United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER REGARDING JOINT DISCOVERY LETTER BRIEF Re: Dkt. No. 59
KANDIS A. WESTMORE, Magistrate Judge.
The parties in the above-captioned case filed a joint discovery letter brief in which they dispute whether discovery should be stayed pending resolution of Defendants' motion to dismiss, filed on April 28, 2014. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' request for a stay of discovery is DENIED.
The operative complaint in this putative class action contains a single cause of action for purported violations of California Penal Code section 637.6. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 43-47, Dkt. No. 29.) That statute provides:
(a) No person who, in the course of business, acquires or has access to personal information concerning an individual, including, but not limited to, the individual's residence address, employment address, or hours of employment, for the purpose of assisting private entities in the establishment or implementation of carpooling or ridesharing programs, shall disclose that information to any other person or use that information for any other purpose without the prior written consent of the individual.
(b) As used in this section, "carpooling or ridesharing programs" include, but shall not be limited to, the formation of carpools, vanpools, buspools, the provision of transit routes, rideshare research, and the development of other demand management strategies such as variable working hours and telecommuting.
(c) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1, 000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
Cal. Penal Code § 637.6.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, though Zimride,  a company that offers carpooling and ridesharing services, disclosed and continue to disclose personal information, to a third-party analytics company, Mixpanel, without consent. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 43, 46.)
On April 28, 2014, Defendants moved to dismiss the operative complaint. (Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, Dkt. No. 34.) They seek dismissal on the grounds that section 637.6 does not apply to Defendants' peer-to-peer ridesharing service; Plaintiff fails to adequately allege that Defendants disclosed his information without consent; and Plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged facts establishing his standing to sue for Defendants' alleged unlawful conduct. ( Id. at 6, 7, 8, 10 n.6.)
II. LEGAL STANDARD
The Ninth Circuit has recognized that a court may limit discovery "for good cause... and may continue to stay discovery when it is convinced that the plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief." Wood v. McEwen, 644 F.2d 797, 801 (9th Cir. 1981) (per curiam); B.R.S. Land Investors v. U.S., 596 F.2d 353, 356 (9th Cir. 1979) (same); see also Wenger v. Monroe, 282 F.3d 1068, 1077 (9th Cir. 2002) ("We have held, however, that [a] district court may... stay discovery when it is convinced that the plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief.'") (citation omitted, modifications in original).
Courts in this district have adopted a two-part test to determine whether a protective order staying discovery should issue pending resolution of a dispositive motion. See Pacific Lumber Co. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 220 F.R.D. 349, 351 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (Larson, J.); Hall v. Tilton, No. C 07-3233 RMW (PR), 2010 WL 539679, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 9, 2010) (staying discovery pending disposition of motion to dismiss in a pro se prisoner case).
First, a pending motion must be potentially dispositive of the entire case, or at least dispositive on the issue at which discovery is directed. Pacific Lumber Co., 220 F.R.D. at 351. Second, the court must determine whether the pending dispositive motion can be decided absent discovery. Id. at 352. "If the court answers these two questions in the affirmative, a protective order may issue. However, if either prong of this test is not established, discovery proceeds." Id. Moreover, "[d]enying a protective order is ...