United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY ALL DISCOVERY [ECF. #29] AND
DENYING AS MOOT UNOPPOSED MOTION TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER
KATO CREWS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Judge S. Kato Crews This matter comes before the Court on
Defendant's Motion to Stay All Discovery filed August 29,
2019 [ECF. #29] and the Unopposed Motion to Modify Scheduling
Order [ECF. #42], which have been referred to this Court
[ECF. #30; Id. #45]. Plaintiff responded to the
Motion to Stay on September 6, 2018 [ECF #37], and Defendant
filed a reply on September 18, 2018 [ECF. #39]. The Court has
carefully considered the Motions, the entire case file and
the applicable law, and has determined that oral argument
would not materially assist in the disposition of the instant
Motion to Stay. For the following reasons, the Court grants
in part and denies in part Defendant's Motion to Stay.
Furthermore, the Unopposed Motion to Modify Scheduling Order
is denied as moot.
seeks a stay of all discovery pending ruling on its motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and venue, refiled
on September 18, 2018 [ECF. #40].Defendant argues that all
discovery should be stayed pending Chief Judge Krieger's
ruling on its motion to dismiss and cites to cases from this
district supporting such a stay. [ECF. #29 p. 3.] Plaintiff
asserts that it should be allowed to go forward with
discovery because, in part, it is necessary to
Plaintiff's opposition to Defendant's motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and venue. [ECF.
#37 p. 4.]
decision to issue a protective order and thereby stay
discovery is within the sound discretion of the trial court.
Wang v. Hsu, 919 F.2d 130, 130 (10th Cir. 1990).
Under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(c), a stay is
warranted, upon a showing of good cause, to “protect a
party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or
undue burden or expense.” Generally, a stay of all
discovery is disfavored in this district. Wason Ranch
Corp. v. Hecla Mining Co., No. 07-cv-00267-EWN-MEH, 2007
WL 1655362, at *1 (D. Colo. June 6, 2007).
Court considers the following factors, in its discretion: (1)
Plaintiff's interests in proceeding expeditiously and the
potential prejudice to Plaintiff of a delay; (2) the burden
on Defendant; (3) the convenience to the Court; (4) interests
of non-parties in either staying or proceeding with
discovery; and (5) the public's interests in staying or
proceeding with discovery. See String Cheese Incident,
LLC, v. Stylus Shows, Inc., No. 1:02-cv-01934-LTB-PAC,
2006 WL 894955, at *2 (D. Colo. March 30, 2006). Considering
these factors, the Court concludes that a partial stay
strictly limiting discovery to the issue of jurisdictional
fact and venue is warranted.
Plaintiff generally has an interest in its case proceeding
expeditiously. Here, the only specific prejudice Plaintiff
alleges is that a complete stay would bar Plaintiff from
taking depositions of two of Defendant's employees, Mr.
Wruble and Mr. Hamilton. Plaintiff alleges these individuals
have knowledge of facts regarding the scope and nature of
Defendant's contacts with Colorado, at a minimum. Without
this evidence, Plaintiff argues it would be prejudiced in its
opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, which
Plaintiff has yet to file. Defendant acknowledges that
discovery limited to jurisdictional facts may be appropriate
in lieu of a complete stay. [ECF. #39 pp. 1-3.] Because
Plaintiff has identified a specific prejudice that would
result from a complete stay, and because the Court is
satisfied that depositions of Mr. Wruble and Mr. Hamilton
only on the limited scope of jurisdictional facts and venue
would protect Plaintiff's interests, the Court finds the
first factor weighs in favor of a partial stay.
there is no special burden to Defendant here. Defendants are
always burdened when they are sued, whether the Court
ultimately dismisses the suit or a trial occurs. Chavez
v. Young Am. Ins. Co., No. 06-cv-02419-PSB-BNB, 2007 WL
683973, at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 2, 2007). Without prejudging the
merits of the motion to dismiss, the Court notes that
proceeding with discovery would be wasteful should the motion
to dismiss be granted, especially because granting the motion
would dispose of the case.Thus, the second factor weighs in favor
of a complete stay of discovery.
third factor weighs in favor of a partial stay. The general
policy in this District disfavors a complete stay of
discovery, “as the resulting delay makes the
Court's docket less predictable and, hence, less
manageable.” Stove v. Vail Resorts Dev. Co.,
No. 09-cv-02081-WYD-KLM, 2010 WL 148278, at *3 (D. Colo. Jan.
7, 2010). On the other hand, “[w]here a pending motion
may dispose of an action . . . a stay of proceedings may
allow the Court to avoid expending resources in managing an
action that ultimately will be dismissed.” Id.
Here, the parties have each suggested some utility in a
partial stay allowing for discovery on jurisdictional facts
and venue. The Court believes limiting discovery in this way
may aid its evaluation of Defendant's motion to dismiss,
and therefore, is an efficient use of the Court's
resources weighing in favor of a partial stay.
four and five support granting a partial stay as well.
Undoubtedly, the two non-parties, Mr. Wruble and Mr.
Hamilton, both employees of Defendant, have interests that
would be best served by a stay on all discovery. However,
Plaintiff asserts the deposition of these individuals would
elicit additional evidence relevant to the Court's
jurisdiction analysis. [ECF. #37 p.4.] Thus, the Court finds
that Mr. Wruble and Mr. Hamilton's value to the issues
pending before the Court outweigh their interests in a
complete stay of discovery. Finally, the public has an
interest in the fair and speedy administration of legal
disputes. See, Waisanen v. Terracon Consultants,
Inc., No. 09-cv-01104-MSK-KMT, 2009 WL 5184699, at *2
(D. Colo. Dec. 22, 2009). Allowing for additional discovery
on jurisdiction and venue will aid the just and efficient
resolution of this matter.
considering counsels' arguments and weighing the
String Cheese factors, the Court finds that a stay
on all discovery, except for depositions of Mr. Wruble and
Mr. Hamilton on issues of jurisdictional fact and venue, is
appropriate in this instance. In light of the Court's
ruling on the Motion to Stay, the Court denies as moot the
Unopposed Motion to Modify the Scheduling Order.
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant's Motion to Stay [ECF. #29]
is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The Motion to Stay is
partially DENIED insofar as Plaintiff shall be allowed to
depose of Mr. Wruble and Mr. Hamilton only on the limited
scope of jurisdictional facts and venue. The Motion to Stay
is partially GRANTED insofar as all other discovery, to
include other forms of jurisdictional facts, venue and merits
discovery, and all discovery deadlines set in the Scheduling
Order shall be stayed until the resolution of the Motion to
Dismiss [ECF. #40].
FURTHER ORDERED that the Unopposed Motion to Modify the
Scheduling Order [ECF. #44] is DENIED as moot, and a
Telephonic Status Conference is set for December 18, 2018 at
9:00 AM before Magistrate Judge Crews to ...