United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
STAN BAKER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Judgement on the Pleadings, (doc. 4), Motion to Dismiss,
(doc. 7) and Motion to Stay, (doc. 6). For the reasons set
forth below, the Court GRANTS
Defendant's Motion to Stay.
regard to the timing of discovery, the Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit has recognized that
[i]f the district court dismisses a nonmeritorious claim
before discovery has begun, unnecessary costs to the
litigants and to the court system can be avoided. Conversely,
delaying ruling on a motion to dismiss such a claim until
after the parties complete discovery encourages abusive
discovery and, if the court ultimately dismisses the claim,
imposes unnecessary costs. For these reasons, any legally
unsupported claim that would unduly enlarge the scope of
discovery should be eliminated before the discovery stage, if
Chudasama v. Mazda Motor Corp., 123 F.3d 1353, 1368
(11th Cir. 1997) (footnotes omitted). For these reasons, this
Court, and other courts within the Eleventh Circuit,
routinely find good cause to stay the discovery period where
there is a pending motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Habib
v. Bank of Am. Corp., No.
1:10-cv-04079-SCJ-RGV, 2011 WL 2580971, at *6 n.4 (N.D.Ga.
Mar. 15, 2011) (citing Chudasama, 123 F.3d at 1368)
(“[T]here is good cause to stay discovery obligations
until the District Judge rules on [the defendant's]
motion to dismiss to avoid undue expense to both
parties.”); Berry v. Canady, No.
2:09-cv-765-FtM-29SPC, 2011 WL 806230, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Mar.
2, 2011) (quoting Moore v. Potter, 141 Fed.Appx.
803, 807 (11th Cir. 2005)) (“[N]either the parties nor
the court have any need for discovery before the court rules
on the motion [to dismiss].”).
case at hand, the Court finds that good cause exists to stay
this case until such time as a ruling is made on Defendant
Caswell's Motion and that no prejudice will accrue to the
parties if Defendant's request is granted. Specifically,
a ruling on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss before the
commencement of discovery may save the parties time and
resources by clarifying what issues the parties will need to
address in discovery.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all proceedings, including
discovery, are stayed pending a ruling by the Court on
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, at which time a discovery
schedule will be entered as to any claims that may remain.
This ruling does not affect Plaintiff's obligation to
file a response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.
motion to dismiss is dispositive in nature, meaning that the
granting of a motion to dismiss results in the dismissal of
individual claims or an entire action. Consequently, the
Court is reluctant to rule on the Motion to Dismiss without
receiving a response from the Plaintiff or ensuring that
Plaintiff is advised of the potential ramifications caused by
his failure to respond. Once a motion to dismiss is filed,
the opponent should be afforded a reasonable opportunity to
respond to or oppose such a motion. This Court must consider
that the Plaintiff in this case is a pro se
litigant. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). Additionally, when a defendant or defendants file a
motion to dismiss, the court must construe the complaint
liberally in favor of plaintiff, taking all facts alleged by
the plaintiff as true, even if doubtful in fact. Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 555 (2007).
granting of a motion to dismiss without affording the
plaintiff either notice or any opportunity to be heard is
disfavored. Tazoe v. Airbus S.A.S., 631 F.3d 1321,
1336-37 (11th Cir. 2011). A local rule, such as Local Rule
7.5 of this court,  should not in any way serve as a basis for
dismissing a pro se complaint where, as here, there
is nothing to indicate plaintiff ever was made aware of it
prior to dismissal. Pierce v. City of Miami, 176
Fed.Appx. 12, 14 (11th Cir. 2006).
Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to file any
response in opposition to the Defendant's motion for a
dismissal or to inform the court of his decision not to
oppose Defendant's motion within twenty-one (21) days of
the date of this Order. Tazoe, 631 F.3d at 1336
(advising that a court can not dismiss an action without
employing a fair procedure). Should Plaintiff not
timely respond to Defendant's motion, the Court will
determine that Plaintiff does not oppose to the motion and
will dismiss this action.
assure that Plaintiff's response is made with fair notice
of the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
regarding motions to dismiss, generally, and motions to
dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, the Clerk of Court is hereby instructed to attach a
copy Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 41 and 12 to the copy
of this Order that is served on the Plaintiff.