O.F. v. Walden et al
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO LIFT STAY by Magistrate Judge Gregory B. Wormuth. (bni)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
Civ. No. 16‐84 KG/GBW
MARK WALDEN, et al.,
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO LIFT STAY
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Lift Stay. Doc. 42.
On April 25, 2016, the Court granted Defendant Walden’s Motion to Stay Proceedings,
pending the termination of the criminal investigation of Defendant Walden and related
proceedings. Doc. 18. In his Motion, Plaintiff expresses frustration with the lengthy
delays that his case has experienced as a result of the stay, and requests that it be lifted
so that his case may move forward. Doc. 42. For the following reasons, the Court
denies Plaintiff’s Motion.
In considering the appropriateness of a stay, the Court weighs the following
(1) The extent to which the issues in the criminal case overlap with those
presented in the civil case; (2) the status of the case, including whether the
defendants have been indicted; (3) the interests of the plaintiffs in
proceeding expeditiously weighed against the prejudice to plaintiffs
caused by the delay; (4) the private interests of and burden on the
defendants; (5) the interests of the courts; and (6) the public interest.
Hilda M. v. Brown, 2010 WL 5313755, Civ. No. 10‐2495 PAB/KMT, at *3 (D. Colo. Dec. 20,
2010); see also Flynn v. City of Las Cruces, Civ. No. 15‐195 KG/WPL, 2015 WL 13643322, at
*1 (D.N.M. Nov. 9, 2015) (citing Hilda M.).
Further, “[w]hen considering a stay in a matter involving parallel criminal and
civil proceedings, the primary debate centers on the criminal defendant’s potential
waiver or invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights.” Creel v. Jahani, Civ. No. 09‐1063
REB/KMT, 2009 WL 4250065, at *3 (D. Colo. Nov. 25, 2009).
After balancing the aforementioned factors, the Court concludes that a lift of the
stay in this matter at this time would be inappropriate. Most notably, Defendant
Walden advised the Court in his most recent Status Report on January 15, 2018 that it is
his understanding that the criminal investigation of him by the United States
Department of Justice remains ongoing. Doc. 40. Lifting the stay while the criminal
investigation continues would significantly prejudice Defendant Walden, because his
Fifth Amendment right against self‐incrimination in his criminal investigation would
conflict with his right to defend his position in the instant civil matter.
In contrast, a continuance of the stay would serve Plaintiff’s interests, because Plaintiff,
who is not entitled to formal discovery without a Court order, will benefit from access
to information uncovered during the ongoing criminal investigation. Thus, although
the Court understands Plaintiff’s frustration caused by a delayed resolution of this
matter, such a stay is ultimately in his interest, as lifting the stay might disadvantage his
Thus, the Court hereby ORDERS that Plaintiff’s Motion to Lift Stay is DENIED.
The stay of this matter shall continue at this time. Nonetheless, should the criminal
matter continue to drag on, the Court may revisit the stay.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
GREGORY B. WORMUTH
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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