United States District Court, D. Kansas
CARMEN N. WATSON, Plaintiff,
UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 500, Defendant.
P. O'HARA, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Unified School District No. 500 has filed a motion to stay
discovery (ECF No. 19) pending the court's ruling on its
motion to dismiss (ECF No. 10). The pro se plaintiff, Carmen
Watson, has not filed a response to the motion to stay
discovery and the time for doing so under Rule 6.1 has run.
Under D. Kan. Rule 7.4, “if a responsive brief or
memorandum is not filed within the Rule 6.1(d) time
requirements, the court will consider and decide the motion
as an uncontested motion. Ordinarily, the court will grant
the motion without further notice.” The court could
grant this motion solely on the ground that it is unopposed,
but will briefly address the merits.
filed this case on February 25, 2019, alleging employment
discrimination based on harassment, unequal treatment, and
retaliation while employed by defendant. Plaintiff's
motion to proceed in forma pauperis was granted on February
27, 2019.Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on
April 23, 2019, seeking dismissal based on the applicable
statute of limitations, failure to exhaust administrative
remedies, and failure to state a claim for which relief can
be granted. Plaintiff filed her response to the motion
to dismiss on May 8, 2019.
earlier indicated, plaintiff has not timely responded to the
motion to stay, though she did timely respond to the motion
to dismiss. Plaintiff has not contacted the court for any
additional time or continuances related to the motion to
stay. Defendant requests a stay on discovery based on the
pending dispositive motion.
long been the general policy in the District of Kansas not to
stay discovery merely because a dispositive motion has been
filed. However, there are four recognized
exceptions to this policy. That is, a discovery stay may be
appropriate if at least one of these factors is present: (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 court.
court has reviewed the record, the instant motion, and the
pending motion to dismiss. The court concludes that a stay of
pretrial proceedings is warranted until the court resolves
defendant's pending dispositive motion. As an initial
matter, the motion to stay is unopposed and the time for
plaintiff's response has run. The court's local rules
provide that the court will decide the motion as uncontested
and will ordinarily grant the motion without further
has further shown it is entitled to a stay on the merits. If
defendant's motion is granted, it will likely result in
dismissal - or at least narrowing - of plaintiff's
claims. Defendant argues that (1) plaintiff has not proven
she is part of a Title VII class, as required by 42 U.S.C.A.
§ 2000(e); (2) plaintiff has not exhausted her
administrative remedies; (3) plaintiff's FLMA claims are
time-barred; and (4) plaintiff's work-related injuries
constitute a state workers' compensation claim whose
exclusive remedy is within the Kansas Workers'
the undersigned judge does not state an opinion as to the
validity of defendant's motion to dismiss, the court is
satisfied that the case would likely be concluded should
defendant prevail on its dispositive motion. Even if the
dispositive motion does not result in the complete dismissal
of plaintiff's claims, a ruling could narrow the case,
“making discovery at this point wasteful and
burdensome.” Further, in deciding a motion to
dismiss, the “court should consider no evidence beyond
the pleadings.” At this stage, the court generally
considers only the adequacy of the pleadings themselves, and
will not look to evidence outside the complaint, as it would
at the summary judgment stage. A stay is therefore
appropriate for this additional reason.
motion to stay is granted. All pretrial proceedings in this
case are stayed until further order of the court. Should the
case survive the pending motion to dismiss, the parties shall
confer and submit a Rule 26(f) planning meeting report to the
undersigned chambers within 14 days of the ruling of the
motion. The court will then set a scheduling conference.