United States District Court, D. Hawaii
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY
DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
August 18, 2016, Plaintiff Chris Grindling, proceeding pro
se, filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis
(“IFP Application”), together with a First
Amended Complaint alleging Section 1983 claims against
correctional officers employed at an institution at which
Grindling was formerly incarcerated. On September 29, 2016,
the Court granted Grindling's IFP Application and
dismissed portions of his First Amended Complaint. Dkt. No.
11 (9/29/16 Order). Defendants presently seek a stay of this
matter pending resolution of state court proceedings raising
similar issues. Because Defendants have not established an
entitlement to a stay, the Motion is denied.
appear to seek a discretionary stay of Grindling's
Section 1983 claims because he raises similar allegations in
pending state court actions regarding the denial of food
while in state custody. As discussed more fully below,
because the Court cannot determine whether the relevant
factors weigh in favor of their request, and because
Defendants have the burden of demonstrating the need for a
discretionary stay, Defendants' request is denied.
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control disposition of the cases 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). “The exertion of
this power calls for the exercise of sound discretion.”
CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.
1962); see also Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706
(1997) (“The District Court has broad discretion to
stay proceedings as an incident to its power to control its
own docket.”); Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398
F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir. 2005) (“A district court has
discretionary power to stay proceedings in its own
stay is requested because of pending proceedings that bear on
the case, the Court may grant a stay in the interests of the
efficiency of its own docket and fairness to the parties.
See Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal. Ltd., 593
F.2d 857, 863 (9th Cir. 1979). The Ninth Circuit set out the
following framework for analyzing motions to stay pending
resolution of related matters:
Where it is proposed that a pending proceeding be stayed, the
competing interests which will be affected by the granting or
refusal to grant a stay must be weighed. Among those
competing interests are the possible damage which may result
from the granting of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a
party may suffer in being required to go forward, and the
orderly course of justice measured in terms of the
simplifying or complicating of issues, proof, and questions
of law which could be expected to result from a stay.
Lockyer, 398 F.3d at 1110 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting
CMAX, 300 F.2d at 268). See also
Dependable Highway Express v. Navigators Ins. Co., 498
F.3d 1059, 1066-67 (9th Cir. 2007) (In determining the
propriety of a stay, courts consider the possible effects of
judicial economy as well as the potential harm to the parties
and the public interest.)
party seeking to stay the proceedings carries “the
burden of establishing its need.” Clinton, 520
U.S. at 708 (citing Landis, 299 U.S. at 255);
see also Fed. Home Loan Mortg. Corp. v. Kama, No.
CIV. 14-00137 ACK, 2014 WL 4980967, at *3-4 (D. Haw. Oct. 3,
The Request To Stay Is Denied
Motion, sparse on details, seeks a stay of this matter
pending resolution of ongoing state court cases. Defendants,
however, have provided little information on the pending
state court matters. The Motion states only that Grindling
“has raised the same issue about adequate food in at
least two other cases currently pending in state court on
Maui: Chris Grindling v. Ted Sakai et al, Civil No:
13-1-0094(2) PTC and State of Hawaii v. Christopher
Grindling, CR No. 15-1-0968 (3) JPC.” Mem. In
Supp. at 2-3. Defendants do not explain how or to what extent
Grindling raises similar claims in the state criminal matter,
State of Hawaii v. Grindling, CR No.
15-1-0968 (3) JPC, or provide any details of the nature of
that pending proceeding. They do, however, attach as an
exhibit to their Motion, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of
Law issued by the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit, State
of Hawaii on March 3, 2015, which denied Grindling's
motion for preliminary injunction in Grindling v.
Sakai, Civil No: 13-1-0094(2) PTC. See Mem. In
Supp. Ex. B (3/3/15 Order), Dkt. No. 45-2. Based upon that
exhibit, the totality of Defendants' argument in support
of their request to stay the instant matter is as follows-
In Grindling v. Ted Sakai, after an extended
evidentiary hearing on Grindling's Motion for a
Preliminary Injunction, Judge Cahill made the following