United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
DIANE ELAINE PERKINS, AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF REGINALD ALLEN PERKINS, DECEASED; AND REGINALD ALLEN PERKINS DECD., Plaintiffs,
STATE OF MISSOURI, et al., Defendants.
ORDER TEMPORARILY STAYING DISCOVERY AND RULE 16
ROSEANN A. KETCHMARK, JUDGE
the Court is Defendants' Joint Motion for Stay of
Discovery Deadlines and Related Rule 26 Activities. (Doc.
20.) Plaintiff's opposition to the motion to stay is not
due until February 5, 2019, but the Court's Rule 16 Order
requires the parties to conduct a Rule 26 conference by
January 28, 2019. After careful consideration,
Defendants' motion is GRANTED in part.
The Court TEMPORARILY STAYS discovery and
the requirements to conduct a Rule 26 conference and submit a
joint proposed scheduling order. Plaintiff will be given an
opportunity to file his suggestions in opposition to the stay
by February 5, 2019, at which point the Court will decide
whether the stay should remain in place pending a ruling on
the motions to dismiss.
Diane E. Perkins alleges her now-deceased son was wrongly
convicted of assault in 2009. (Doc. 1; Doc. 3.) She asserts
federal and state law claims, pro se, against 26 defendants,
including the State of Missouri; its current and former
governors; several current and former state judges; the
Jackson County, Missouri prosecutor; the City of Kansas City,
Missouri; its mayor and police department; and various other
political figures and police officers. Process has not been
served, but most of the Defendants in this case have appeared
and filed motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and
failure to state a claim. (Doc. 7; Doc. 8; Doc. 9; Doc. 10;
Doc. 11; Doc. 12; Doc. 15; Doc. 16.) Those motions assert
various theories for dismissal, including under Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994); Monell v. Dep't
of Soc. Servs. of the City of N.Y., 436 U.S.
658, (1978); the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; a Missouri
statute of limitations; and several forms of governmental
immunity. The Defendants who have appeared now seek
a stay of discovery and the requirements to conduct a Rule 26
conference and submit a joint proposed scheduling order.
Court may stay discovery for good cause shown and “has
broad discretion to control the scheduling of events in
matters on its docket.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1);
Jones v. Clinton, 72 F.3d 1354, 1361 (8th Cir.
1996). As explained by another court in this district:
A stay should be entered only where it is a proper exercise
of the court's discretion, and the proponent of the stay
bears the burden of establishing the need for a stay. In
determining whether to grant a motion to stay discovery
pending the outcome of a dispositive motion, a court
considers a variety of factors, including the movant's
likelihood of success on the underlying motion; whether the
movant will be irreparably harmed absent a stay; the breadth
of the pending discovery; the balance of harms in delaying
discovery against the possibility that the underlying motion
will dispose of the case; the public interest; and judicial
economy. . . . The filing of a motion to dismiss does not, by
itself, constitute good cause for staying discovery.
Blacktop, Inc. v. Edible Arrangements Int'l,
LLC, No. 4:14-cv-5-DGK, 2014 WL 12695690, at *1 (W.D.
Mo. Apr. 30, 2014) (citations omitted).
have shown good cause for a stay, given the particular
circumstances of this case. Upon review of Plaintiff's
allegations and the briefs in support of dismissal, the Court
believes the case is likely to be dismissed. Two other courts
in this district previously dismissed lawsuits filed by
Reginald A. Perkins with substantially similar allegations.
See Perkins v. Kan. City, Mo. Police Dep't, No.
4:11-cv-1313-BP, Doc. 10 (W.D. Mo. June 25, 2012) (dismissing
without prejudice under Heck); Perkins v. State
of Mo., No. 4:11-cv-1312-NKL, Doc. 14 (W.D. Mo. July 19,
2012) (dismissing under the habeas statute of limitations).
Furthermore, Defendants' defenses are likely to have
merit, particularly their governmental immunity defenses. The
cost of arranging a scheduling and discovery planning
conference alone for 26 governmental defendants is likely to
cause irreparable harm to the state and local governments-not
to mention the cost of proceeding with discovery on seemingly
meritless claims. On balance, a stay is not likely to harm
Plaintiff if any of her claims survive the motion-to-dismiss
stage because the regular course of scheduling and discovery
would then go forward.
the Court ORDERS as follows:
1) Defendants' motion to stay is GRANTED in
part. (Doc. 20.) The Court TEMPORARILY
STAYS discovery and the requirements to conduct the
Rule 26 conference scheduled for January 28, 2019, and submit
a joint proposed scheduling order.
2) Plaintiff may file his suggestions in opposition
Defendants' motion to stay by February 5, 2019, at which
point the Court will decide whether the stay should remain in