Shumpert v. D. Madrid et al

Filing 25

ORDER. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that 22 Defendants' Motion for Stay of Discovery is granted, in part. The parties may conduct discovery regarding whether Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing his complaint. However, al l other discovery is stayed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that 22 the stay of discovery will automatically lift upon the Courts denial of Defendants Motion to Dismiss in whole or in part. Signed by Magistrate Judge George Foley, Jr on 10/13/16. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - ADR)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 7 8 9 10 11 12 DRAYDEN D. SHUMPERT, ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) vs. ) ) D. MADRID, et al., ) ) Defendants. ) __________________________________________) Case No. 2:15-cv-02273-JAD-GWF ORDER 13 14 This matter is before the Defendants’ Motion to Stay Discovery (ECF No. 22), filed on 15 September 27, 2016. Plaintiff filed a Declaration of Disputed Discovery Request (ECF No. 23) on 16 September 30, 2016, which appears to be meant as an opposition to Defendants’ motion. Defendants 17 filed a Reply (ECF No. 24) on October 11, 2016. 18 BACKGROUND 19 Plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of Clark County Detention Center, filed a civil rights 20 complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Complaint (ECF No. 7). Plaintiff’s complaint alleges 21 that Defendants used excessive force against him in February 2015 when Defendants entered 22 Plaintiff’s cell, tackled him, stomped on his head, and kicked him in the stomach. Id. at 4. Plaintiff 23 claims that he passed out and, when he regained consciousness, both Defendants were on top of him 24 and beating him with brass knuckles, resulting from permanent injury to his skull. Id. at 5. As a 25 result of this alleged incident, Plaintiff argues that his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were 26 violated. Defendants have moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint based on his alleged failure to 27 exhaust his administrative remedies. 28 ... 1 DISCUSSION 2 The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for automatic or blanket stays of 3 discovery when a potentially dispositive motion is pending. See Skellerup Indus. Ltd. V. City of L.A., 4 163 F.R.D. 598, 600-1 (C.D. Cal. 1995). Ordinarily, a dispositive motion does not warrant a stay of 5 discovery. See Twin City Fire Insurance v. Employers of Wausau, 124 F.R.D. 652, 653 (D. Nev. 6 1989). See also Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Tracinda Corp., 175 F.R.D. 554, 556 (D. Nev. 7 1997). The moving party carries the heavy burden of making a strong showing of why discovery 8 should be denied. Kor Media Group, LLC v. Green, 294 F .R.D. 579, 581 (D. Nev. 2013). 9 Courts have broad discretionary power to control discovery. See Little v. City of Seattle, 863 10 F.2d 681, 685 (9th Cir.1988). When deciding whether to grant a stay of discovery, the Court is 11 guided by the objectives of Fed. R. Civ. P. 1 that ensures a “just, speedy, and inexpensive 12 determination of every action.” Kor Media Group, 294 F.R.D. at 581. It is well known that the 13 purpose of Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) is to enable defendants to challenge the legal sufficiency of a 14 complaint without subjecting themselves to discovery. Tradebay, LLC v. eBay, Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 15 601 (D. Nev. 2011). To establish good cause for a stay, the moving party must show more than an 16 apparently meritorious Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Turner Broadcasting System, 175 F.R.D. at 556. 17 The Court may grant a motion to stay discovery when “(1) the pending motion is potentially 18 dispositive; (2) the potentially dispositive motion can be decided without additional discovery; and 19 (3) the Court has taken a “preliminary peek” at the merits of the potentially dispositive motion and is 20 convinced that the plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief.” Kor Media Group, 294 F.R.D. 21 at 581. Common examples of when a stay is warranted are cases involving jurisdiction, venue, or 22 immunity as preliminary issues. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., 124 F.R.D. at 653. 23 Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) requires only that the Court determine whether the pleadings are 24 sufficient to establish a claim, and does not require the Court to determine if the plaintiff could find 25 evidence to support the pleadings. Tracy v. United States, 243 F.R.D. 662, 664 (D. Nev. 2007). Fed. 26 R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) requires a plaintiff “to provide grounds of his entitlement for relief” which 27 “requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of the cause of 28 action will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). 2 1 After conducting its “preliminary peek” of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss, the Court finds 2 that a stay of discovery is warranted with one limited exception. If the District Court finds that 3 Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by the Prisoner Litigation Reform 4 Act— as argued by Defendants in their motion to dismiss—this case would be completely disposed 5 of. Defendants sole basis for this argument is the fact that Plaintiff marked, in his form complaint, 6 that he did not exhaust his administrative remedies. See Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.14). However, 7 Plaintiff asserts in his complaint and in his response to Defendants’ motion to dismiss that he was 8 initially denied access to the grievance process and then subsequently filed a complaint with the 9 citizen’s review board. See ECF Nos. 7 and 18. But Plaintiff has failed to attach any evidence to 10 support that assertion. Therefore, the Court finds that discovery regarding the specific issue of 11 whether or not Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies is warranted here in order for the 12 District Court to render a decision on Defendants’ motion to dismiss. However, all other discovery 13 shall be stayed pending the resolution of Defendants’ motion. Accordingly, 14 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants’ Motion for Stay of Discovery (ECF No. 22) is 15 granted, in part. The parties may conduct discovery regarding whether Plaintiff exhausted his 16 administrative remedies prior to filing his complaint. However, all other discovery is stayed. 17 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the stay of discovery will automatically lift upon the 18 Court’s denial of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 22) in whole or in part. The parties shall 19 have fourteen (14) days from the entry of an order denying Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss to file a 20 proposed discovery plan and scheduling order. 21 DATED this 13th day of October, 2016. 22 23 24 ______________________________________ GEORGE FOLEY, JR. United States Magistrate Judge 25 26 27 28 3

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