United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANTS MUHAMMAD HOWARD, ULTEGRA
FINANCIAL PARTNERS, INC. AND CLIVE FUNDING, INC.'S
REVISED MOTION TO STAY DISCOVERY DURING UNTIL [sic] THE
MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF JURISDICTION IS RULED ON
(DOCKET NO. 102)
Michael J. Watanabe United States Magistrate Judge.
case is before the Court pursuant to an Order (Docket No.
103) referring the subject motion (Docket No. 102) entered by
Judge Wiley Y. Daniel on February 17, 2017. Now before the
Court is Defendants Muhammad Howard, Ultegra Financial
Partners, Inc., and Clive Funding, Inc.'s Revised Motion
to Stay Discovery During Until [sic] the Motion to Dismiss
for Lack of Jurisdiction is Ruled on (Docket No. 102). The
Court has carefully considered the motion. The Court has
taken judicial notice of the Court's file and has
considered the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and case law. The Court now being fully informed makes the
following findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for
a stay of proceedings. See String Cheese Incident, LLC v.
Stylus Shows, Inc., No. 02-cv-01934-LTB-PA, 2006 WL
894955, at *2 (D. Colo. March 30, 2006) (unpublished).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 does, however, provide
that “[a] party or any person from whom discovery is
sought may move for a protective order in the court where the
action is pending . . . . The court may, for good cause,
issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense . . .
.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). Moreover, “[t]he power to
stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every
court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket
with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and
for litigants. How this can best be done calls for the
exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests
and maintain an even balance.” Landis v. North Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936) (citing Kansas City
S. Ry. Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 760, 763 (1931)).
An order staying discovery is thus an appropriate exercise of
this Court's discretion. Id.
of all discovery is generally disfavored. Bustos v.
United States, 257 F.R.D. 617, 623 (D. Colo. 2009).
However, courts have routinely recognized that discovery may
be inappropriate while issues of immunity or jurisdiction are
being resolved. See, e.g., Siegert v. Gilley, 500
U.S. 226, 231-32 (1991) (noting that immunity is a threshold
issue, and discovery should not be allowed while the issue is
pending); Workman v. Jordan, 958 F.2d 332, 336 (10th
Cir. 1992) (same). Similarly, a stay may be appropriate if
“resolution of a preliminary motion may dispose of the
entire action.” Nankivil v. Lockheed Martin
Corp., 216 F.R.D. 689, 692 (M.D. Fla. 2003); see
Vivid Techs., Inc. v. Am. Science & Engineering,
Inc., 200 F.3d 795, 804 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (“When a
particular issue may be dispositive, the court may stay
discovery concerning other issues until the critical issue is
considering a stay of discovery, this Court has considered
the following factors: (1) the plaintiff's interests in
proceeding expeditiously with the civil action and the
potential prejudice to plaintiff of a delay; (2) the burden
on the defendants; (3) the convenience to the Court; (4) the
interests of persons not parties to the civil litigation; and
(5) the public interest. See String Cheese Incident,
2006 WL 894955, at *2.
Defendants seek to stay all discovery pending resolution of
their motion to dismiss that alleges that the Court lacks
jurisdiction (Docket No. 94). In short, Defendant argue that
“[p]articipating in discovery is a burden on the
defendants in terms of business interruption, particularly
where the pending motion could resolve the entire federal
case without requiring discovery.” (Docket No. 102 at
contrast, Plaintiff argues that the procedural history of
this case indicates that Defendants have delayed this case.
(Docket No. 119 at 5). Plaintiff further maintains that he
would be prejudiced by any further delay. Specifically, he
argues that any further delay could result in the degradation
of evidence, including witness recollections. (Id.
at 7). Notably, this case was filed on February 2, 2015, more
than two years ago.
Court finds that the String Cheese factors do not
support entry of a stay in this case. Most significantly, the
Court finds that the interest of Plaintiff to proceed
expeditiously outweighs any burden on Defendants of having to
participate in discovery while their motion to dismiss is
pending. As Judge Boland noted, “Defendants always are
burdened when they are sued, whether the case ultimately is
dismissed; summary judgment is granted; the case is settled;
or a trial occurs. That is a consequence of our judicial
system and the rules of civil procedure. There is no special
burden on the defendant in this case.” Chavez v.
Young Am. Ins. Co., No. 06-cv-02419-PSF-BNB, 2007 WL
683973, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 2, 2007) (denying
unopposed motion to stay). As to the third
String Cheese factor, the Court has an interest in
managing its docket by seeing the case proceed expeditiously.
Finally, the Court finds that the interests of non-parties
and the public interest do not greatly favor one side.
for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
that Defendants Muhammad Howard, Ultegra Financial Partners,
Inc., and Clive Funding, Inc.'s Revised Motion to Stay
Discovery During Until [sic] the Motion to Dismiss for ...