United States District Court, D. Kansas
SHAWN W. McDIFFETT, Plaintiff,
CHARLES H. NANCE, et al., Defendants.
P. O'Hara, U.S. Magistrate Judge
Nicolaus Ball, Charles Nance, Lindsey Wildermuth, Irene
Silva, and Gay Savino, have filed a motion to stay discovery
and other pretrial proceedings (ECF No. 60) pending a ruling
on their motion to dismiss the complaint, or in the
alternative, for summary judgment (ECF No. 58). Neither
plaintiff nor the other named defendant, Beverly Jackson, has
filed a response to the motion to stay discovery and pretrial
proceedings, and the time for doing so under D. Kan. R.
6.1(d) has run. The motion is granted.
Rule 7.4 provides: “If a responsive brief or memorandum
is not filed within the Rule 6.1(d) time requirements, the
court will consider and decided the motion as an uncontested
motion. Ordinarily, the court will grant the motion without
further notice.” Although the court could grant the
motion solely on the ground that it is unopposed, the court
will briefly address the merits of the motion.
long been the general policy in the District of Kansas not to
stay discovery even if a dispositive motion is
pending. But four exceptions to this policy are
recognized. A discovery stay may be appropriate if: (1) the
case is likely to be finally concluded via the dispositive
motion; (2) the facts sought through discovery would not
affect the resolution of the dispositive motion; (3)
discovery on all issues posed by the complaint would be
wasteful and burdensome; or (4) the dispositive motion raises
issues as to a defendant's immunity from
suit. The decision whether to stay discovery
rests in the sound discretion of the district
court. As a practical matter, this calls for a
court has reviewed the record, the instant motion, and the
pending dispositive motion. The court concludes that a brief
stay of all pretrial proceedings Including discovery and the
scheduling of deadlines is warranted until the court resolves
defendants' dispositive motion. Defendants assert
qualified immunity in the motion to dismiss. Defendants are
generally entitled to have questions of immunity resolved
before being required to engage in discovery and other
pretrial proceedings. “One of the purposes of immunity,
absolute or qualified, is to spare a defendant not only
unwarranted liability, but unwarranted demands customarily
imposed upon those defending a long drawn out
lawsuit.” The Supreme Court has made it clear that
until the threshold question of immunity is resolved,
discovery should not be allowed. In addition, the court finds
that a ruling on the dispositive motion could narrow this
case, making discovery at this point wasteful and burdensome.
consideration of the foregoing, and upon good cause shown, IT
IS HEREBY ORDERED:
motion to stay is granted.
pretrial proceedings in this case, including discovery, are
stayed until further order of the court.
Within 14 days of the ruling on the pending motion to
dismiss, the pro se plaintiff and counsel for any party
remaining in the case shall confer and submit a Rule 26(f)
planning meeting report to the undersigned's chambers.
See Wolf v. United States, 157
F.R.D. 494, 495 (D. Kan. 1994).
Id. (citing Kutilek v.
Gannon, 132 F.R.D. 296, 297B98 (D. Kan. 1990));
Siegert v. Gilley, 500 U.S. 226, 232B33 (1991)
(“‘Until this threshold immunity
question is resolved, discovery should not be
allowed.'” (quoting Harlow v. ...