United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
AFFORDABLE BIO FEEDSTOCK INC. and AFFORDABLE BIO FEEDSTOCK OF PORT CHARLOTTE, LLC, Plaintiffs,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.
B. SMITH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case comes before the Court without a hearing on Defendant
the United States of America's Unopposed Motion to Stay
Discovery (Doc. 46). Defendant argues that a stay of
discovery on its pending motion to dismiss is appropriate
because the Court's decision will eliminate the need for
any discovery or dictate what discovery will be required
(Id., at 2).
Court has the inherent power to control its docket and manage
its cases including by staying discovery. Perez v.
Miami-Dade Cty., 297 F.3d 1255, 1263 (11th Cir. 2002);
The Andersons, Inc. v. Enviro Granulation, LLC, No.
8:13-cv-3004-T-33MAP, 2014 WL 4059886, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug.
14, 2014). The Eleventh Circuit has “emphasized the
responsibility of trial courts to manage pretrial discovery
properly in order to avoid a massive waste of judicial and
private resources and a loss of society's confidence in
the courts' ability to administer justice.”
Perez, 297 F.3d at 1263 (internal quotation marks
omitted). “Granting a discovery stay until an impending
motion to dismiss is resolved is a proper exercise of that
responsibility.” Rivas v. The Bank of New York
Melon, 676 Fed.Appx. 926, 932 (11th Cir. 2017).
“there is no general rule that discovery be stayed
while a pending motion to dismiss is resolved."
Reilly v. Amy's Kitchen, Inc., No. 13-21525-CIV,
2013 WL 3929709, at *1 (S.D. Fla. July 31, 2013); Simpson
v. Specialty Retail Concepts, Inc., 121 F.R.D. 261, 263
(M.D. N.C. 1988) (“Such motions are not favored because
when discovery is delayed or prolonged it can create case
management problems which impede the Court's
responsibility to expedite discovery and cause unnecessary
litigation expenses and problems.”). Ordinarily in this
district “the pendency of a motion to dismiss or a
motion for summary judgment will not justify a unilateral
motion to stay discovery pending resolution of the
dispositive motion.” Middle District Discovery
(2015) at 5. “Such motions for stay are rarely
party seeking to stay discovery has the burden of showing
good cause and reasonableness. Holsapple v. Strong
Indus., No. 2:12-cv-355-UA-SPC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
128009, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 10, 2012); S.D. v. St.
Johns Cnty. Sch. Dist., No. 3:09-cv-250-J-20TEM, 2009
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97835, at * 4-5 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 1, 2009)
(citing to Feldman v. Flood, 176 F.R.D. 651, 652
(M.D. Fla. 1997)); McCabe v. Foley, 233 F.R.D. 683,
687 (M.D. Fla. 2006). In deciding whether there is good cause
and that a stay is reasonable the district court:
[M]ust balance the harm produced by a delay in discovery
against the possibility that the motion will be granted and
entirely eliminate the need for such discovery. This involves
weighing the likely costs and burdens of proceeding with
discovery. It may be helpful to take a preliminary peek at
the merits of the allegedly dispositive motion to see if on
its face there appears to be an immediate and clear
possibility that it will be granted.
Simpson, 121 F.R.D. at 263; see also Koock v.
Sugar & Felsenthal, LLP, No. 8:09-cv-609-T-17EAJ,
2009 WL 2579307, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 19, 2009) (“In
deciding whether to stay discovery pending resolution of a
motion to dismiss ... the court must take a
‘preliminary peek' at the merits of the dispositive
motion to see if it ‘appears to be clearly meritorious
and truly case dispositive.'”) (citing
McCabe, 233 F.R.D. at 685).
Court has reviewed Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint
(Doc. 27), the United States' Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
34), Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (Doc.
41) and Defendant's Reply to Opposition to Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 44). After considering the parties'
arguments, this Court is not persuaded that there is
“an immediate and clear possibility” that the
motion to dismiss will dispose of this case in whole or in
part. Consequently, good cause and reasonableness have not
been established and the motion for a stay is
parties believe discovery should be stayed until the Court
rules on the motion to dismiss then they are free to make
that agreement between themselves. However, they are reminded
that August 16, 2019 is the deadline for Plaintiffs'
expert witness disclosures; September 13, 2019 is the
deadline for Defendant's expert witness disclosures; all
discovery closes on December 13, 2019; and dispositive
motions are due by January 15, 2020 (Doc. 39 at 3). The
parties are also reminded that “[t]he deadlines
established in [the Case Management and Scheduling Order] are
purposeful and are not advisory” and that “the
Court generally denies motions to extend such deadlines or to
continue the proceedings.” (Doc. 39 at 7).
 The Court has recommended certain
practices and procedures that appear in the district's