United States District Court, D. Arizona
F. METCALF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
consideration is Movant's Unopposed Motion to Continue
Stay, filed February 12, 2019 (Doc. 28).
who is represented by counsel, seeks a continuation of a stay
of the briefing schedule pending the Ninth Circuit's
anticipated decision in United States v. Begay, No.
14-10080. The parties report that on January 10,
2019, the Ninth Circuit issued an order in Begay
deferring “submission pending the Supreme Court's
disposition of United States v. Davis, No. 18- 431.”
United States v. Begay, No. 14-10080, Dkt. 107.
Movant argues that the decisions in this case could be
dispositive of some of the issues in this case. Movant
represents that Respondent does not oppose the stay. Indeed,
Respondent has already filed a Report in Support of Continued
Stay (Doc. 27) asserting the same arguments.
Motion to Vacate (Doc. 1) was filed on April 25,
2017. Movant argues that his convictions under
18 U.S.C. § 924(c) and resulting 85 year sentences must
be vacated based on the reasoning and holding of Johnson
v. United States, 135 S.Ct. 2551 (2015), as construed by
Dimaya v. Lynch, 803 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir.
2015). A Response (Doc. 13) to the Motion to
Vacate was filed on July 12, 2017. Movant has requested
several extensions to reply (Docs. 14, 16) which were granted
(Docs. 15, 17). Movant has not yet replied in support of his
Motion to Vacate.
previously filed similar motions to stay (Docs. 18, 20, 22).
On August 14, 2018, the Court adopted the reports and
recommendations (Docs. 19, 21, 24) on those motions, stayed
the case, and directed status reports regarding the
continuance of the stay on the sooner of a decision in
Begay or February 8, 2019.
of Order - The Court's Order stayed this
case by granting Movant's various motions. No. explicit
term of the stay was adopted, and the terms requested in the
motions varied. Accordingly, in recognition of the already
protracted stay in these proceedings, and the potential that
it will likely continue for six months or more, the
undersigned adopts the parties' position that a further
order is required. The recommendation, however, will be to
clearly adopt a stay pending further order to obviate the
need for periodic motions, and instead require periodic
reports on the status of the stay.
Judge Authority - The grant of a motion to stay
may be deemed dispositive of a habeas petitioner's claims
because it arguably effectively precludes some of the relief
sought (e.g. the potential of immediate - or at least sooner
- release from custody). See S.E.C. v. CMKM Diamonds,
Inc., 729 F.3d 1248, 1260 (9th Cir. 2013) (denial of
stay that did not effectively deny any ultimate relief sought
was non-dispostive) and PowerShare, Inc. v. Syntel,
Inc., 597 F.3d 10, 14 (1st Cir. 2010) (ruling on a
motion to stay civil litigation pending arbitration is not
dispositive of either the case or any claim or defense within
it). But see Mitchell v. Valenzuela, 791 F.3d 1166,
1167 (9th Cir. 2015) (denial of stay to exhaust state
remedies effectively dispositive of claims); and Bastidas
v. Chappell, 791 F.3d 1155, 1157 (9th Cir. 2015) (same).
Dispositive matters may not be heard directly by a magistrate
judge in a case heard on referral, but must be addressed by
way of a report and recommendation. See 28 U.S.C.
the fact that Movant has requested the stay diminishes
concerns that the motion could be considered dispositive.
Nonetheless, in an abundance of caution, the undersigned
addresses the matter by way of this Report and
Law - Generally, this court has authority to
stay consideration of a case. A court's power to stay
proceedings pending the resolution of another 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.” Landis v. North American Co., 299
U.S. 248, 254 (1936). See also Rhines v. Weber, 544
U.S. 269, 276 (2005) (“District courts do ordinarily
have authority to issue stays, where such a stay would be a
proper exercise of discretion.”) (citing
Landis). “A district court has inherent power
to control the disposition of the causes on its docket in a
manner which will promote economy of time and effort for
itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” CMAX, Inc.
v. Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962)
the propriety of a requested stay is determined by the
weighing of “the competing interests which will be
affected by the granting or refusal to grant a stay.”
Lockyer v. Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1109 (9th
Cir. 2005). “Among these competing interests are 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.” CMAX, 300 F.2d at 268.
ordinarily, judicial economy is a legitimate consideration in
determining the need for a stay. For example, a “trial
court may, with propriety, find it is efficient for its own
docket, and the fairest course for the parties to enter a
stay of an action before it, pending resolution of
independent proceedings which bear upon the case.”
Leyva v. Certified Grocers of California, 593 F.2d
857, 863 (9th Cir. 1979).
in the context of habeas cases, “special
considerations” are implicated “that place unique
limits on a district court's authority to stay a case in
the interests of judicial economy.” See Yong v.
INS, 208 F.3d 1116, 1120 (9th Cir. 2000). This is
because a habeas proceeding is intended to be a swift remedy
to illegal confinement, and the statutes mandate that the
courts give habeas petitions special preference on their
Consequently, although a short stay may be appropriate in a
habeas case to await a determination in a parallel case in
the same court, or to allow a state to prepare for a retrial
of a successful petitioner, we have never authorized, in the
interests of judicial economy, an indefinite, potentially
lengthy stay in a habeas case.
Nor do we now. “The writ of habeas corpus, challenging
illegality of detention, is reduced to a sham if ... trial
courts do not act within a reasonable time.” A long
stay also threatens to create the perception that courts are
more concerned with efficient ...