Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Thomas F. Puckett, et al v. Neal Schnog

May 3, 2013

THOMAS F. PUCKETT, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEAL SCHNOG, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Nancy J. Koppe United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Before the Court is Defendants' Neal Schnog and New Day Broadband, LLC's Motion for Stay (#19). The Court has considered the Defendants' Motion (#19), the Plaintiffs' Response (#21), and the Defendants' Reply (#22).

BACKGROUND

This dispute concerns a contractual agreement between the parties. According to the Defendants, the contract contains an arbitration provision that is binding and governs this dispute. Additionally, the Defendants argue that this suit is duplicative of a case the Plaintiffs filed in Kansas, and the Kansas court has already enforced the arbitration provision and stayed the case. Accordingly, on December 18, 2012, the Defendants moved to dismiss this case or, in the alternative, to have the arbitration provision enforced. Motion to Dismiss (#12).

Presently, the Defendants move to stay this case pending a decision on the Motion to Dismiss. Motion to Stay (#19). The Plaintiffs oppose staying the case. Response (#21). The Plaintiffs assert that a stay is not appropriate because, they argue, the Motion to Dismiss (#12) will not be successful and, further, the Defendants "waived" any right to request a stay by signing the Stipulated Discovery Plan and Scheduling Order (#16). Response (#21).

DISCUSSION

I. Stay of Discovery Pending Motion to Dismiss

The pendency of a motion to dismiss alone does not in itself stay discovery deadlines. See, e.g., Ministerio Roca Solida v. U.S. Dep't of Fish & Wildlife, 288 F.R.D. 500, 506 (D. Nev. 2013) ("The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for automatic or blanket stays of discovery when a potentially dispositive motion is pending"). "It is well-established that a party seeking a stay of discovery carries the heavy burden of making a strong showing why discovery should be stayed." Tradebay, LLC v. eBay, Inc., 278 F.R.D 597, 601 (D. Nev. 2011). To determine whether this requirement is met, the Court employs a two-part test: (1) the pending motion must be potentially dispositive of the entire case or at least dispositive of the issue on which discovery is sought, and (2) the court must determine whether the pending potentially dispositive motion can be decided without additional discovery. Ministerio, 288 F.R.D. at 506; citing e.g., Mlejnecky, 2011 WL 489743, at *6. Therefore, as a threshold matter, the movant must establish that the "pending motion must be potentially dispositive of the entire case or at least dispositive of the issue on which discovery is sought." Tradebay, 278 F.R.D at 601.

A. Whether Pending Motion to Dismiss is Potentially Dispositive

Here, the Defendants have moved to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety pursuant to the Colorado River Doctrine or, in the alternative, to compel arbitration pursuant to Nevada law. Under the Colorado River doctrine, "In exceptional circumstances, the court may stay or dismiss an action where there are 'substantially similar' concurrent state court proceedings." Casablanca Resorts, LLC v. Backus, 2007 WL 951946, *1 (D. Nev. March 28, 2007) (citing Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. United States, 424 U.S. 800, 817 (1976). However, when a case only involves questions of state law, the requirement for exceptional circumstances does not apply. Southwest Circle Group, Inc. v. Perini Bldg. Co., 2010 WL 2667335, *1 (D. Nev. June 29, 2010) (holding "[w]hile exception under Colorado River is limited to 'exceptional circumstances,' . . . such a limitation only relates to cases which involve questions of federal law.")

In order for a federal court to abstain, there must be a parallel or substantially similar state court proceeding. Security Farms v. Int's Broth. Of Teamsters, Chauffers, Warehousemen, & Helpers, 124 F.3d 999, 1009 (9th Cir. 1997). The Colorado River doctrine requires a federal court to abstain from exercising jurisdiction during the pendency of state court proceedings when necessary to promote "wise judicial administration, conservation of judicial resources, and comprehensive disposition of litigation." Southwest Circle Group, 2010 WL 2667335, *2 (quoting Nakash v. Marciano, 882 F.2d 1411, 1415 (9th Cir. 1989)).

To determine whether dismissal is appropriate, the court considers the following factors: "(1) whether either court has assumed jurisdiction over a res; (2) the relative convenience of the forums; (3) the desirability of avoiding piecemeal litigation; (4) the order in which the forums obtained jurisdiction; (5) whether state or federal law controls; and (6) whether the state proceeding is adequate to protect the parties' rights." Casablanca Resorts, 2007 WL 951946, *1(citing Nakash v. Marciano, 882 F.2d 1411, 1415 (9th Cir.1989). These factors should be "applied in a pragmatic and flexible way, as part of a balancing process rather than as a 'mechanical checklist.'" Am. Int'l Underwriters (Philippines), Inc. v. Cont'l Ins. Co., 843 F.2d 1253, 1257 (9th Cir. 1988)

The first two factors are not applicable in this situation. However, a preliminary evaluation of the latter four factors indicates they weigh in favor of dismissal.*fn1 Accordingly, under the Colorado River doctrine, the Motion to Dismiss is potentially dispositive to the entire case. If the District Court Judge concludes that this case and the Kansas State Court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.