Cooper v. City of New York et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 41 Motion for Disclosure; granting in part and denying in part 42 Motion to Adjourn Conference. For the reasons stated in the attached M&O, the Court grants plaintiff's July 18th motion, and directs the City to provide the requested information by August 13, 2017; and grants in part only defendants' motion to stay discovery, with the stay limited to deposition discovery. The Court adjourns the August 4th initial conference sine die, and will schedule a court proceeding once the motion to dismiss has been resolved. The parties are directed to serve their initial disclosures by August 11, 2017. Ordered by Chief Mag. Judge Roanne L. Mann on 8/1/2017. (Pauley, Anders)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
CITY OF NEW YORK et al.,
ROANNE L. MANN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE:
By letter motion dated July 18, 2017, plaintiff Steven Cooper (“plaintiff’) moved to
compel disclosure by defendant City of New York (the “City”) of the names, shields numbers,
and service addresses of all police officers involved in the arrest at issue in this civil rights
action. See Letter to Compel Disclosure (July 18, 2017), Electronic Case Filing Docket
Entry (“DE”) #41. In response, the City and individual defendants Ryan and Schrell (the
“City defendants”), along with co-defendants O’Connor and Jacobs (collectively, with the City
defendants, “defendants”), cross-moved (1) to stay discovery pending the outcome of
defendants’ motions to dismiss (for which they have sought a premotion conference before
Judge Garaufis); and (2) to adjourn the initial conference scheduled for this Friday. See Joint
Motion to Adjourn Conference and Stay Discovery (July 24, 2017) (“Def. Letter”), DE #42.
In support of their cross-motion to stay, defendants contend that they have shown good cause
therefore, because their “anticipated motion to dismiss is fully dispositive[,] . . . the stay of
discovery would only last for the duration of the Court’s consideration of the motion, [and]
plaintiff would not be prejudiced by said stay.” Id. at 2.
Plaintiff vigorously opposes defendants’ request for a stay. See Response in
Opposition to Joint Motion (July 26, 2017), DE #45. Citing a long line of precedent in this
District, plaintiff correctly observes that the party seeking a stay has the burden of establishing
the existence of good cause therefor, and that the pendency of a motion to dismiss does not
automatically entitle the movant to a stay. See id. at 1–2 (collecting cases). In this case,
defendants’ request for a stay does not even address all of the factors that a court should weigh
in determining whether a stay is warranted, such as the strength of the motion to dismiss and
the breath of discovery and burden entailed in responding to discovery demands.
See id. Moreover, defendants merely assume, without more, that a total stay of discovery
would not prejudice plaintiff. See Def. Letter at 2.
Given defendants’ meager showing, the Court, in its discretion, declines to stay all
discovery during the pendency of a motion to dismiss that has not yet been filed. The City
has failed to establish that it would be materially burdened by having to provide the names,
shield numbers, and service addresses of officers involved in plaintiff’s arrest. Nor have
defendants proffered any basis to find that allowing the parties to engage in documentary
discovery in this case would create an unwarranted burden. That said, the Court is well
aware that parties in section 1983 actions typically defer depositions until after the completion
of documentary discovery. Accordingly, and in order to conserve the resources of the parties
and to avoid requiring police officers to appear for depositions while dispositive motions are
pending, the Court grants a stay of deposition discovery until the conclusion of motion
In conclusion, the Court grants plaintiff’s July 18th motion, and directs the City to
provide the requested information by August 13, 2017; and grants in part only defendants’
motion to stay discovery, with the stay limited to deposition discovery. As for the August 4th
initial conference, counsel for the City defendants has represented that he is unavailable that
day. See Def. Letter at 1 n.1. The Court adjourns the conference sine die, and will
schedule a court proceeding once the motion to dismiss has been resolved. The parties are
directed to serve their initial disclosures by August 11, 2017.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
August 1, 2017
Roanne L. Mann
ROANNE L. MANN
CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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