United States District Court, E.D. California
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STAY
A. MENDEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Plaintiff Scott Johnson's motion to stay
proceedings against Defendant Starbucks Corporation
(“Starbucks”) pending appeal of two related
cases: Johnson v. Blackhawk Centercal
Nehemiah Kong v. Mana Investment Company, LLC
(8:18-cv-01615-DOC-DFM)(“Mana”). Mot. to
Stay (“Mot.”), ECF No. 12, 12-4, 12-5. Defendant
opposed Plaintiff's motion and Plaintiff filed a reply.
Opp'n, ECF No. 13; Reply, ECF No. 14. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's
November 2018, Plaintiff sued Starbucks seeking damages and
injunctive relief under the American with Disabilities Act
42 U.S.C. § 12101 and the Unruh Civil Rights Act,
California Civil Code §§ 51-53; penalties under the
Unruh Act; and attorneys' fees and costs. Compl. at
8:1-13, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges he encountered two
unlawful barriers to access at the Starbucks located at 6711
Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks, California. Compl. at
¶¶ 2-7, 12.
alleges two violations of the 2010 ADA Standards for
Accessible Design, a transaction counter claim, and a
merchandise basket claim. First, Plaintiff argues
Defendant's transaction counter violated the ADA
standards because the counter was crowded with merchandise
and displays, and therefore noncompliant with the
clear-counter-width requirement under §§ 904.4 and
904.4.1. Id. at ¶¶ 16, 17, 29-30.
Plaintiff also contends a merchandise basket on the floor
blocked his counter access, in violation of the required
amount clear floor space under § 305.3. Id. at
¶¶ 18, 31-32.
argues a stay would lead to an efficient resolution of his
claims because the cases pending before the Ninth Circuit
“involve the same statutory and regulatory
challenges” as this case. Mot. at 3:25-36. And because
“there [are] no factual dispute[s], ” resolution
of the cases on appeal would resolve his current transaction
counter claim. Id. Plaintiff argues there is
“no new factual information to be uncovered” and
there would be “no gain in litigation speed” if
his suit continued to judgment without a stay, as the parties
have been “unable to resolve the cases piecemeal”
and “any result reached in this case would ultimately
be appealed by one side or the other” pending
resolution of Centercal and Mana. Id. at 10-12,
Reply at 2:16-18, ECF No. 14. Plaintiff also argues the
issues can be bifurcated by a partial stay. Reply at 3:14-17.
argues a stay would unduly postpone resolution as
Plaintiff's second claim, the merchandise basket claim,
is not addressed by the cases pending appeal. Defendant also
argues a stay would be unfairly prejudicial and cause
needless delay as Defendant may need to wait years for the
resolution of the counter issue before conducting discovery
and moving for summary judgment on the merchandise basket
claim. Opp'n at 3:13-17, ECF No. 13. Finally, Defendant
argues a partial stay may result in double recovery for
Plaintiff. Id. at 3:20-15, 4:1-5.
court's decision to grant a stay is discretionary,
“dependent upon the circumstances of the particular
case.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 432
(2009). The movant bears the burden of showing the
circumstances justify a stay. Id. at 433-34;
see Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708
(1997). A court may stay proceedings incidental to its power
“to control the disposition of the causes on its docket
with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and
for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S.
248, 254 (1936).
determine if a stay should be granted, the court weighs
“the competing interests of the parties, considering:
(1) the possible damage that may result from the grant of a
stay, (2) the hardship or inequity a party may suffer in
being required to go forward with the case, and (3) the
orderly course of justice.” Wallis v. Centennial
Ins. Co., No. 2:08-cv-02558 WBS, 2012 WL 292982, at *2
(E.D. Cal. Jan. 31, 2012) (citing CMAX, Inc. v.
Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962)).
judicial economy is a factor, the decision to issue a stay
“does not hinge” on case management concerns
alone. ASUSTek Comput. Inc. v. Ricoh Co., No.
07-cv-01942 MHP, 2007 WL 4190689, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 21,
2007) (citing Landis, 299 U.S. at 255). Moreover, if there is
“‘even a fair possibility' of harm to the
opposing party, the moving party ‘must make out a clear
case of hardship or inequity in being required to move
forward.'” Edwards v. Oportun, Inc., 193
F.Supp.3d 1096, 1101 (N.D. Cal. 2016) (quoting Landis, 299
U.S. at 255.)
neither party argues damage would result from a stay, the
Court only examines hardship to the parties and the ...