession of a convicted felon who was living with the plaintiffs. The defendants
deny that the search was conducted to retaliate against the plaintiffs or to intimidate
them. Further, Kavanaugh states that he did not participate in the execution of the
search warrant and did not intercept or review any communications or documents
between plaintiffs and their legal counsel.
“[D]istrict courts . . . ordinarily have authority to issue stays, where such a stay
would be a proper exercise of discretion.”
Ryan v. Gonzales, 133 S. Ct. 696, 708
(2013) (quoting Rhines v. Weber, 544 U.S. 269, 276 (2005)); see also Enelow v. New
York Life Ins. Co., 293 U.S. 379, 382 (1935) (explaining that a district court may stay
a case “pending before it by virtue of its inherent power to control the progress of the
cause so as to maintain the orderly processes of justice”). “[I]n considering a motion
for stay, a district court should consider both the interest of judicial economy and the
potential prejudice or hardship to the parties.”
F. Supp. 2d 769, 774 (E.D. Mo. 2013).
Krakowski v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 927
The proponent of a stay has the burden of
establishing its need. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708 (1997).
Plaintiffs have not met their burden of establishing any need for a stay in
Plaintiffs have not identified how they are prejudiced as a result of the
events alleged or what hardship they face in litigating this case under the deadlines
set forth in the case management order.
Similarly, plaintiffs have not provided a
sufficient factual or legal basis for the imposition of sanctions on the defendants.
E.g., Roadway Exp., Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 764–65 (1980) (stating that the
power of a federal court to levy sanctions “must be exercised with restraint and
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion for a stay of proceedings, or,
alternatively, for an order to show cause [Doc. #43] is denied.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 26th day of January, 2016.
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