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Ames v. Lindquist

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

January 31, 2018

MICHAEL AMES, Plaintiff,
v.
MARK LINDQUIST, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Mark Lindquist (“Lindquist”), Mark and Chelsea Lindquist, and Pierce County's (“County”) (collectively, “Defendants”) motion to stay pending appeal (Dkt. 55) and Plaintiff Michael Ames's (“Ames”) CR 54(b) and 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) motion on finality of order (Dkt. 61). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motions and the remainder of the file and hereby rules as follows:

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On February 1, 2016, Ames filed a complaint in Pierce County Superior Court for the State of Washington against Defendants asserting numerous causes of action. Dkt. 1-1. On February 6, 2016, Defendants removed the matter to this Court. Dkt. 1.

         On May 5, 2016, Ames filed an amended complaint. Dkt. 24. On May 19, 2016, Defendants moved to dismiss. Dkt. 24. The Court divided the motion into three parts and requested additional briefing. Dkt. 32. On October 6, 2016, The Court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part. Dkt. 35. The Court denied the motion on Ames's first amendment claims against the County. Id. On April 26, 2017, the Court granted the motion on Ames's due process claims and granted Ames leave to amend. Dkt. 41. On June 21, 2017, the Court granted the motion in part and denied it in part, dismissed Ames's state law indemnification claim with prejudice, and granted Ames leave to amend other state law claims. Dkt. 45.

         On June 30, 2017, Ames filed an amended complaint. Dkt. 46. On July 14, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Dkt. 49. On December 11, 2017, the Court granted the motion in part and dismissed Ames's due process claim with prejudice, denied the motion on all other remaining claims, and denied Lindquist absolute and qualified immunity. Dkt. 52.

         On December 26, 2017, Lindquist appealed the denial of immunity as a matter of right. Dkt. 53. Defendants also filed a motion to stay pending appeal. Dkt. 55. On January 3, 2018, Ames responded. Dkt. 59. On January 8, 2018, Defendants filed an amended reply. Dkt. 63.

         On January 3, 2018, Ames filed a cross-appeal and a motion requesting the entry of an order permitting him to appeal the Court's dismissal of the due process claim. Dkt. 61. On January 16, 2018, Defendants responded. Dkt. 66. On January 19, 2018, Ames replied. Dkt. 67.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Motion to Stay

         An official may immediately appeal the Court's denial of immunities based on legal questions. A. K. H by & through Landeros v. City of Tustin, 837 F.3d 1005, 1010 (9th Cir. 2016). This type of interlocutory appeal “divests the district court of jurisdiction to proceed with trial.” Chuman v. Wright, 960 F.2d 104, 105 (9th Cir. 1992) (citation omitted). The district court, however, is deprived of jurisidiciton only “over the particular issues involved in that appeal.” City of Los Angeles v. Santa Monica Baykeeper, 254 F.3d 882, 886 (9th Cir. 2001). In other words, the district court “still has jurisdiction over aspects of the case that are not the subject of the appeal.” Castro v. Melchor, 760 F.Supp.2d 970, 1003 (D. Hawaii 2010) (citations omitted).

         When considering a motion to stay other aspects of the case pending appeal, a district court must examine four factors: “(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 434 (2009) (citation omitted). In Nken, the Supreme Court noted that:

A stay is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result. It is instead an exercise of judicial discretion, and the propriety of its issue is dependent upon the circumstances of the particular case. The party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion. The fact that the issuance of a stay is left to the court's discretion does not mean that no legal standard governs that discretion . . . . A motion to a court's ...

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