United States District Court, W.D. Washington
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR STAY
L. ROBART United States District Judge.
the court is Defendants' motion to stay these proceeding
pending resolution of the appeal of the preliminary
injunction in Hawaii v. Trump, No. CV 17-00050 (D.
Haw.). (Mot. (Dkt. # 85)); see also Hawaii v. Trump,
No. 17-15589 (9th Cir.). The court has considered
Defendants' motion, Plaintiffs' opposition to the
motion (Resp. (Dkt. # 92)), Defendants' reply (Reply
(Dkt. # 93)), the relevant portions of the record, and the
applicable law. Being fully advised,  the court GRANTS
lawsuit arises out of President Donald J. Trump's recent
issuance of two Executive Orders on immigration: Executive
Order No. 13, 769 (“EO1”) and Executive Order No.
13, 780 (“EO2”). On January 30, 2017, Plaintiffs
filed a putative class action complaint challenging Section 3
of EO1. (Compl. (Dkt. # 1).) On March 6, 2017, President
Trump issued EO2, which expressly revoked EO1. See
EO2 ¶ 13. Following the President's issuance of EO2,
Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint incorporating new
allegations and claims with respect to EO2. (FAC (Dkt. #
52).) On March 10, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a
temporary restraining order (“TRO”) against
enforcement of certain provisions of EO2, including Section
2(c). (TRO Mot. (Dkt. # 53).) On March 15, 2017, the court
held a hearing on Plaintiffs' motion for a TRO. (Min.
Entry (Dkt. # 78).)
that day, in a separate suit, the federal district court in
Hawaii enjoined the enforcement of Sections 2 and 6 of EO2.
See Hawaii v. Trump, No. CV 17-00050 (D. Haw.), Dkt.
## 219-20. On March 17, 2017, this court stayed
Plaintiffs' motion for a TRO in part because the federal
district court in Hawaii entered a nationwide injunction that
provided Plaintiffs with the relief they sought. (3/17/17
Order (Dkt. # 79).) The court also noted that “the
Ninth Circuit's rulings on EO2 in Hawaii v.
Trump will likely have significant relevance to-and
potentially control-the court's subsequent ruling
here.” (Id. at 10.) Accordingly, the court
concluded that “granting a stay of Plaintiffs' TRO
motion while the nationwide injunction remains in place . . .
pending the outcome of appellate proceedings in [the Hawaii]
case would facilitate the orderly course of justice.”
now seek a stay-not just of Plaintiffs' motion for a
TRO-but of the entire case pending resolution of the appeal
in Hawaii v. Trump. (See Mot.) Plaintiffs
oppose a stay. (See Resp.) The court now considers
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); see
also Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936).
This power applies “especially in cases of
extraordinary public moment, ” when “a plaintiff
may be required to submit to delay not immoderate in extent
and not oppressive in its consequences if the public welfare
or convenience will thereby be promoted.”
Clinton, 520 U.S. at 707. In determining whether to
grant a motion to stay, “the competing interests which
will be affected by the granting or refusal to grant a stay
must be weighed.” Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398
F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing CMAX, Inc. v.
Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962)). Those
interests include: (1) “the possible damage which may
result from the granting of a stay, ” (2) “the
hardship or inequity which a party may suffer in being
required to go forward, ” and (3) “the orderly
course of justice measured in terms of the simplifying or
complicating of issues, proof, and questions of law which
could be expected to result from a stay.” Id.
Here, the court finds that these factors weigh in favor of
granting Defendants' motion pending resolution of the
appeal of the preliminary injunction in Hawaii v.
The Orderly Course of Justice
court begins with the last factor-the orderly course of
justice and judicial economy. District courts often stay
proceedings where resolution of an appeal in another matter
is likely to provide guidance to the court in deciding issues
before it. See Landis, 299 U.S. at 254. When
considering a stay pending the resolution of another action,
the court need not find that the two cases involve identical
issues; a finding that the issues are substantially similar
is sufficient to support a stay. See Landis, 299
U.S. at 254; see also Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal.,
Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863-64 (9th Cir. 1979) (stating that
the court's authority to stay one proceeding pending the
outcome in another “does not require that the issues in
such proceedings are necessarily controlling of the action
before the court”). Here, the appeal in Hawaii v.
