Evans v. TRG Customer Solutions, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER granting defendant TRG Customer Solutions, Inc.'s 21 MOTION for a protective order to stay discovery pending resolution of TRG's 18 motion to compel arbitration; discovery in this matter is stayed pendin g resolution of TRG's motion to compel; this stay to have no effect on the current deadlines imposed on the plaintiff for service of defendant Jason Ritchey. Signed by Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. on 5/23/2014. (cc: attys; any unrepresented parties) (taq)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
Civil Action No. 2:14-00663
TRG CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS, INC. and
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Pending is a motion by defendant TRG Customer Solutions,
Inc. (“TRG”), filed May 8, 2014, for a protective order to stay
discovery pending resolution of TRG’s motion to compel
TRG wishes to stay discovery until its motion to
compel arbitration is decided.
Plaintiff Evans has indicated that
she does not oppose the motion, but requests that discovery be
permitted on the arbitration issue if the court requires more
TRG argues that conducting discovery in this court would
defeat the purposes of arbitration, because discovery should be
conducted by an arbitrator should this case be deemed arbitrable.
See CIGNA Health Care of St. Louis, Inc. v. Kaiser, 294 F.3d 849,
855 (7th Cir. 2002); 9 U.S.C. § 7 (2012).
TRG requests an order
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(1) staying discovery
until the motion to compel arbitration is decided.
Rule 26(c)(1) provides:
A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move
for a protective order . . . . The court may, for good
cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from . . .
undue burden or expense, including one or more of the
following: (A) forbidding the disclosure of discovery; (B)
specifying terms, including time and place, for the
disclosure or discovery . . . .
Under this rule, the court has the
authority to stay discovery pending the outcome of a dispositive
See Thigpen v. United States, 800 F.2d 393, 396-397 (4th
In this case, an order compelling arbitration could
be dispositive, as TRG argues that the entire case should be
submitted to an arbitrator under the arbitration agreement.
Durham Cnty. v. Richards & Assocs., Inc., 742 F.2d 811, 814 (4th
Cir. 1984). 1
A number of factors, none wholly dispositive, guide the
analysis under this rule for granting a stay pending the outcome
of a dispositive motion.
They are (1) the type of motion, (2)
The court notes that its decision to stay discovery in this case
does not rest upon 9 U.S.C. § 3. That statute compels the court
to “stay the trial of the action until . . . arbitration has been
had” when the court is “satisfied that [an] issue involved in such
suit or proceeding is referable to arbitration.” 9 U.S.C. § 3
(2012). Because the court has yet to decide the motion to compel
arbitration, the court is not satisfied that any issue in this
case is referable to arbitration, so a stay under § 3 is
unwarranted at this time.
whether the motion is a legal challenge or dispute over the
sufficiency of allegations, (3) the “nature and complexity of the
action,” (4) “whether counterclaims and/or cross-claims have been
interposed”, (5) whether other parties agree to the stay, (6) the
“posture or stage of the litigation”, (6) “the expected extent of
discovery in light of the number of parties and complexity of the
issues in the case”, (7) and “any other relevant circumstances”.
Bragg v. U.S., Civ. Action No. 2:10-0683, 2010 WL 3835080, at *1-2
(S.D.W. Va. Sept. 29, 2010) (quoting Hatchette Distribution, Inc.
v. Hudson Cty. News Co., Inc., 136 F.R.D. 356, 358 (E.D.N.Y.
Under such factors, this case is appropriate for a stay
TRG’s motion to compel arbitration could be
dispositive of the matter, and is a legal challenge.
cross-claims or counterclaims.
There are no
The plaintiff agrees to the stay.
Litigation is in its early stages.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that TRG’s motion for a
protective order to stay discovery pending resolution of TRG’s
motion to compel arbitration be, and it hereby is, granted.
further ORDERED that discovery in this matter be, and it hereby
is, stayed pending resolution of TRG’s motion to compel
This stay shall have no effect on the current
deadlines imposed on the plaintiff for service of defendant Jason
The Clerk is directed to transmit this order to all
counsel of record and any unrepresented parties.
May 23, 2014
John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
United States District Judge
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