United States District Court, D. Nevada
FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter involves Plaintiff Robert Ambrose Edwards's action
against the State of Nevada, Clark County, County of Clark,
Investigator David Robbins, Deputy District Attorneys William
Rowles, Binu Palal, and Michael Giles, and Las Vegas Township
Justices of the Peace Joseph Sciscento and Letizia Harmony.
Before the Court is the State of Nevada's unopposed
motion to stay (ECF No. 15). Co-defendants Clark County,
County of Clark, Deputy District Attorneys William Rowles,
Binu Palal, and Michael Giles, and Las Vegas Township
Justices of the Peace Joseph Sciscento and Letizia Harmony
moved to join that Motion (ECF No. 17). For the reasons
stated below, the State of Nevada's Motion to Stay is
evaluating a motion to stay discovery while a dispositive
motion is pending, the Court initially considers the goal of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 1. The guiding premise of the
Rules is that the Rules “should be construed and
administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive
determination of every action.” Fed R. Civ. P. 1. It
needs no citation of authority to recognize that discovery is
expensive. The Supreme Court has long mandated that trial
courts should resolve civil matters fairly but without undue
cost. See Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S.
294, 306 (1962). This directive is echoed by Rule 26, which
instructs the court to balance the expense of discovery
against its likely benefit.
with the Supreme Court's mandate that trial courts should
balance fairness and cost, the Rules do not provide for
automatic or blanket stays of discovery when a potentially
dispositive motion is pending. Skellerup Indus. Ltd. v.
City of Los Angeles, 163 F.R.D. 598, 600-01 (C.D. Cal.
1995). Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1), “[t]he court may,
for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person
from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense…” Whether to grant a stay is within the
discretion of the court. Munoz-Santana v. U.S.
I.N.S., 742 F.2d 561, 562 (9th Cir. 1984). The party
seeking the protective order, however, has the burden
“to ‘show good cause' by demonstrating harm
or prejudice that will result from the discovery.” Fed
R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). Satisfying the “good cause”
obligation is a challenging task. A party seeking “a
stay of discovery carries the heavy burden of making a
‘strong showing' why discovery should be
denied.” Gray v. First Winthrop Corp., 133
F.R.D. 39, 40 (N.D.Cal.1990) (citing Blankenship v.
Hearst Corp. 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975)).
imposing a stay of discovery pending a motion to dismiss is
permissible if there are no factual issues raised by the
motion to dismiss, discovery is not required to address the
issues raised by the motion to dismiss, and the Court is
“convinced” that the plaintiff is unable to state
a claim for relief. Rae v. Union Bank, 725 F.2d 478,
481 (9th Cir. 1984); White v. Am. Tobacco Co., 125
F.R.D. 508 (D. Nev. 1989) (citing Wood v. McEwen,
644 F.2d 797, 801 (9th Cir. 1981) cert. denied, 455
U.S. 942 (1982). Typical situations in which staying
discovery pending a ruling on a dispositive motion are
appropriate would be where the dispositive motion raises
issues of jurisdiction, venue, or immunity. See TradeBay,
LLC v. Ebay, Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 600 (D. Nev. 2011).
in the District of Nevada apply a two-part test when
evaluating whether a discovery stay should be imposed.
Id. (citations omitted). First, the pending motion
must be potentially dispositive of the entire case or at
least the issue on which discovery is sought. Id.
Second, the Court must determine whether the pending motion
to dismiss can be decided without additional discovery.
Id. When applying this test, the Court must take a
“preliminary peek” at the merits of the pending
dispositive motion to assess whether a stay is warranted.
Id. The purpose of the “preliminary
peek” is not to prejudge the outcome of the motion to
dismiss. Rather, the Court's role is to evaluate the
propriety of an order staying or limiting discovery with the
goal of accomplishing the objectives of Rule 1.
State of Nevada's Motion to Stay is granted for two
reasons. First, Edwards failed to oppose that Motion. Under
Local Rule 7-2(b), the party opposing a motion has fourteen
days to file points and authorities in response to a motion.
If no response is filed within fourteen days, then
“[t]he failure of [the] opposing party to file points
and authorities … constitute[s] a consent to the
granting of the motion.” See LR 7-2(d). Here,
the State of Nevada filed its Motion to Stay on April 13,
2017. To date, no opposition has been filed.
the State of Nevada's Motion to Stay is granted on the
merits. Based on this Court's “preliminary
peek” at the merits of the State of Nevada's Motion
to Dismiss, a stay is warranted. The underlying Motion to
Dismiss contends, inter alia, that personal
jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction are lacking in
this case. The Motion to Dismiss first argues that
Edward's failed to properly serve the State of Nevada
because he did not identify the particular department whose
actions are the basis of his suit as required. See
NRS 41.031. The Motion to Dismiss contends that Edwards
failed to serve the Summons and Complaint upon the Attorney
General's Office. This insufficient process and service
of process, argues the State of Nevada, warrants dismissal.
the Motion to Dismiss asserts that this Court lacks subject
matter jurisdiction because Edwards has not alleged a federal
question or diversity jurisdiction. In his complaint, Edwards
brings causes of action against the State of Nevada for
“trespass and trespass in the case” which are
torts and do not involve questions of federal law. ECF No. 1
at 1-2. Further, Edward alleges in his complaint that he is
“a people of Nevada.” Id. at 3. The
Motion to Dismiss posits that Edwards has failed to state a
claim upon which relief can granted under Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 1950 U.S. 662, 679-79 (2009) because he failed to
allege anything specific regarding the State of Nevada and
only makes conclusory allegations not supported by facts. The
Court agrees. These are appropriate bases for ordering a
stay. See TradeBay, 278 F.R.D. at 600. Edward's
complaint is unintelligible and incoherent. The Court is
convinced that the State of Nevada's Motion to Dismiss
can be decided without additional discovery.
and for good cause shown, IT IS ORDERED that the State of
Nevada's unopposed Motion ...