United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. JAMES U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
February 19, 2019, the Court conducted a scheduling
conference with the parties in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P.
16. Plaintiff appeared through counsel, Mark Parrish and
Keith Williston. Defendant appeared through counsel, Louis
Wade. During the conference, Defendant indicated it would
file an early dispositive motion on one issue by March 25,
2019. The parties also agreed to voluntarily exchange the
various documents described in their respective Rule 26(a)(1)
disclosures by March 7, 2019. The parties agreed no other
discovery was necessary to brief the initial dispositive
result, the Court set a deadline of March 25, 2019 for
Defendant to file its early single-issue dispositive motion
(“Defendant's Dispositive Motion”), ordered
the parties to voluntarily exchange the documents identified
in their respective Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures by March 7,
2019, and raised the issue of whether further discovery
should be stayed pending ruling on Defendant's
Dispositive Motion. After discussion, the parties seemed to
agree it would be most efficient to exchange their initial
disclosure documents with an eye toward addressing certain
preliminary issues, but to otherwise stay discovery pending
ruling on Defendant's Dispositive Motion.
decision to stay discovery and other pretrial proceedings is
firmly vested in the sound discretion of the trial
court. The Tenth Circuit, however, has held that
“the right to proceed in court should not be denied
except under the most extreme
circumstances.” Therefore, the general policy in the
District of Kansas is to not stay discovery even when
dispositive motions are pending. However, there are
exceptions to this general policy, including “where the
case is likely to be finally concluded as a result of the
ruling thereon; where the facts sought through uncompleted
discovery would not affect the resolution of the motion; or
where discovery on all issues of the broad complaint would be
wasteful and burdensome.”
a putative class action case alleging violations of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and
Kansas Consumer Protection Act (“KCPA”).
Plaintiff alleges Defendant violated these acts by contacting
consumers through automatic telephone dialing systems and
attempting to collect debt that was previously reported in a
1099-C as being canceled or discharged. It is this latter
issue regarding 1099-C reporting that will be the subject of
Defendant's Dispositive Motion.
parties are in agreement that the facts sought through
uncompleted discovery would not affect resolution of
Defendant's Dispositive Motion. This factor supports
staying discovery pending ruling on Defendants' motion.
In addition, with regard specifically to the 1099-C issue,
Plaintiff indicated that if Defendant's Dispositive
Motion on this issue is granted, Plaintiff (the putative
class) would seek to amend the complaint to amend its claims,
which would potentially involve one or more new defendants
and affect the class size/scope. Discovery on all issues of
the broad complaint prior to ruling on Defendant's
Dispositive Motion is, therefore, likely to be wasteful and
unduly burdensome. Additionally, with regard to the TCPA,
Plaintiff's claim may be the subject of a class action
case currently pending in Michigan. The parties agreed that
they might know whether Plaintiff's TCPA claim should be
dismissed in this case and brought instead in the Michigan
case, after they exchange the documents described in their
initial disclosures on March 7, 2019. Again, it would be
potentially wasteful and burdensome for the parties to engage
in discovery at this point given some or all of the claims
may be dismissed or amended. This factor weighs heavily in
favor of staying discovery pending ruling on Defendant's
Court finds a stay of discovery, aside from exchange of the
initial disclosure documents, pending ruling on
Defendant's Dispositive Motion is appropriate. Discovery
is stayed pending ruling on the Defendant's Dispositive
Motion, which is to be filed on or before March 25, 2019.
Within twenty-one (21) days after the Court's ruling on
Defendant's Dispositive Motion, the parties shall submit
a revised Report of Parties' Planning Conference. The
Court will subsequently set this matter for another
IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that the parties
shall exchange the documents described in their Rule 26(a)(1)
initial disclosures on or before March 7, 2019.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant shall file its
early single-issue (1099-C) dispositive motion on or before
March 25, 2019.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that discovery is hereby stayed
until such time as the Court rules on Defendant's
Dispositive Motion. Within twenty-one (21) days of the
Court's ruling, the parties shall submit a revised Report
of Parties' Planning Conference.
IS SO ORDERED.
Pet Milk Co. v. Ritter, 323
F.2d 586, 588 (10th Cir. 1963); McCoy v. U.S., No.
07-2097-CM, 2007 WL 2071770, at *2 (D. Kan. ...