United States District Court, D. Hawaii
CRAIG MOSKOWITZ, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN SAVINGS BANK, F. S . B ., Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STAY PENDING
DECISION OF D.C. CIRCUIT
S.C. Chang, United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is Defendant American Savings Bank, F.S.B.'s
("Defendant") Motion to Stay Pending Decision of
D.C. Circuit, filed July 19, 2017. On September 25, 2017,
Plaintiff Craig Moskowitz ("Plaintiff") filed an
Opposition. Defendant filed a Reply on October 2,
matter came on for hearing on October 25, 2017. Justin
Brackett, Esq., appeared, and Aytan Bellin, Esq., appeared by
phone, on behalf of Plaintiff. Kevin Herring, Esq., and
Michael Vieira, Esq., appeared, and John Doroghazi, Esq.,
appeared by phone, on behalf of Defendant. After careful
consideration of the parties' submissions, the applicable
law, and the arguments of counsel, the Court HEREBY GRANTS
the Motion for the reasons articulated below.
requests a stay of this action pending the issuance of the
D.C. Circuit's decision in ACA International v.
FCC, No. 15-1211, (D.C. Cir. filed Nov. 25, 2015), which
concerns the interpretation of automatic telephone dialing
systems ("ATDS"). Defendant argues that because the
decision will govern claims and issues before this Court, a
stay would promote economy and conserve resources. Plaintiff
counters that Defendant has not demonstrated a strong
likelihood of success on the merits; that Defendant would not
suffer hardship and inequity if this action proceeds without
a ruling from the D.C. Circuit; and he will suffer
substantial prejudice because a stay could cause a delay of
courts have "broad discretion to stay proceedings as an
incident to its power to control its own docket."
Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706-07 (1997)
(citation omitted); Landis v. North American Co.,
299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936) ("[T]he power to stay
proceedings is incidental to the power inherent in every
court to control the disposition of the causes on its docket
with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and
A trial court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for
its own docket and the fairest course for the parties to
enter a stay of an action before it, pending resolution of
independent proceedings which bear upon the case. This rule
applies whether the separate proceedings are judicial,
administrative, or arbitral in character, and does not
require that the issues in such proceedings are necessarily
controlling of the action before the court.
Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal., Ltd., 593 F.2d
857, 863-64 (9th Cir. 1979); Mediterranean Enters., Inc.
v. Ssangyong Corp., 708 F.2d 1458, 1465 (9th
Cir. 1983) (affirming district court decision to stay
proceedings pending outcome of arbitration as to certain
exercising its judgment, the court "must weigh competing
interests and maintain an even balance."
Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55; Malama Mauka v.
Rumsfeld, 136 F.Supp.2d 1155, 1165 (D. Haw. 2001)
("[T]he competing interests that will be affected by the
granting or refusing of a stay must be weighed."). These
competing interests include
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.
CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.
1962) (citing Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55);
Malama Mauka, 136 F.Supp.2d at 1165 (citing
Filtrol Corp. v. Kelleher, 467 F.2d 242, 244 (9th
Cir. 1972)) (some citations omitted). "If there is even
a fair possibility that the stay will work damage to someone
else, the stay may be inappropriate absent a showing by the
moving party of hardship or inequity." Dependable
Highway Express, Inc. v. Navigators Ins. Co.,
498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th Cir. 2007) (quotation omitted).
Courts should not grant stays "unless it appears likely
the other proceedings will be conducted within a reasonable
time in relation to the urgency of the claims presented to
the court." Leyva, 593 F.2d at 864.
initial matter, the Court notes that Plaintiff relies upon
the incorrect standard in opposing the Motion. This case
does not concern the stay of a judgment or an order pending
an appeal originating from this case. Applying the proper
standard stated above, and exercising its broad discretion to
stay proceedings as an incident to its power to control its
own docket, the Court GRANTS the Motion and stays the case
pending the issuance of the D.C. Circuit's
decision. The Court finds it reasonable to
impose a brief stay to await resolution of legal issues that
bear on the adjudication of the claims in this action.
Leyva, 593 F.2d 857 at 863. Although a stay will
slightly delay the disposition of this case, Plaintiff will
not suffer undue prejudice. Plaintiff speculates that the
stay could drag on indefinitely because the D.C. Circuit
decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Plaintiff's concerns about circumstances that have yet to
materialize do not support the denial of a stay. Defendant is
not asking for such a lengthy stay, nor would the Court be
inclined to allow it. The stay imposed here is limited to the
D.C. Circuit's decision. Any request for an extension of
the stay would be evaluated based on the attendant
circumstances and Plaintiff would have ample opportunity to
challenge the request.
economy will be served, and potentially unnecessary expenses
conserved, by a short stay. It makes little sense for the
parties and the Court to proceed with litigation while
applicable standards remain unsettled. Indeed, requiring the
parties to go forward will cause them "to spend time and
money conducting discovery on a critical issue of liability
without knowing what law will ultimately apply at summary
judgment or at trial-a fool's errand, to say the
least." Washington, 2017 WL 111913, at *2.
on the foregoing, this case is STAYED until the D.C. Circuit
issues its opinion in ACA International. EXCEPTED
from the stay is the Findings and Recommendation to Grant
in Part and Deny in Part Defendant American Savings Bank,
F.S.B.'s Motion for Rule 41(d) Costs and Stay of
Proceedings and any orders and proceedings related
thereto. Final resolution of Defendant's Motion for Rule
41(d) Costs and a Stay of Proceedings should not be stayed
because it ...