Trump involves many issues that overlap with the present
litigation. Indeed, both cases involve constitutional and
statutory challenges to Sections 2 of EO2. (See FAC
¶ 98; id. at 45 (Prayer for Relief); Prop. TRO
(Dkt. # 53-1) at 2 (seeking an injunction of Section 2 of
EO2); Hawaii v. Trump, No. CV 17-00050 DKW-KSC, 2017
WL 1011673, at *17 (D. Haw. Mar. 15, 2017) (issuing a
nationwide TRO regarding Sections 2 and 6 of EO2).
argue that waiting for the Ninth Circuit's decision in
the Hawaii case will likely provide guidance to the
court in resolving discovery disputes relevant to
Plaintiffs' claims. (Mot. at 7-8.) First, Defendants
argue that Plaintiffs are seeking internal government records
that Defendants do not believe are relevant because under
Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 770 (1972),
Defendants need only demonstrate a “facially legitimate
and bona fide reason” for the Executive's exclusion
of aliens. (Mot. at 6.) Plaintiffs contend that the Ninth
Circuit has already resolved the issue of whether internal
government documents are relevant to Plaintiffs' claims
when it rejected application of the Mandel standard
in Washington v. Trump, 847 F.3d 1151, 1162 (9th
Cir. 2017). (Resp. at 3 n.4.) However, in the Hawaii
appeal, Defendants argue that the federal district court in
Hawaii misread the Ninth Circuit's stay ruling
in Washington. (See Mot. at 1 (citing
appellants' brief).) Plaintiffs disagree with this
position, but the salient point for purposes of
Defendants' stay motion is that resolution of the
Hawaii appeal is likely to provide guidance to this
court on that issue.
even if the Ninth Circuit determines in Hawaii that
Mandel does not provide the applicable standard and
that courts may look beyond the four corners of EO2, the
Ninth Circuit's decision is likely to provide guidance on
the scope of that review. Although the Ninth Circuit is not
considering discovery issues on appeal, it is likely to
decide legal issues that will impact the court's
resolution of the parties' discovery disputes here by
clarifying “the applicable law or relevant landscape of
facts that need to be developed.” See
Washington v. Trump, No. C17-0141JLR, 2017 WL 1050354,
at *5 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 17, 2017) (quoting Hawaii v.
Trump, No. CV 17-00050 DKW-KJM, 2017 WL 536826, at *5
(D. Haw. Feb. 9, 2017)).
addition, Defendants argue that the Ninth Circuit's
ruling in Hawaii v. Trump will assist the court in
other aspects of the litigation as well. (Mot. at 8.) For
example, Defendants have moved for dismissal under Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (see
MTD (Dkt. # 94)) and Plaintiffs have moved for class
certification (MFCC (Dkt. # 58)). For the same reasons that
the Ninth Circuit's decision in Hawaii would be
helpful in resolving Plaintiffs' TRO motion, see Ali
v. Trump, No. C17-0135JLR, 2017 WL 1057645, at *5 (W.D.
Wash. Mar. 17, 2017), the Ninth Circuit's decision is
also likely to be helpful to the court in resolving
Defendants' motion to dismiss and Plaintiffs' motion
for class certification. Further, failing to stay this case
could result in “inconsistent rulings” that would
need to be “disentangle[d]” later.
Washington, 2017 WL 1050354, at *5. For example, if
the court determined that discovery of internal government
documents is relevant to Plaintiffs' claims and
proportional to the needs of the case, see Fed. R.
Civ. P. 26(b)(1), but the Ninth Circuit's decision is
inconsistent with that ruling, then the parties would have
wasted resources on irrelevant discovery, and the court may
have wasted time and resources on ...