United States District Court, D. Colorado
Kathleen M Tafoya United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's “Request
for a Stay of Proceedings.” (Doc. No. 121.) Plaintiff,
appearing pro se, requests the court stay
proceedings for eleven months because he is about to be
transferred to a Residential Reentry Center
(“RRC”) for that period of time and is concerned
he will be unable to devote the time necessary to this
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not expressly provide for
a stay of proceedings. See String Cheese Incident, LLC v.
Stylus Shows, Inc., 02-CV-01934-LTB-PA, 2006 WL 894955,
at *2 (D. Colo. March 30, 2006). 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(a).
motion to stay discovery is an appropriate exercise of this
court's discretion. Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299
U.S. 248, 254-255 (1936). “The 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.” Id. (citing
Kansas City S. Ry. Co. v. United States, 282 U.S.
760, 763 (1931)).
underlying principle in determination of whether to grant or
deny a stay clearly is that “[t]he right to proceed in
court should not be denied except under the most extreme
circumstances.” Commodity Futures Trading
Comm'n v. Chilcott Portfolio Mgmt., Inc., 713 F.2d
1477, 1484 (10th Cir. 1983) (quoting Klein v. Adams &
Peck, 436 F.2d 337, 339 (2d Cir. 1971)). In other words,
stays of the normal proceedings of a court matter should be
the exception rather than the rule. As a result, stays of all
discovery are generally disfavored in this District.
Chavez v. Young Am. Ins. Co., No.
06-cv-02419-PSF-BNB, 2007 WL 683973, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 2,
2007) (citation omitted).
“a court may decide that in a particular case it would
be wise to stay discovery on the merits until [certain
challenges] have been resolved.” 8A Charles Alan
Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Richard L. Marcus, Federal
Practice And Procedure § 2040, at 198 (3d ed. 2010).
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); Democratic Republic of Congo v. FG
Hemisphere Assocs., LLC, 508 F.3d 1062, 1064 (D.C. Cir.
2007) (noting that the reason jurisdictional defenses should
be raised at the outset is to avoid unnecessary litigation);
Gilbert v. Ferry, 401 F.3d 411, 415-16 (6th Cir.
2005) (finding stay permissible pending ruling on a
dispositive motion asserting a jurisdictional issue).
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. String Cheese Incident,
2006 WL 894955, at *2 (citing FDIC v. Renda, No.
85-2216-O, 1987 WL 348635, at *2 (D. Kan. Aug. 6, 1987)). The
court finds these factors do not commend a stay of this
the first consideration is negated by the fact it is
Plaintiff requesting a stay, the court notes Defendants have
an interest in proceeding expeditiously and an eleven month
stay significantly delays their attempt to clear their names
and be free of pending litigation. The court is sympathetic
to Plaintiff's circumstances in which he will have many
responsibilities during his time in the RRS, as outlined in
his Motion. However, a party facing significant
responsibilities and obligations outside of his litigation is
not unique to Plaintiff. Granting a stay under such
circumstances would suggest that a stay is appropriate in
nearly every lawsuit initiated in this court. This result
would not only be contrary to the disfavored status of stays
in this district, see Bustos v. U.S., 257 F.R.D.
617, 623 (D. Colo. 2009), but would also make the court's
docket thoroughly unpredictable and, hence, unmanageable.
Sanaah v. Howell, 08-cv-02117-REB- KLM, 2009 WL
980383, at *1 (D. Colo. Apr. 9, 2009). Moreover, there are
five months of discovery remaining in this case, thus
providing a significant amount of time for the parties to
complete the same.
neither the interests of nonparties nor the public interest
in general prompts the court to reach a different result.
Indeed, the public interest favors the prompt and efficient
handling of all litigation. Sanaah, 2009 WL 980383,
at *1. Accordingly, on balance, the court finds that a stay
of this case is unwarranted.
that Plaintiffs “Request for a Stay of