United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
C. Smith Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER
ELIZABETH A. PRESTON DEAVERS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court for consideration of
Defendants' Joint Motion to Stay Discovery. (ECF No. 24.)
For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion is
December 2016, Plaintiff, a citizen of Ohio, filed a
purported nationwide class action against Defendants. In his
2016 Complaint, Plaintiff claimed that Defendants violated
the Stored Communication Act when Defendant Nationwide
allegedly issued a “bad check” that was
subsequently refused by Defendant JP Morgan Chase. Allen
v. Nationwide Mut. Ins., No. 2:16-cv-1178, 2017 WL
1929970 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 10, 2017). On May 9, 2017, this Court
dismissed that case for failure to state a claim on which
relief may be granted. Allen v. Nationwide Mut.
Ins., No. 2:16-cv-1178, 2017 WL 1881456 (S.D. Ohio May
the Court's ruling, Plaintiff filed the instant case in
state court alleging an identical set of facts and purporting
to bring another nationwide class action against Defendants.
(ECF No. 9.) Plaintiff claims that Defendants are liable for
fraudulent conversion, unjust enrichment, breach of contract,
and breach of fiduciary duty arising from a one-day delay in
cashing Plaintiff's insurance check, during which time
Defendant JP Morgan Chase allegedly benefited from the
overnight federal funds rate to accrue interest on Defendant
Nationwide's check. (Id. at 3-4.)
27, 2017, Defendants removed this matter to federal court
pursuant to the provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act
of 2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(d)
and 1453, and further pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1332, 1441, and 1446. (ECF No. 1.) On September 5, 2017,
Defendants filed their Joint Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings. (ECF No. 23.) On the same day, Defendants also
filed their Joint Motion to Stay Discovery pending
disposition of the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. (ECF
No. 24.) Plaintiff did not file a Response to the instant
Standard of Review
reviewed Defendants' Motion to Stay and the pending
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, the Court is persuaded
that a temporary stay of discovery pending resolution of
Defendants; Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is
district court has “the inherent power to stay
proceedings based on its authority to manage its docket
efficiently.” Ferrell v. Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.,
Inc., No. 1:01-cv-447, 2005 WL 2709623, *1 (S.D. Ohio
Oct. 21, 2005) (citing In re Airline Pilots Ass'n. v.
Miller, 523 U.S. 866, 880 (1998)); see also Landis
v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936). The Court,
however, “‘must tread carefully in granting a
stay of proceedings since a party has a right to a
determination of its rights and liabilities without undue
delay.'” Id. (quoting Ohio Envtl.
Council v. U.S. Dist. Ct., 565 F.2d 393, 396 (6th Cir.
1977)). In deciding whether to grant a stay, courts commonly
consider factors such as: (1) the need for a stay; (2) the
stage of litigation; (3) whether the non-moving party will be
unduly prejudiced or tactically disadvantaged; (4) whether a
stay will simplify the issues; and (5) whether burden of
litigation will be reduced for both the parties and the
court. Grice Eng'g, Inc. v. JG Innovs., Inc.,
691 F.Supp.2d 915, 920 (W.D. Wis. 2010) (citations omitted).
The movant bears the burden of showing both a need for delay
and that “neither the other party nor the public will
suffer harm from entry of the order.” Ohio Envtl.
Council, 565 F.2d at 396.
Defendants point out, the pending Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings presents threshold legal questions. Defendants
posit that Plaintiff's common-law claims are preempted by
Ohio's Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”),
which, since its enactment, governs actions related to check
presentment and cashing. (ECF No. 23 at 4.) Defendants also
posit that all of the actions alleged in Plaintiff's
Complaint are authorized by, and conform to, the applicable
federal regulations governing the cashing of checks.
(Id.) Defendants further argue that, as a pro
se, litigant, Plaintiff is barred from bringing his
purported class action allegations. (Id.) According
to Defendants' arguments, resolution of Defendants'
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings will likely dispose of
the entire case. Adjudication of the Motion for Judgment on
the Pleadings prior to the parties' engaging in discovery
could, therefore, preserve both judicial and party resources.
Moreover, this case remains in its infancy. The Court has yet
to convene a Preliminary Pretrial Conference, and, thus, no
case schedule has been established in this matter. Finally,
the Court cannot discern how the short stay contemplated by
Defendants will unduly prejudice or tactically disadvantage
the Court finds that Defendants have carried their burden to
show that a limited stay of discovery is appropriate under
the circumstances presented in this case. The Court,
therefore, exercises its discretion to conclude that a
temporary stay pending resolution of Defendants' Joint
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings is warranted.