Santacruz v. Howell et al
ORDER granting 21 Motion to Stay Case; Status Report due by 5/15/2021. Signed by Judge Richard F. Boulware, II on 11/16/2020. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - JM)
Case 2:20-cv-00847-RFB-BNW Document 23 Filed 11/16/20 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
Case No. 2:20-cv-00847-RFB-BNW
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY
(ECF NO. 21)
JERRY HOWELL, et. al,
This action is a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 brought by
Gabriel Santacruz who is incarcerated at Southern Desert Correctional Center serving an aggregate
sentence of life with a minimum of 38 years. On October 27, 2020, the deadline for his second
amended habeas petition, Santacruz filed a motion to stay this case alleging that due to the current
COVID-19 pandemic, his counsel is unable to conduct the necessary investigation to file the
amended petition. ECF No. 21. In responding to the motion, Respondents indicate they do not
oppose a limited stay, but object to delaying this proceeding indefinitely. ECF No. 22.
The Court finds that Santacruz has shown good cause to stay this action until it is possible
for his counsel to conduct an adequate investigation in support of his forthcoming second amended
habeas petition. The Court will grant the motion to stay and stay proceedings until such conditions,
with respect to the pandemic, allow Santacruz’s counsel to conduct the investigation necessary to
file a second amended petition. See Ryan v. Gonzales, 568 U.S. 57, 74 (2013) (“[T]he decision to
grant a stay, like the decision to grant an evidentiary hearing, is generally left to the sound
Case 2:20-cv-00847-RFB-BNW Document 23 Filed 11/16/20 Page 2 of 2
discretion of district courts.’” (citation omitted)). The Court will require, however, periodic status
reports from Santacruz during the stay.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Petitioner’s motion to stay (ECF No. 21) is
GRANTED. This action is STAYED. The Clerk of the Court is directed to update the docket to
reflect the stay of this case and close this case administratively.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner shall file a status report by May 15, 2021, and
then every six months thereafter (i.e., by November 15, 2021, May 15, 2022, etc.), informing the
court of his position regarding whether the stay should remain in place. Respondents may respond
to any such status report within 20 days; Petitioner may then reply within 10 days.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that either Petitioner or Respondents may file a motion at
any time to lift the stay based on changed circumstances.
Dated: November 16, 2020.
RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II
U.S. District Judge
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