Scott v. Van Hook
ORDER STAYING CASE, by Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. This case is stayed in the interests of justice and judicial economy and efficiency. Plaintiff's pending Motions (Dkt. 45 , 49 , 50 ) are denied without prejudice. Motions will not be considered by the Court during the stay. (GMR- cc: pltf)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
RICHARD ROY SCOTT,
CASE NO. 3:16-CV-05785-RBL-DWC
ORDER STAYING THE CASE
The District Court referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action to United States Magistrate
Judge David W. Christel. In the Complaint, Plaintiff Richard Roy Scott alleges, in part, his
constitutional rights are being violated because he is forced to drink contaminated water at the
Special Commitment Center (“SCC”). Dkt. 3. The Court has reviewed Plaintiff’s case and
determined this case shall be stayed in the interests of justice and judicial economy and
efficiency. Plaintiff’s pending Motions (Dkt. 45, 49, 50) are denied without prejudice.
“A district court has discretionary power to stay proceedings in its own court under
Landis v. North American Co.” Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005)
(citing Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936)); Ali v. Trump, 2017 WL
ORDER STAYING THE CASE - 1
1 1057645, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 17, 2017) (“Courts have the power to consider stays sua
2 sponte.”). “The power to stay a case is ‘incidental to the power inherent in every court to control
3 the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel,
4 and for litigants.’” Halliwell v. A-T Sols., 2014 WL 4472724, at *7 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2014)
5 (quoting Landis, 299 U.S. at 254). The Ninth Circuit has held:
A trial court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for its own docket and the
fairest course for the parties to enter a stay of an action before it, pending
resolution of independent proceedings which bear upon the case. This rule applies
whether the separate proceedings are judicial, administrative, or arbitral in
character, and does not require that the issues in such proceedings are necessarily
controlling of the action before the court. In such cases the court may order a stay
of the action pursuant to its power to control its docket and calendar and to
provide for a just determination of the cases pending before it.
Leyva v. Certified Grocers of California, Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863–64 (9th Cir. 1979) (internal
To determine if a stay is appropriate, the Court should weigh the “competing interests
which will be effected by the granting or refusal to grant a stay,” including “the possible damage
which may result from the granting of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer
in being required to go forward, and the orderly course of justice measured in terms of the
simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be expected to
result from a stay.” See Lockyer, 398 F.3d at 1110 (quoting CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265,
268 (9th Cir. 1962)).
The Court finds the interests of justice and judicial efficiency and economy warrant a stay
in this case. In this Court, the claims of approximately 200 Plaintiffs alleging constitutional
violations arising from the potable water at the SCC have been consolidated in a related case. See
Malone v. Strong, 3:16-cv-5284-RBL-DWC (“Related Case”). An answer has not been filed in
Malone and, therefore, a scheduling order has not been entered and discovery has not begun. In
ORDER STAYING THE CASE - 2
1 the current case, a scheduling order has been entered and the discovery period is open. See Dkt.
2 21. The Related Case and the current case, which are similar in law and fact, are at different
3 procedural postures, which may impact over 200 Plaintiffs. Further, Plaintiff has case
4 management orders which restrict his ability to conduct discovery. If the Court stays Plaintiff’s
5 case pending the filing of a scheduling order in the Related Case, discovery can be addressed
6 efficiently and economically for all claims arising from the potable water at the SCC. The Court
7 can also direct that Plaintiff receive the necessary discovery without burdening the litigants or
8 the Court.
For the above stated reasons, this entire matter is stayed pending further order from this
10 Court. The Court anticipates the stay will be lifted when a pretrial scheduling order is entered in
11 the Related Case. Motions will not be considered by the Court during the stay. Plaintiff’s
12 pending Motions (45, 49, 50), which relate to discovery, are denied without prejudice.
Dated this 9th day of May, 2017.
David W. Christel
United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER STAYING THE CASE - 3
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