United States District Court, E.D. California
DALLAS J. MYERS, Plaintiff,
L. PULIDO, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY
DISCOVERY (ECF NO. 28) ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO SUBMIT OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST
ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES (ECF NO. 31) THIRTY-DAY
Dallas J. Myers is a state prisoner proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter
was referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(1)(B) and Local Rule 302.
March 8, 2017, Defendant Pulido filed a motion for summary
judgment on the ground that Plaintiff failed to exhaust
available administrative remedies before filing suit. (ECF
No. 27.) The same day, Defendant filed a motion to stay
merits-based discovery pending a decision on the motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 28.) Plaintiff has not filed a
response to either motion.
April 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of
time to submit an opposition to Defendant's motion for
summary judgment for the failure to exhaust administrative
remedies.. Defendant has not responded, but the Court finds
no response necessary.
Court shall now address Defendant's motion to stay
discovery, and Plaintiff's motion for an extension of
argues that merits-based discovery should be stayed in this
case pending a decision on the motion for summary judgment
for failure to exhaust available administrative remedies.
Defendant asserts in support that (1) the pending motion will
potentially dispose of the entire case; (2) the Court does
not require additional information to decide the pending
motion; and (3) the expenditure of resources required to
respond to merits-based discovery will be needless if the
Court grants Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
Defendant also submits a declaration of counsel in support
stating that Plaintiff served discovery on or about February
2, 2017 on Defendant which is not related to whether
available administrative remedies were exhausted, and
Defendant argues that using resources to respond to that
discovery at this time would not be efficient.
Court is vested with broad discretion to manage discovery.
Dichter-Mad Family Partners, LLP v. U.S., 709 F.3d
749, 751 (9th Cir. 2013) (per curiam); Hunt v. Cnty. of
Orange, 672 F.3d 606, 616 (9th Cir. 2012); Surfvivor
Media, Inc. v. Survivor Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th
Cir. 2005); Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751
(9th Cir. 2002). Pursuant to Rule 26(c)(1), the Court may,
for good cause, issue a protective order forbidding or
limiting discovery. The avoidance of undue burden or expense
is grounds for the issuance of a protective order,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), and a stay of discovery pending
resolution of potentially dispositive issues furthers the
goal of efficiency for the courts and the litigants,
Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th
Cir. 1988) (stay of discovery pending resolution of immunity
propriety of delaying discovery on the merits of the
plaintiff's claims pending resolution of an exhaustion
motion was explicitly recognized by the Ninth Circuit.
Albino v. Baca, 747 F.3d 1162, 1170-71 (9th Cir.
2014) (en banc), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 403 (2014);
see also Gibbs v. Carson, No. C-13-0860 THE (PR),
2014 WL 172187, at *2-3 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 15, 2014). The
failure to exhaust is an affirmative defense, and Defendants
are entitled to move for judgment on the issue.
Albino, 747 F.3d at 1166.
Court agrees with Defendant that judicial economy is best
served by staying merits-based discovery until after the
Court rules on the pending motion for summary judgment for
failure to exhaust available administrative remedies.
Plaintiff has not opposed the stay, and does not contradict
Defendant's representation that the currently-pending
discovery requests are unrelated to the exhaustion defense
raised here. Accordingly, merits-based discovery will be
stayed in this matter. Defendants will be ordered to respond
to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories, First Set of
Requests for Production, and First Set of Requests for
Admission served on or about February 2, 2017, within thirty
(30) days after the District Judge issues a ruling on
Defendant's motion for summary judgment for failure to
exhaust available administrative remedies.