United States District Court, S.D. Florida
BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CAUSE is before the Court upon Plaintiff South
Broward Hospital District's (“Plaintiff”)
Motion to Stay Further Proceedings, ECF No. 
(“Motion”). The Court has considered the Motion,
the Defendant's position as set forth in the Parties'
Joint Notice Regarding Stay of Further Proceedings, ECF No.
, the record in the case and is otherwise duly advised.
For the reasons that follow, the Motion is denied.
moves the Court to stay further proceedings in this case
based on the procedural posture of a related action pending
before Judge Cooke, Bethesda Health, Inc., et al. v. Alex
M. Azar, II, No. 18-cv-63021-MGC
(“Bethesda”) to which Plaintiff is a party, and
pending a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit in Bethesda Health, Inc. v.
Azar, No. 19-5260 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 30, 2019)
(“Bethesda “D.C.”). The Court recently
granted Defendant's Unopposed Motion for Stay of
Deadlines in Scheduling Order, ECF No. , based upon the
Defendant's representation that it intended to file a
motion to dismiss the Complaint on a threshold issue of the
Court's subject matter jurisdiction. ECF No. . In the
Court's Order, it required the parties to advise the
Court no later than January 14, 2020 whether they agree to
stay the entire case pending a decision in Bethesda D.C. and
whether that decision may inform the parties' decisions
in the pending case. Id. On January 9, 2020,
Defendant filed its motion to dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction, ECF No. , and shortly thereafter,
the parties jointly submitted their notice, ECF No. 
(“Notice”). The Notice advised that the parties
are unable to agree to a stay of further proceedings in this
action and that they differ on whether a decision in Bethesda
D.C. will inform the parties' decision in the present
district court “has broad discretion to stay
proceedings as an incident to its power to control its own
docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706
(1997). A court may grant a stay to “promote judicial
economy, reduce confusion and prejudice, and prevent possible
inconsistent resolutions.” Axa Equitable Life Ins.
Co. v. Infinity Fin. Group, LLC, 608 F.Supp.2d 1330,
1346 (S.D. Fla. 2009). The basis upon which Plaintiff moves
to stay further proceedings is that the decision in Bethesda
D.C. will impact its decision on whether to pursue the
instant lawsuit. ECF No.  at ¶¶ 7-8. Plaintiff
adds that a stay would conserve judicial and private
resources and may avoid piecemeal and potentially
inconsistent adjudications of the jurisdiction issue.
Id. at ¶ 8. While granting a stay of
proceedings pending a decision in Bethesda and Bethesda D.C.
may impact the calculus of Plaintiff's litigation
choices, the Court is unable to reach the merits of
Plaintiff's Complaint if it does not have subject matter
jurisdiction over the case.
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, and they possess
only the power authorized by Congress or the Constitution.
See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Servs., Inc.,
545 U.S. 546, 552, 125 S.Ct. 2611, 2616-17 (2005);
Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S.
375, 377, 114 S.Ct. 1673, 1675 (1994). The validity of a
federal court's order depends upon that court having
subject-matter jurisdiction. Ins. Corp. of Ir. v.
Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinee, 456 U.S. 694, 701, 102
S.Ct. 2099, 2103 (1982). Absent a grant of subject-matter
jurisdiction from Congress, a court “is powerless to
act.” Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168
F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999); Wernick v. Mathews,
524 F.2d 543, 545 (5th Cir. 1975) (noting that absent
jurisdiction a court is “powerless to consider the
merits” of a case). “[B]ecause a federal court is
powerless to act beyond its statutory grant of subject matter
jurisdiction, a court must zealously insure that jurisdiction
exists over a case, and should itself raise the question of
subject matter jurisdiction at any point in the litigation
where a doubt about jurisdiction arises.” Smith v.
GTE Corp., 236 F.3d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 2001). Indeed,
“[w]hen a federal court acts outside its statutory
subject-matter jurisdiction, it violates the fundamental
constitutional precept of limited federal power.”
Univ. of S. Ala., 168 F.3d at 409 (citation
Defendant directly challenges the Court's subject matter
jurisdiction in its motion to dismiss. As such, that issue
must be resolved. Moreover, even if the Bethesda and Bethesda
D.C. actions are resolved in Plaintiffs favor, the threshold
issue of this Court's jurisdiction would remain.
it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Plaintiffs
Motion to Stay Further ...