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Linden v. X2 Biosystems, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 3, 2018

CHARLES LINDEN AND RONALD LANDER, Plaintiffs,
v.
X2 BIOSYSTEMS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order Staying Discovery on an Interim Basis Pending Decision on Motion for Stay of Discovery. Dkt. #57. Having considered the motion and the record and for the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendants' motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs filed this action for breach of contract and deprivation of wages on June 27, 2017. Dkt. #1. Defendants answered on August 11, 2017. Dkts. #15, 16, 17.[1] The Court issued an Order Setting Trial Date and Related Dates on August 25, 2017, and required that all discovery related motions be filed by March 22, 2018, and that discovery be completed by April 23, 2018.

         Dkt. #22. Defendants filed a Motion for Relief from Discovery Deadlines or for Stay of Discovery (“Motion for Stay”) concurrently with a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (“Motion for Judgment”) on March 29, 2018. Dkts. #51, 55. The Motion for Stay is noted for April 6, 2018, and the Motion for Judgment is noted for April 20, 2018. On April 2, 2018, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Temporary Restraining Order to Stay Discovery. Dkt. #57.

         Defendants seeks a TRO because they believe that the Court may not rule on their Motion for Stay before the expiration of the discovery deadline. Dkt. #57 at 2. Defendants explain that until the close of discovery, and “absent a stay of discovery, both sides will be producing documents, responding to written discovery, and taking and defending depositions.” Id. at 4. Defendants do not specify the pending discovery to be completed or the number or dates of depositions.

         Defendants apparently believe that their prior Motion for Stay may be largely moot as the Court will not have an opportunity to rule on the motion prior to the parties substantially completing discovery, but have not withdrawn that motion. Id. at 2, 4. Rather, Defendants have filed this Motion for Temporary Restraining Order to Stay Discovery, presumably in an attempt to obtain expedited consideration from the Court.

         III. DISCUSSION

         The standards for issuing a TRO are similar to those required for a preliminary injunction. Lockheed Missile & Space Co., Inc. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., 887 F.Supp. 1320, 1323 (N.D. Ca. 1995). The Ninth Circuit has described the standards for deciding whether to grant a motion for a preliminary injunction:

To obtain a preliminary injunction, the moving party must show either (1) a combination of probable success on the merits and the possibility of irreparable injury, or (2) that serious questions are raised and the balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor. These formulations are not different tests but represent two points on a sliding scale in which the degree of irreparable harm increases as the probability of success on the merits decreases. Under either formulation, the moving party must demonstrate a significant threat of irreparable injury, irrespective of the magnitude of the injury.

Big Country Foods, Inc. v. Bd. of Educ. of Anchorage Sch. Dist., 868 F.2d 1085, 1088 (9th Cir. 1989) (citations omitted). The speculative risk of a possible injury is not enough; the threatened harm must be imminent. Caribbean Marine Services Co., Inc. v. Baldrige, 844 F.2d 668, 674 (9th Cir. 1988); Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 65(b)(1)(A).

The Ninth Circuit has recently reiterated that courts analyzing TRO requests are guided by four questions: ‘(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.' Lair v. Bullock, 697 F.3d 1200, 1203 (9th Cir. 2012) (quoting Nken, 556 U.S. at 434). ‘The first two factors . . . are the most critical, ...

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