United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for a protective
order. Docket No. 26. The Court has considered
Plaintiff's motion, Defendant's response, and
Plaintiff's replies. Docket Nos. 26, 29, 30, 32. The Court
finds the motion properly resolved without a hearing.
See Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons discussed
below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's
motion. Docket No. 26.
instant case involves a wrongful termination claim against
Defendant. See generally Docket No. 1-2. In the
instant motion, Plaintiff seeks a protective order to: (1)
bar all further proceedings; (2) vacate the early neutral
evaluation; (3) vacate various discovery requests that
have been served on Plaintiff and a non-party; (4) prevent
the disclosure of “unnecessary private and confidential
documents;” and (5) prevent Defendant from serving
further discovery requests “at the same time.”
Docket No. 26 at 1-5.
discretion is vested in the trial court to permit or deny
discovery.” Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732,
751 (9th Cir. 2002); see also Crawford-El v.
Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 598 (1998). Parties are entitled
to discover non-privileged information that is relevant to
any party's claim or defense and is proportional to the
needs of the case, including consideration of the importance
of the issues at stake in the action, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). The most recent amendments to the discovery rules
are meant to curb the culture of scorched earth litigation
tactics by emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the
discovery process “provide[s] parties with efficient
access to what is needed to prove a claim or defense, but
eliminate unnecessary or wasteful discovery.”
Roberts v. Clark Cty. School Dist., 312 F.R.D. 594,
603-04 (D. Nev. 2016).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for automatic
or blanket stays of discovery when a potentially dispositive
motion is pending.” Tradebay, LLC v. eBay,
Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 601 (D. Nev. 2011). The party
seeking a stay carries the heavy burden of making a strong
showing why discovery should be denied. See, e.g.,
Turner Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. Tracinda Corp.,
175 F.R.D. 554, 556 (D. Nev. 1997). The case law in this
District makes clear that requests to stay all discovery may
be granted when: (1) the pending motion is potentially
dispositive; (2) the potentially dispositive motion can be
decided without additional discovery; and (3) the Court has
taken a “preliminary peek” at the merits of the
potentially dispositive motion and is convinced that the
plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief. See
Kor Media Group, LLC v. Green, 294 F.R.D. 579, 581 (D.
Court construes Plaintiff's motion for a protective order
as a motion to stay discovery.Although Plaintiff asks the Court
to issue a protective order, his request is broad and he
submits generally that he is “forbidding disclosure or
discovery until jurisdiction of the court is
resolved.” Docket No. 32 at 4. Therefore, his
argument is more akin to a total stay of discovery, in that
Plaintiff requests a complete cessation of discovery, as
opposed to protection from certain discovery requests.
Indeed, a stay of discovery may be construed as a form of a
protective order. See e.g., Kimble v.
Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
59231, at *25-26 (S.D. Cal. April 6, 2018) (ruling on the
defendant's motion for a protective order, which
requested a stay of discovery); Lopez v. Suhr, 2016
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55694, *16-17 (N.D. Cal. April 26, 2016)
(requiring the defendant to show “‘good
cause' under the protective order provision of Rule
26(c)” in seeking a stay of discovery); Tiwari v.
NBC Universal, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123362, at
*43-44 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 25, 2011) (construing a motion for a
protective order as a request to stay of discovery);
Ameritel Inns v. Moffat Bros. Plastering, L.C., 2007
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44900, at *10-11 (D. Idaho June 20, 2007)
(asserting the authority to impose a stay of discovery by
issuing a protective order); Skellerup Indus. v. City of
Los Angeles, 163 F.R.D. 598, 600 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 25,
1995) (analyzing a motion for a protective order under the
“heavy burden” standard of a request to stay
asks the Court to stay discovery pending resolution of his
motion to remand, amend, and extend time to answer
Defendant's motion to dismiss. Docket No. 26 at 1;
see also Docket No. 11. Plaintiff further submits
that recent activity in the instant case has caused him
“an insurmountable burden, ” and that responding
to the discovery requests will impose additional expenses.
Docket No. 26 at 16-17. Additionally, Plaintiff submits that
“he presented almost all the requested documents to the
defendant as attached to the complaint as exhibits”
during the employer-mandated dispute resolution process and,
therefore, that the discovery requests at issue are
duplicative or obtainable from another source that is more
convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive. Id.
at 14, 18.
response, Defendant submits that Plaintiff failed to meet and
confer prior to filing the instant motion,  fails to attach a
declaration regarding the meet and confer, and fails to
include the full text of the discovery to be covered by the
protective order, pursuant to Local Rule 26-7. Docket No. 29
at 3. Defendant further submits that Plaintiff fails to meet
the standards for a protective order under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)
because: (1) some of the discovery for which Plaintiff
requests a protective order does not require a response from
Plaintiff; (2) Defendant is permitted to serve multiple
discovery requests simultaneously under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure; (3) Plaintiff fails to identify to which
specific discovery requests he objects; and (4) Plaintiff
merely repeats his arguments from his motion to stay the
case. Id. at 7. Additionally, Defendant requests
attorneys' fees incurred in responding to the instant
motion pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(5). Id. at
reply, Plaintiff submits that he engaged in a meet and confer
with Defendant on February 23, 2018, during which he notified
Defendant of his intention to file the instant motion. Docket
Nos. 30 at 2, 32 at 3. Additionally, Plaintiff cites to
Williams v. Gold Coast Hotel & Casino (2012 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 64182, at *2-4 (D. Nev. May 8, 2012)) to support
his argument that the Court does not have jurisdiction to
“order discovery” because Defendant “moved
for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6)” and, therefore, a stay is warranted. Docket
No. 32 at 7 (internal citation omitted). Plaintiff further
submits that interrogatories 12-19 are “an unwarranted
invasion of personal privacy pursuant to” the Freedom
of Information Act, which applies to Defendant because it
“receives public funding and should be treated like the
state in FOIA enforcement, ” and to Plaintiff because
Plaintiff is “a civil or public servant” by