United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION, INC.
CITY OF BATON ROUGE/PARISH OF EAST BATON ROUGE, THROUGH THE CITY OF BATON ROUGE DIVISION OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SERVICES
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR., UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Stay Proceedings (R.
Doc. 15) filed on June 8, 2017. The motion is opposed. (R.
April 10, 2017, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
(“Plaintiff”) commenced this action by filing a
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, naming as
defendant the City of Baton Rouge/Parish of East Baton Rouge,
through the City of Baton Rouge Division of Human Development
and Services (“Defendant”). (R. Doc. 1).
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on May 2, 2017. (R. Doc.
asserts that Defendant violated federal law by refusing to
renew a Contract with Plaintiff that was funded through the
Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Act, 42 U.S.C. §
300ff, et seq., in light of Plaintiff's refusal
to provide Defendant with documentation regarding a separate
federal drug discounting program, Section 340B of the Public
Health Services Act, 42 U.S.C. § 256b. Plaintiff asserts
the following claims: (1) Defendant lacks the authority under
42 U.S.C. § 256b to decertify Plaintiff as a covered
entity under the 340B Program; (2) Defendant lacks the
authority under 42 U.S.C. § 256b to demand documentation
from Plaintiff regarding the 340B Program; (3)
Defendant's non-renewel of the contract was arbitrary,
capricious, and in violation of 45 C.F.R. § 75.328(a);
(4) Defendant breached its Request for Proposal
(“RFP”) and the Contract; and (5) Defendant
violated the Louisiana Public Bid Law, La. R.S.
38:2211(a)(10). (R. Doc. 10 at 14-20). Plaintiff seeks
declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and damages. (R. Doc.
10 at 20-24).
22, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss under Rule
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. (R. Doc. 11). Defendant asserts that Counts 1-3
must be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) because Plaintiff
does not have a private right of action for those federal
claims. (R. Doc. 11-1 at 3-6). Defendant further asserts that
because Plaintiff's request for relief under federal law
are without merit, the Court must dismiss the remaining state
court claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(1). (R. Doc. 11-1 at 6-7).
8, 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Stay
Proceedings. (R. Doc. 15).
29, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Opposition to the instant
Motion. (R. Doc. 23).
3, 2017, after obtaining an extension to file a response to
the motion to dismiss (R. Docs. 13, 14), Plaintiff filed an
Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (R. Doc.
29). Plaintiff concedes that it does not have a right of
action to proceed under 42 U.S.C. § 256b, but argues
that it has a private right of action under the federal
procurement regulations. (R. Doc. 29 at 2-4). Plaintiff
further argues that with regard to the “remaining state
law claims, ” the Court can exercise diversity
jurisdiction over the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1332 and/or federal question jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331 in light of the Supreme Court's
decision Grable & Sons Metal Products, Inc. v. Darue
Eng'rg and Mfrg., 545 U.S. 308 (2005). (R. Doc. 29
Law and Analysis
26(c) allows the Court to issue a protective order after a
showing of good cause “to protect a party or person
from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). Rule 26(c)'s
“good cause” requirement indicates that the party
seeking a protective order has the burden “to show the
necessity of its issuance, which contemplates a particular
and specific demonstration of fact as distinguished from
stereotyped and conclusory statements.” In re Terra
Int'l, Inc., 134 F.3d 302, 306 (5th Cir. 1998)
(quoting United States v. Garrett, 571 F.2d 1323,
1326 n. 3 (5th Cir. 1978)). “A trial court has broad
discretion and inherent power to stay discovery until
preliminary questions that may dispose of the case are
determined.” Petrus v. Bowen, 833 F.2d 581,
583 (5th Cir. 1987); see also Landry v. Air Line Pilots
Ass'n Int'l AFL-CIO, 901 F.2d 404, 436 n.114
(5th Cir. 1990) (“Trial courts possess broad discretion
to supervise discovery.”) (citation omitted).
support of its motion to stay the proceedings, Defendant
asserts that in light of its arguments raised in support of
dismissal, “[t]he parties in this matter should not
proceed in this case to develop the relevant facts and issues
without a decision on whether this Court has the authority to
adjudicate the claim.” (R. Doc. 15-1 at 3). Defendant
further asserts that “[d]efending the declaratory
relief sought by the plaintiff will require a substantial
amount of legal analysis and investigation of complex federal
laws” and “Defendant should be protected from
such burden and expense until a final decision is
rendered” on its motion to dismiss. (R. Doc. 15-1 at
has not provided any particular and specific facts
demonstrating that discovery in this action while its motion
to dismiss is pending would result in annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.
Defendants' arguments regarding the need to stay
discovery in his action are the type of stereotyped and
conclusory statements that do not merit the issuance of a
protective order staying discovery, particularly when the
pending motion is only directed at part of the claims. While
its motion to dismiss raises relatively complex issues of
federal law, it is unclear how propounding and responding to
discovery would require much further complex legal analysis.
considered the record as a whole, the Court's general
interests in control of its docket and the fair and speedy
administration of justice, as well as the current practice in
this district, the Court concludes that Defendant has not met
its burden of establishing that a stay of ...