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Marine Power Holding LLC v. Malibu Boats LLC

United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana

December 15, 2014

MARINE POWER HOLDING, LLC
v.
MALIBU BOATS, LLC

SECTION "F"

ORDER AND REASONS

MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Before the Court is Malibu's motion to stay this case pending the resolution of three undecided motions in a case between the parties in the Eastern District of Tennessee. For the reasons that follow, the motion to stay is DENIED.

Background

The facts of this case are recounted in this Court's previous Order and Reasons dated November 5, 2014, and for the sake of brevity will not be repeated here.[1] In short, Malibu and Marine Power have three ongoing lawsuits against each other: two cases in Tennessee involving a purchase order and a third here involving a warranty on certain engines. There are three motions in the first lawsuit in Tennessee on which that court has yet to rule:

(1) Motion to enjoin Marine Power from maintaining a later-filed lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana, by Malibu Boats (filed 04/30/2014);

(2) Motion to dismiss for improper venue or in the alternative to transfer, by Marine Power (filed 05/16/2014);

(4) Motion to amend complaint, by Malibu Boats (filed 10/29/2014).

Although apparently pending for some time, none of these motions has a hearing date. Malibu moves to have this case stayed until those motions are ruled upon, believing that once they are resolved, the three cases will likely be consolidated either here or in the Eastern District of Tennessee.

I.

It is undisputed that "[a] district court has inherent power 'to control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.'" United States v. Colomb, 419 F.3d 292, 299 (5th Cir. 2005) (quoting Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936)). This inherent power includes "broad discretion to stay proceedings." Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 706–07 (1997). Nonetheless, because the authority to stay is "largely unreviewable, it must not be abused." Coastal (Bermuda) LTD. v. E.W. Saybolt & Co., Inc., 761 F.2d 198, 203 n.6 (5th Cir. 1985). Thus, in deciding whether to stay proceedings, a court "must weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance." Landis, 299 U.S. at 254–55. A court may consider (1) any hardship imposed on the moving party by proceeding with the action, (2) any prejudice to the non-moving party if the stay is granted, and (3) the interests of judicial economy. Strong ex rel. Tidewater, Inc. v. Taylor, No. 11–392, 2013 WL 81889, at *2 (E.D. La. Mar. 5, 2013); Collins v. Angiodynamics, Inc., 13–5431, 2013 WL 5781708, at *2 (E.D. La. Oct. 15, 2013).

II.

A.

"The suppliant for a stay must make out a clear case of hardship or inequity in being required to go forward, if there is even a fair possibility that the stay for which he prays will work damage to someone else." Wedgeworth v. Fibreboard Corp., 706 F.2d 541, 545 (5th Cir. 1983). Malibu contends that it will face hardship if this case is not stayed. Specifically, without a stay, Malibu would soon have to make Rules 26(f) ...


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