United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Nationstar Mortgage
LLC's Motion to Stay .
17, 2016, Plaintiff Juan Medina (“Medina”) filed
this action against Defendant Nationstar Mortgage LLC
(“Nationstar”) for willful violation of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. §
227 et seq. (). Medina's Complaint alleges
that Nationstar used an automatic telephone dialing system
(“ATDS”) or prerecorded or artificial voice
technology to call Medina approximately two-hundred (200)
times, in an attempt to collect a debt. (Id.
¶¶ 12, 17, 26, 28, 38). Medina's Complaint
alleges that all of these calls were made without his
“express consent, ” and that the calls continued
after he “expressly revoked any consent” and
demanded “to have his number removed from
[Nationstar's] system.” (Id. ¶¶
20-22). Medina seeks a jury trial and judgment against
Nationstar for violation of the TCPA for repeatedly placing
non-emergency telephone calls to Medina's cellular
telephone using an automatic telephone dialing system or
prerecorded or artificial voice technology without
Medina's prior express consent. (Id.
29, 2016, Nationstar filed its Answer . On September 27,
2016, the parties filed a Joint Preliminary Report and
Discovery Plan , which the Court approved  and set
December 27, 2016, as the close of discovery. On September 29,
2016, Nationstar moved to stay this case. Nationstar contends
that a stay is warranted because there is a pending appeal
that may “be dispositive or, at a minimum, highly
instructive” of Medina's claim under the TCPA.
( at 1). Medina opposes any stay, arguing that (i) the
appeal is not likely to result in a decision favorable to
Nationstar; (ii) any favorable decision would not be
dispositive of his TCPA claim; and (iii) a stay would be of
indefinite duration and thus “immoderate.”
December 14, 2016, the Court ordered that the discovery
period in this case be extended from December 27, 2016,
through and including February 15, 2017. ().
district court has “broad discretion to stay
proceedings as incident to its power to control its own
docket.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706
(1997) (citing Landis v. N. Am. 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 for
litigants.”)). Determining whether a stay is justified
requires an “exercise of judgment, which must weigh
competing interests and maintain an even balance.”
Id. at 254-55.
variety of circumstances may justify a district court stay
pending the resolution of a related case in another court. A
stay sometimes is authorized simply as a means of controlling
the district court's docket and of managing cases before
the district court.” Ortega Trujillo v. Conover
& Co. Commc'ns, 221 F.3d 1262, 1264 (11th Cir.
2000). “When a district court exercises its discretion
to stay a case pending the resolution of related proceedings
in another forum, the district court must limit properly the
scope of the stay. A stay must not be
‘immoderate.'” Id. Stays should not
merely “postpone the district court's inevitable
consideration of the claim, ” they should
“conserve judicial resources or aid in comprehensive
disposition of the litigation.” Amer. Mfrs. Mut.
Ins. Co. v. Edward D. Stone, Jr. & Assoc., 743 F.2d
1519, 1525 (11th Cir. 1984)).
deciding whether to grant a stay, courts generally consider
the following factors: (1) whether a stay would unduly
prejudice or present a tactical disadvantage to the
nonmovant; (2) whether a stay will simplify the issues in the
case; and (3) whether discovery is complete and a trial date
has been set.'” Collegiate Licensing Co. v. Am.
Cas. Co. of Reading, Pa., 842 F.Supp.2d 1360, 1369
(N.D.Ga. 2012) (citation omitted). “The proponent of a
stay bears the burden of establishing its need.”
S.E.C. v. CRE Capital Corp., No. 1:09-CV-0114-RWS,
2009 WL 1151739, at *2 (N.D.Ga. Apr. 27, 2009) (citation and
internal marks omitted).
filed its Motion to Stay, arguing that a stay is appropriate
because the outcome in the consolidated appeal before the
United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in
ACA Int'l v. FCC, No. 15-1211 (D.C. Cir.),
“will be dispositive or, at a minimum, highly
instructive” of Medina's sole TCPA claim.
(). In ACA International, the D.C.
Circuit will address, among other things, whether the
FCC's treatment of the term “capacity” in
defining ATDS is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of
discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law, ”
5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A), or whether the FCC
“articulated ‘a rational connection between the
facts found and the choice made.'” ADX
Commc'ns of Pensacola v. FCC, 794 F.3d 74, 79 (D.C.
argues that Nationstar's Motion “is built upon
speculation and hypothetical regarding what the D.C. Circuit
could or might do at some point in the
future.” ( at 2 (alteration in original)). Because
the D.C. Circuit's “review process will be
‘highly deferential' and the 2015 FCC Order will be
presumed valid, ” Medina argues that “it is
unlikely” that the D.C. Circuit's decision
“will impact this case.” ( at 18). Medina
next argues that, even if the D.C. Circuit were to change the
FCC's definition of an ATDS, the impact would be minimal
because Medina's Complaint alleges that Nationstar's
calls used “a pre-recorded voice as well as an
ATDS.” (Id. at 11); see also Vaccaro v.
CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 13-CV-174-IEG RBB, 2013 WL
3776927, at *1 (S.D. ...