United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
OPINION AND ORDER
King, Magistrate Judge
David J. Hale referred this matter to Magistrate Judge Lanny
King for resolution of all litigation planning issues, entry
of scheduling orders, consideration of amendments thereto,
and resolution of all non-dispositive matters, including
discovery issues. (Docket # 4). This matter is before the
Court on Defendants Tri City and Byrd's Motion for
Protective Order Staying Discovery. (Docket # 36).
and Procedural History
matter arises out of a suit, filed originally by Plaintiff
Clayton in Jefferson County Circuit Court, and later removed
to this Court. The suit alleges Defendants Tri City and Byrd
“unreasonably intruded upon [his] privacy and
seclusion” when they “divulge[ed] [his] private
financial and credit information to thirdparties . . . and
the public at large  by providing a copy of [his] Trans
Union report during [Byrd's] deposition and testifying
about the contents of the credit report on the record.”
(Docket # 7 at 3). He further alleges that Defendants
obtained and used the report without a permissible purpose
with a willful, or at least negligent, state of mind,
creating noncompliance with the FRCA, 15 U.S.C. §§
1681b, 1681n, and 1681o. (Id., at 4-5).
Hale entered an Order on January 17, 2019 granting in part
and denying in part, Defendants Tri City and Byrd's
Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint. (Docket # 13). Therein,
Judge Hale referred the matter to Judge King for a scheduling
conference and entry of a scheduling order, referencing
Docket # 4, his previous referral order. (Docket # 13).
King conducted a Scheduling Conference pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 16 and Judge Hale's Order.
(Docket # 20). In the Scheduling Order, Judge King set a
discovery timeline, with discovery set to close on November
15, 2019. (Id.).
4, 2019, Defendants Tri City and Byrd filed a Motion for
Summary Judgment (Docket # 23), to which Plaintiff Clayton
filed a Response in Opposition (Docket # 28) and Defendants
Tri City and Byrd Replied. (Docket # 30). That Motion has
been submitted to Judge Hale for his consideration.
August 1, 2019, the Defendant contacted the Court regarding
potential discovery disputes. Judge King conducted a
telephonic status conference on August 5, 2019 regarding
these disputes. (Docket # 29). In attendance were Zachary
Taylor for Plaintiff Christopher Clayton and Jason Todd
Hardin for Defendants Tri City Acceptance, Inc. and Betty
Byrd. Defendant Trans Union did not appear on the call.
During this telephonic status conference, Mr. Hardin
requested a stay of discovery pending resolution of the
pending Motion for Summary Judgment. Judge King denied that
oral Motion for Stay. (Docket # 33). Additionally, the
parties discussed issues with scheduling the deposition of
Defendant Byrd. (Id. at 2). The parties agreed to
take the deposition of Plaintiff Clayton on August 20, 2019,
and the deposition of Defendant Byrd on August 26, 2019.
August 23, 2019, Defendants Tri City and Byrd filed a Motion
for Protective Order Staying Discovery. (Docket # 36).
Defendants did so without first contacting the Court for a
status conference, as required by the Scheduling Order.
(Docket # 20 at 2). Defendants primarily assert that
discovery should be stayed pending resolution of their
pending motion for summary judgment. Defendants further
assert that Plaintiff made admissions during the deposition
that defeat his claims, making further discovery in the case
improper. (Id. at 6).
initial matter, the Court notes that Defendants have
previously moved to stay discovery, and that this Court has
rejected that request. (Docket # 33). Defendants' current
motion offers no new pertinent information that has not
previously been discussed. The only new information relates
to Defendants' Counsel's several allegations
regarding the behavior of Plaintiff's Counsel at the
Plaintiff's deposition. (Docket # 36). The Court makes no
findings regarding these allegations, as they are not
relevant to the issue at hand, specifically, the propriety of
halting discovery because of Defendant's filing of his
dispositive motion. Absent additional relevant information
that would change the calculation, the Court's opinion
remains unchanged. Defendants have filed their Motion for
Summary Judgment and assert that this filing is enough to
pause discovery for both parties. The filing of this Motion,
despite Defendants' desires, does not provide a
sufficient reason to halt discovery.
Court found in White v. Wal Mart Stores East, L.P.,
No. 5:18-cv-00034-TBR-LLK, 2018 WL 5083891, at *6 (W.D. Ky.
Oct. 18, 2018), it is well established that the scope of
discovery is within the sound discretion of the trial court.
Chrysler Corp. v. Fedders Corp.. 643 F.2d 1229, 1240
(6th Cir. 1981) (citing H. K. Porter Co., Inc. v.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 536 F.2d 1115 (6th Cir.
1976)). This includes whether discovery should be stayed
pending the resolution of a dispositive motion. Hahn v.
Star Bank, 190 F.3d 708, 719 (6th Cir. 1999); Ohio
Bell Tel. Co. v. Global NAPs Ohio, Inc., 2008 WL 641252,
at *1 (S.D. Ohio Mar. 4, 2008) (citing Chrysler Corp., 643
F.2d at 1229). Generally, the mere filing of a dispositive
motion is insufficient to support a stay of discovery.
Baker v. Swift Pork Co., 2015 WL 6964702, at *1
(W.D. Ky. 2015 Nov. 10, 2015); Boddie v. PNC Bank,
NA, 2012 WL 4088683, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 17, 2012)
(citing Gray v. First Winthrop Corp., 133 F.R.D. 39,
40 (N.D. Cal. 1990)). Courts in this district have ordered
stays on discovery where “claims may be dismissed
‘based on legal determinations that could not have been
altered by any further discovery,' or where
‘discovery would be futile' if the motion to
dismiss is granted.” Kentucky v. Marathon Petro.
Co. LP, No. 3:15-CV-354-DJH, 2018 WL 3130945, at *8
(W.D. Ky. June 26, 2018) (quoting Lani v. Schiller
Kessler & Gomez, PLLC, Civil Action No.
3:16CV-00819-GNS, 2017 WL 3092098, at *2 (W.D. Ky. Apr. 4,
2017) (citations omitted)). This Court has been more willing
to stay discovery pending resolution of a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss than pending resolution of a motion for
summary judgment. Cf. White v. Wal-Mart Stores East
L.P., No. 5:18-cv-00034-TBR-LLK, 2018 WL 5083891, at *6
(W.D. Ky. Oct. 18, 2018) (denying motion to stay discovery
pending resolution of motion for summary judgment); compare
Lani v. Schiller Kessler & Gomez, PLLC, Civil
Action No. 3:16CV-00819-GNS, 2017 WL 3092098, at *2 (W.D. Ky.
Apr. 4, 2017) (granting motion to stay discovery pending
ruling on Rule 12 motion to dismiss). Defendants' request
that this Court make a dispositive finding in a discovery
order. In this case, Defendants filed a pre-discovery motion
to dismiss which was granted in part and denied in part.
Defendants conducted the discovery necessary to support their
Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff should be allowed to
conduct discovery to support his claims pending resolution of
the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for Protective
Order Staying ...