United States District Court, D. Nevada
KATHRYN L. PAULI, Plaintiff,
CIT BANK, N.A. and EQUIFAX, INC., Defendants.
FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant CIT Bank, N.A.'s Motion to Stay
Discovery Pending Ruling On Its Motion to Dismiss (ECF No.
19). On December 23, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint
asserting claims against CITB under the Fair Credit Reporting
Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. and Nevada's
Deceptive Trade Practices Act (Revised Statute Section 598).
(ECF No. 1). On April 11, 2017, CIT filed the instant motion
seeking to stay discovery pending a decision on its motion to
dismiss. (ECF No. 19). CIT argues that its motion to dismiss,
if granted, would dispose of the action in its entirety and
that discovery is not necessary for resolution of the motion
to dismiss. Id. Plaintiff filed a response on April
25, 2017, arguing that discovery should go forward. (ECF No.
21). Plaintiff argues that her FCRA claims are adequately
pleaded to survive CIT's motion to dismiss. Id.
Defendant filed its reply in support of the motion to stay.
(ECF No. 23). The court held a discovery hearing on April 19,
2017 (ECF No. 20), before this motion was filed and
encouraged counsel to meet and confer to agree on conducting
limited discovery while the motion to dismiss is pending.
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. 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. See FED. R. CIV. P.
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). Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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.
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. TradeBay, LLC v. Ebay, Inc., 278
F.R.D. 597, 600 (D. Nev. 2011).
in the District of Nevada 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.
the Court has taken a preliminary peek at the merits of the
pending dispositive motion and a stay is not warranted under
these circumstances. The Court is not convinced that
Plaintiff is unable to state a claim for relief. The entry of
the discovery plan and scheduling order set forth below,
still allows for the parties to limit discovery by agreement
during the pendency of the motion to dismiss.
discussed during the April 19, 2017, hearing, the parties may
meet and confer to try to agree upon limited discovery to be
completed during the pendency of CIT Bank's Motion to
Dismiss (ECF No. 7).
and for good cause shown, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant
CIT Bank, N.A.'s Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Ruling
On Its Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 19) is DENIED.
FURTHER ORDERED that the proposed discovery plan and
scheduling order filed on March 27, 2017 (ECF No. 17) is
approved with the following deadlines extended:
Discovery must be completed on or ...