United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
W. Christel United States Magistrate Judge
District Court has referred this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action
to United States Magistrate Judge David W. Christel.
Currently pending in this action are Plaintiff Steven Darby
McDonald's "Request for Delay in the Case in Order
to File an Amendment to the Civil Suit Including Newly
Exhausted Medical Issues" ("Motion to Stay"),
"Request to Resume Discovery" ("Motion for
Discovery"), "Request to Expand Mandatory Discovery
Order to Encompass the Defendants Protected Health
Information" ("Motion to Amend"), and
"Request for Defendants and Their Agents to Show Cause
Why They are Prohibiting him From Exhausting All Possible
Administrative Remedies to Resolve Issues" ("Motion
to Show Cause"). Dkt. 32, 33, 38, 43.After
consideration of the pending Motions, the Court denies the
Motion to Stay (Dkt. 32), denies as moot the Motion for
Discovery (Dkt. 33), denies the Motion to Amend (Dkt. 38),
and denies the Motion to Show Cause (Dkt. 43).
Motion to Stay (Dkt. 32)
August 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed the Motion to Stay,
requesting the Court stay this case for thirty days while he
prepares an amendment to his Complaint. Dkt. 32. "A
district court has discretionary power to stay proceedings in
its own court under Landis v. North American Co."
Lockyer v. Mir ant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th Cir.
2005) (citing Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S.
248, 254 (1936)). "The power to stay a case 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.'" Halliwell v. A-TSols., 2014 WL
4472724, at *7 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2014)
(quotingLandis, 299 U.S. at 254).
determine if a stay is appropriate, the Court should weigh
the "competing interests which will be effected by the
granting or refusal to grant a stay, " including
"the possible damage which may result from the granting
of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer
in being required to go forward, and 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." See Lockyer,
398 F.3d at 1110 (quoting CMAX, Inc. v. Hall, 300
F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962)).
Plaintiff states he would like the case stayed for thirty
days so he can prepare and file an amendment to his
Complaint, adding newly exhausted claims. Dkt. 32. The Court
finds Plaintiff has not shown he will suffer hardships or
inequities if this case proceeds. There is also no evidence a
stay will simplify this case. Further, it is unclear
Plaintiff would be allowed to amend his Complaint at this
time. As Plaintiff has not shown a stay is appropriate, the
Motion to Stay (Dkt. 32) is denied.
Plaintiff wishes to add new claims to the Complaint, he must
file a motion to amend the Complaint and attach a proposed
amended complaint. The Court notes, if the motion to amend is
granted, the amended complaint will replace the Complaint; it
will not supplement the Complaint.
Motion for Discovery (Dkt. 33)
August 7, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Discovery asking
the Court to resume discovery, which was stayed while the
parties attempted to mediate this case. Dkt. 33. The Court
entered a Mandatory Pretrial Discovery and Scheduling Order
Pursuant to Amended General Order 09-16 ("Pretrial
Scheduling Order") on August 8, 2017, setting discovery
deadlines. Dkt. 35. The discovery period is open and
Plaintiff may proceed with discovery in compliance with the
Pretrial Scheduling Order, the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, and the Court's Local Rules. Therefore, the
Motion for Discovery (Dkt. 33) is denied as moot.
Motion to Amend (Dkt. 38)
filed the Motion to Amend on August 20, 2017, wherein he
requests the Court expand the Pretrial Scheduling Order to
include a requirement that Defendants disclose their
protected health information within the scope of Federal
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4), a scheduling
order may be modified for good cause and with the judge's
consent. Here, Plaintiff fails to show good cause for
modifying the Pretrial Scheduling Order. Plaintiff alleges
Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs and retaliated against him because of the
content on his website. See Dkt. 4, 38. Plaintiff
contends he needs Defendants' private health information
to prove the statements on his website are true. See
Dkt. 38, 44. Plaintiff, however, fails to show how proving
the statements on his website are true correlate with proving
Defendants retaliated against him. As such, Plaintiff has not
shown the discovery disclosures he requests are relevant to
this lawsuit and, thus, has not shown good cause for amending
the Pretrial Scheduling Order. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(b)(1) ("Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
extent Plaintiff is attempting to have the Court conduct
discovery for him, the Court reminds Plaintiff that he may
not serve discovery requests through the Court. See
Local Rule 5 ("discovery requests and responses must not
be filed until they are used in the proceedings or the court
orders filing"); Dkt. 34. If Plaintiff wishes to conduct
discovery, he must mail discovery requests to Defendants'
the Court finds Plaintiff has failed to show good cause for
amending the Pretrial Scheduling Order to require initial
disclosures regarding Defendants' protected health