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Rheumatology Diagnostics Laboratory, Inc, et al v. Aetna

April 29, 2013

RHEUMATOLOGY DIAGNOSTICS LABORATORY, INC, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
AETNA, INC., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar

ORDER RE SCHEDULING OF PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND DEFENDANTS' REQUESTS FOR DISCOVERY STAY

At today's Case Management Conference, the parties asked the Court to decide three issues: (1) on what date the Court will hear Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, ECF No. 15 59, given that the Court has just taken the Defendants' four motions to dismiss the complaint under 16 submission; (2) whether the Court will stay discovery pending a decision on the motions to dismiss; and (3) whether the Court will stay the parties' obligations to make initial disclosures 18 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 pending a decision on the motions to dismiss. The 19 court addresses these issues in turn. 20

I. The Hearing On Plaintiffs' Motion For Preliminary Injunction

The Court now has under submission the motions to dismiss of each of four defendants.

The motions in question were filed on February 7, 2013. 23

On March 25, 2013, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction and set it for hearing on today's date, April 29, 2013. At Defendants' request, however, the Court vacated the 25 hearing on the injunction motion to give the Court the opportunity to resolve the sufficiency of the 26 complaint as a predicate to determining the Plaintiffs' right to extraordinary relief. ECF No. 68. 27 Plaintiffs now ask the Court to schedule a hearing on their preliminary injunction motion on May 27, 2013. ECF No. 76 at 7. They ask the Court to hold a hearing then regardless of whether the Court grants or denies the Defendant's motions to dismiss, and regardless of whether there is an 2 operative complaint. Defendants ask that the hearing be set approximately 90 days after the Court 3 issues its rulings on the motions to dismiss. Id. at 8. 4
The Court cannot grant Plaintiffs' request, because the Court cannot consider a motion for preliminary injunction until an operative complaint has been identified. The operative complaint will 6 frame the issues to be resolved in the motion for preliminary injunction. See, e.g., Peace & Freedom 7 Party v. Bowen, 2:12-CV-00853-GEB, 2012 WL 1455248 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 26, 2012) (noting that 8 plaintiffs' argument for injunction did not assist them in showing likelihood of success on the 9 merits, since the argument was not contained in their complaint); Pamer v. California Dep't of 10 Corr., C 04-3252 SI PR, 2007 WL 2778913 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2007) aff'd sub nom. Pamer v. 11

Lucine, 310 F. App'x 155 (9th Cir. 2009) ("[i]njunctive relief is improper because the proposed TRO/preliminary injunction does not pertain to the issues as framed by the second amended complaint"). 14

On the other hand, the amount of time requested by the Defendants between the issuance of a ruling on the motions to dismiss and a hearing on the preliminary injunction is excessive. If 16 the Court denies the motions to dismiss, then Defendants will have known what Plaintiffs' 17 allegations are for several months. Even if the Court grants the motions with leave to amend, it is 18 reasonable to assume that bulk of the allegations will be the same.*fn1 19

Accordingly, the Court now orders as follows: If the motions to dismiss are denied, Plaintiffs may renotice the motion for preliminary injunction for any Thursday afternoon at 2:00 21 p.m. that is at least 35 days after the ruling on the motions to dismiss (consisting of 14 days to 22 oppose the motion, 7 days for a reply, and two weeks thereafter for hearing). If the motions are 23 granted with leave to amend, Plaintiffs must then refile their motion for preliminary injunction, 24 and briefing thereafter will proceed pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local 25

Rules, absent a stipulation or court order to the contrary. 26

II. Request for Stay of Discovery

Defendants request that the Court stay all discovery until the Court has ruled on their motions to dismiss. Plaintiffs oppose this request. 4

The Eastern District of California has accurately summarized the law pertaining to requests for a ...


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