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Donald Welch, Anthony Duk, Aaron Bitzer v. Edmund G. Brown

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 6, 2013

DONALD WELCH, ANTHONY DUK, AARON BITZER, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
EDMUND G. BROWN, JR., GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY, ANNA M. CABALLERO, SECRETARY OF CALIFORNIA STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY, DENISE BROWN, DIRECTOR OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, IN HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY, CHRISTINE WIETLISBACH, PATRICIA LOCK-DAWSON, SAMARA ASHLEY, HARRY DOUGLAS, JULIA JOHNSON, SARITA KOHLI, RENEE LONNER, KAREN PINES, CHRISTINA WONG, IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITIES AS MEMBERS OF THE CALIFORNIA BOARD OF BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, SHARON LEVINE, MICHAEL BISHOP, SILVIA DIEGO, DEV GNANADEV, REGINALD LOW, DENISE PINES, JANET SALOMONSON, GERRIE SCHIPSKE, DAVID SERRANO SEWELL, BARBARA YAROSLAYSKY, IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITIES AS MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA, DEFENDANTS.

ORDER RE: MOTION TO STAY

On December 3, 2012, the court enjoined defendants from enforcing Senate Bill 1172 ("SB 1172") against plaintiffs Donald Welch, Anthony Duk, and Aaron Bitzer, and defendants appealed the order granting the preliminary injunction on January 1, 2013. The Ninth Circuit has set an expedited briefing schedule and the appeal is set to be heard the week of April 15, 2013, along with the appeal in the case of Pickup v. Brown, Civ. No. 2:12-2497 KJM EFB.*fn1 Defendants now seek a stay of the case pending resolution of that appeal.

After considering the parties' arguments in their briefs along with the interests served in staying the case, the court finds that granting defendants' motion for a stay will be fair to all parties as well as serve the interests of judicial economy. Cf. Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal., Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863-64 (9th Cir. 1979) ("A trial court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for its own docket and the fairest course for the parties to enter a stay of an action before it, pending resolution of independent proceedings which bear upon the case."). It is expected that the appeal will resolve an issue that is central to this case in which two judges of this court reached differing conclusions, namely, whether it is likely that SB 1172 violates the First Amendment. As the court in this action enjoined defendants from enforcing SB 1172 against plaintiffs, and the Ninth Circuit enjoined enforcement of SB 1172 pending resolution of the appeal in Pickup, plaintiffs here will not suffer harm in waiting for a decision from the Ninth Circuit before continuing to litigate this action.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that defendants' motion for a stay be, and the same hereby is, GRANTED. All proceedings in this action are hereby STAYED pending the appeal in Pickup v. Brown, Civ. No. 2:12-2497 KJM EFB. The hearing previously set for February 11, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. is VACATED. Upon resolution of the pending appeal, counsel shall take the necessary steps to inform the Clerk and arrange to have this matter set for further status conference.


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