AccentCare Home Health of Rogue Valley, LLC v. Bliss et al
ORDER: Adopting Judge Clarke's Report and Recommendation 51 in full. Defendants' Motion to Dismiss 25 is denied. Defendants' Request for Judicial Notice 42 is granted. Signed on 6/7/2017 by Judge Michael J. McShane. (cp)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF OREGON
ACCENTCARE HOME HEALTH
OF ROGUE VALLEY, LLC,
Case No. 1:16-cv-1393-CL
JASON BLISS, CAROLINE BREEDING,
TERA CUMMINGS, STEVEN SCOTT,
HEALTHY LIVING AT HOME – EAST
BAY, LLC, HEALTHY LIVING AT
Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke filed a Report and Recommendation (R&R, ECF No.
51), and the matter is now before this court. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Defendants filed objections (ECF No. 55) to the Report and Recommendation. Accordingly, I
have reviewed the file of this case de novo. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c); McDonnell Douglas
Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981). I conclude the report
1 – ORDER
I. Motion to Stay
When considering a motion to stay, a court is to weigh three competing interests: (1) the
possible damage which may result from the granting of a stay, (2) the hardship or inequity which
a party may suffer if required to go forward, and (3) does the stay simplify or complicate the
issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected to result from a stay. CMAX, Inc. v.
Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962) citing Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254255 (1936). In reaching its decision on the motion, a district court is exercising its inherent
power to control the cases on its docket in a manner which will “promote economy of time and
effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Id.
Defendants object the denial of the stay and argue that “hardships and equities” weigh in
favor of a stay of this action. I agree with Judge Clarke’s analysis who, in denying defendant’s
request, found that they have not shown that they will suffer any hardship or inequity in the
absence of a stay. He further found that to stay the case would not serve the interests of justice
because it was unclear how long before the state court matter would be fully resolved. R&R 16,
ECF No. 51. As a general matter, having to litigate itself is not hardship warranting the stay of a
case. Dependable Hwy. v. Navig., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066-70 (9th Cir. 2007). Submitting to
discovery (particularly discovery that is “substantially similar” (Pl.’s Mot. 14-15, ECF No. 25) to
what has already been submitted in the state court action) also does not constitute hardship.
I am also unwilling to stay a case to simply delay the pains of litigation based on the
speculative future outcome of a state court proceedings. It is unclear the mechanism by which the
state court case will resolve; whether by jury verdict, summary judgment motion, or settlement.
It is equally unclear if or how the resolution of the state court proceeding may simplify or
2 – ORDER
complicate the issues in the federal case. Because the orderly course of justice weighs against a
stay in the federal litigation, the request to stay is DENIED.
Judge Clarke made a third point that, before the filing of this federal suit, there was an
attempt to join Defendants here with the defendants of the state court proceedings, but that
attempt was opposed and ultimately denied by the state court. There is an irony to the
defendant’s position, but this observation is not a determinative factor in reaching a decision on
the motion to stay.
II. Necessary and Indispensable Parties
Defendants object to the Recommendation that the state court defendants are not
necessary parties. Def.’s Obj. 8-9, ECF No. 55. Defendants argue that the Recommendation
failed to consider all three prongs in the first step of the Rule 19 two-step analysis. Id. In the first
step, the district court must determine whether the absent party is a “necessary” party. Makah
Indian Tribe v. Verity, 910 F.2d 555, 558 (9th Cir. 1990). If the absent party is necessary and
cannot be joined, then the court must determine whether the party is “indispensable.” Id. If the
absent party is not necessary, then the analysis stops. The moving party bears the burden of
persuasion in arguing for dismissal under Rule 19. Id.
In order to determine whether the state court defendants are necessary parties under Rule
19(a), the Court must consider: (1) whether complete relief is available among the existing
parties; (2) whether the state court defendants have a legally protected interest in the suit such
that a decision in its absence will impair or impede its ability to protect that interest; and (3)
whether Defendants would be subjected to a substantial risk of multiple or inconsistent
obligations. FED. R. CIV. P. 19(a)(1); Ward v. Apple Inc., 791 F.3d 1041, 1048-49 (9th Cir.
2015). If any one of the three prongs is met, then the state court defendants are to be found
3 – ORDER
necessary. I find that Judge Clarke thoroughly discussed all three prongs at step one. His analysis
at step two for each of the asserted claims correctly concluded that the state court defendants are
not necessary and not indispensable parties to the federal suit. R&R 4-15, ECF No. 51.
Defendants’ objections are unpersuasive.
III. Personal Jurisdiction over Steven Scott and HLH-East Bay
I find that Plaintiffs have met their burden for showing the existence of personal
jurisdiction over Steven Scott and HLH-East Bay, and that there is not a compelling case that the
exercise of jurisdiction would be unreasonable.
I adopt the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 51) in full. Defendants’ motion (ECF
No. 25) is DENIED. Motion for judicial notice (ECF No. 42) is GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 7th day of June, 2017.
_____/s/ Michael J. McShane_____
Michael J. McShane
United States District Judge
4 – ORDER
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