Stidhum v. 161-10 Hillside Auto Ave, LLC et al
ORDER denying 40 41 Motion to Stay. For the reasons set forth in the attached Order, the Court denies Defendants' motion to stay all discovery. Ordered by Judge Hector Gonzalez on 1/19/2023. (JN)
Case 1:21-cv-07163-HG-LB Document 44 Filed 01/19/23 Page 1 of 4 PageID #: 346
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
LETICIA FRANCINE STIDHUM,
161-10 HILLSIDE AUTO AVE, LLC,
HILLSIDE AUTO MALL, INC., ISHAQUE
THANWALLA, JORY BARON, RONALD M
BARON and ANDRIS GUZMAN,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
21-CV-07163 (HG) (RLM)
HECTOR GONZALEZ, United States District Judge:
Plaintiff Leticia Francine Stidhum (“Plaintiff”) brings this action against Defendants 16110 Hillside Auto Ave, LLC (d/b/a Hillside Auto Outlet), Hillside Auto Mall Inc. (d/b/a Hillside
Auto Mall), Ishaque Thanwalla, Jory Baron, Ronald M. Baron and Andris Guzman (collectively,
“Defendants”) for alleged violations of: (i) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended
by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq; (ii) New York State Human
Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. § 290 et seq.; and (iii) New York City’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
of New York City Human Rights Law, NYC Admin. § 8-107(22) et seq. Presently before the
Court is Defendants’ motion to stay all discovery pending appeal of the Court’s Order denying
Defendants’ motion to dismiss. ECF Nos. 40, 41. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’
motion to stay is denied.
The Court assumes familiarity with the facts and history of this litigation and only
provides a summary of the pertinent procedural history. See Stidhum v. 161-10 Hillside Auto
Ave, LLC, No. 21-cv-7163, 2022 WL 4273536 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 15, 2022). On September 15,
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2022, the Court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint (“Order”). ECF No.
24. On October 14, 2022, Defendants appealed the Court’s Order to the Second Circuit. ECF
No. 26. On January 5, 2022, Defendants filed a letter-motion to stay all discovery pending
Defendants’ appeal. ECF No. 39. The Court denied Defendants’ application without addressing
its merits for failure to indicate whether Plaintiff consented to the request. On January 6, 2023,
and January 9, 2023, Defendants renewed their application. ECF Nos. 40, 41.
Courts in this Circuit consider four factors in deciding whether to order a stay pending
appeal: “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on
the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether
issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4)
where the public interest lies.” In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site Litig., 503 F.3d 167, 170 (2d
Cir. 2007) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted).
The Court declines to stay discovery pending adjudication of Defendants’ appeal.
A. Defendants’ Appeal Is Unlikely to Succeed on the Merits.
Defendants argue that their appeal is likely to succeed on the merits because the Court’s
decision “denying the motion to dismiss relied on inapposite cases.” ECF No. 39 at 2. “The
denial of a motion to dismiss is an interlocutory order; all interlocutory orders remain subject to
modification or adjustment prior to the entry of a final judgment adjudicating the claims to which
they pertain.” Farrish v. Town of East Hartford, 2 F. App’x 110, 111 (2d Cir. 2001). The
Second Circuit typically lacks jurisdiction to review interlocutory orders. See 28 U.S.C. § 1291
(“The court of appeals . . . shall have jurisdiction from all final decisions of the district courts of
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the United States . . . .”) (emphasis added); Bernard v. County of Suffolk, 356 F.3d 495, 501 (2d
Cir. 2004) (“A denial of a motion to dismiss is not a final order and, thus, is not immediately
appealable. . . .”) (internal quotation marks omitted); Hengjin Sun v. China 1221, Inc., No. 12cv-7135, 2015 WL 5544257, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 17, 2015) (“[F]ederal practice strongly
disfavors discretionary interlocutory appeals, [as they] prolong judicial proceedings, add delay
and expense to litigants, burden appellate courts, and present issues for decisions on uncertain
and incomplete records, tending to weaken the precedential value of judicial opinions.”) (second
alteration in original).
The exception to this rule, the “collateral order” doctrine, provides for immediate appeal
where the district court’s order “completely decides the disputed question, resolves an important
issue separate from the merits of the suit, and is effectively unreviewable if appellate jurisdiction
is deferred until final judgment.” Bernard, 356 F.3d at 501. The conditions for an exception are
absent here. The denial of Defendants’ motion to dismiss did not conclusively determine
Defendants’ liability and is not an issue of first impression. “All interlocutory orders remain
subject to modification or adjustment prior to the entry of a final judgment adjudicating the
claims to which they pertain.” Farrish, 2 F. App’x at 111 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b)).
Moreover, Defendants’ opinion that the Court’s decision was erroneous does not favor a grant of
the stay. “Implicit in § 1291 is Congress’ judgment that . . . the district judge can better exercise
that responsibility if the appellate courts do not repeatedly intervene to second-guess
prejudgment rulings . . . . [T]he possibility that a ruling may be erroneous and may impose
additional litigation expense is not sufficient to set aside the finality requirement imposed by
Congress.” Richardson-Merrell, Inc. v. Koller, 472 U.S. 424, 436 (1985).
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B. Defendants Will Not Be Irreparably Harmed Absent a Stay and the Parties Have an
Interest in Resolution of the Action.
Defendants argue that they will be irreparably harmed because “they may not be able to
recover costs from Plaintiff upon prevailing in the district court.” ECF No. 39 at 3. Because the
Court finds that Defendants are unlikely to succeed on the merits of their appeal, see supra,
denial of the motion to stay will not irreparably harm Defendants. In fact, denial of the stay
ensures that the case proceeds without delay, and all parties have an interest in resolution of this
action. See Monbo v. Nathan, No. 18-cv-5930, 2021 WL 2530710, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. June 21,
2021) (“The delay in this action weighs against granting a stay because Defendants have an
interest in the resolution of this proceeding.”).
C. The Public Has an Interest in Resolution of the Litigation.
The Court finds that there is a public interest in the efficient resolution of the litigation
which favors denying a stay. Monbo, 2021 WL 2530710, at *4.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court denies Defendants’ motion to stay proceedings while
their appeal is pending before the Second Circuit.
/s/ Hector Gonzalez_________
United States District Judge
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
January 19, 2023
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