Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burnett v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 8, 2017

TODD BURNETT, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. JOHNNY D. HUNT, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. BENJAMIN LEWIS, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. GIDGET SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. SAUL VERDIN, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. GERARD A. WALSH, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant. DERRICK WATTS, Plaintiff,
v.
OCWEN LOAN SERVICING, LLC, Defendant.

          Hon. John Z. Lee, Hon. Amy J. St. Eve, Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert, Hon. Maria Valdez Hon. John J. Tharp, Jr., Hon. Jorge L. Alonso

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge

         Presently before us is Defendant's motion to stay the proceedings in the above cases we have consolidated for pretrial purposes. (Def. Mot. (No. 17 C 3474, Dkt. No. 15) at 1.) The motion[1] seeks to stay the proceedings in these cases until the D.C. Circuit issues its ruling in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, No. 15-1211 (D.C. Cir., argued Oct. 19, 2016) (“ACA International”). Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to Defendants' motion to stay, and Defendant Ocwen Loan Servicing (“OLS”) filed a reply. (No. 17 C 3474, Dkt. Nos. 22, 31.) For the reasons stated below, we grant Defendant's motions to stay and vacate the previous rulings denying the motions to stay in Lewis, Verdin, and Walsh. The parties are hereby directed to promptly notify us after the D.C. Circuit has issued its ruling in ACA International, and shall file briefs within 21 days of the decision addressing the impact of the ruling on the claims in these cases.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant argues we should stay the claims in the consolidated cases against OLS because the D.C. Circuit's ruling will be “dispositive” of Plaintiffs' Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claims. (Def. Mot. at 2.) Namely, Defendant argues ACA International will address three of petitioners' arguments that are relevant to the cases before us: (1) the definition of an automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) under the TCPA, (2) formation of “prior express consent” with reassigned numbers, and (3) procedures for revocation of consent. (Id. at 1-2); see also 30 F.C.C.R. 7961, 7971-78, 7989-8012 (July 10, 2015); Joint Brief for Petitioners, ACA International, No. 15-1211, Dkt. No. 1585568 at 4.

         ACA International concerns an appeal of the Federal Communication Commission's (“FCC”) July 10, 2015 Declaratory Ruling interpreting the TCPA. 30 F.C.C.R. 7961 (July 10, 2015). The D.C. Circuit heard arguments on October 19, 2016 in a consolidated challenge by nine companies who sought judicial review of the Declaratory Ruling pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 500 et seq. (the Administrative Procedure Act), 28 U.S.C. §§ 2342-44, and 47 U.S.C. § 402. See Ankcorn v. Kohl's Corp., No. 15 C 1303, 2017 WL 395707, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 30, 2017) (summarizing the procedural history of ACA International).

         Before we consolidated the captioned seven cases, Defendant filed substantially identical motions to stay the cases individually, four of which the originally assigned judges either granted or denied. Lewis, No. 17 C 3478 (Dkt. No. 25) (denying motion to stay); Simpson, No. 17 C 3480 (Dkt. No. 19) (granting motion to stay); Verdin, No. 17 C 3482 (Dkt. No. 19) (denying motion to stay); Walsh, No. 17 C 3483 (Dkt. No. 20) (denying motion to stay). To allow for the seven cases to proceed on the same calendar, we now issue a consolidated ruling on the seven motions to stay and vacate the previous rulings denying the motions to stay in Lewis, Verdin, and Walsh.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that “courts have inherent power to stay proceedings and ‘to control the disposition of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.'” Stone v. I.N.S., 514 U.S. 386, 411, 115 S.Ct. 1537, 1552 (1995) (quoting Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254, 57 S.Ct. 163, 166 (1936)). Orders staying proceedings must both be “[]moderate” and within “reasonable limits.” Landis, 299 U.S. at 257, 57 S.Ct. at 167. In evaluating a motion to stay, courts consider whether the stay will: (1) “unduly prejudice or tactically disadvantage the non-moving party, ” (2) “simplify the issues in question and streamline the trial, ” and (3) “reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and on the court.” Genzyme Corp. v. Cobrek Pharm., Inc., No. 10 CV 00112, 2011 WL 686807, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 17, 2011); Tap Pharm. Prods., Inc. v. Atrix Labs., Inc., No. 03 C 7822, 2004 WL 422697, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 3, 2004). “The proponent of a stay bears the burden of establishing its need.” Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708, 117 S.Ct. 1636, 1651 (1997).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Plaintiff's Request for Judicial Notice

         As a preliminary matter, we first consider Plaintiff's request that we take judicial notice of the documents attached as Exhibits A and B to Plaintiff Burnett's response in opposition of the motion to stay. (Dkt. Nos. 22-2, 22-3, 22-4.) Exhibits A and B include minute entries in two cases, Verdin, No. 17 C 3482, a case consolidated before us, and Prouty v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 17 C 1106 (D. Co.). (Dkt. Nos. 22-3, 22-4.) Federal Rule of Evidence 201 allows a court to take judicial notice of any fact that is “not subject to reasonable dispute” because it is generally known in the court's jurisdiction or “can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot be reasonably questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b). Judicial notice of these documents is proper because the entries' existence is not in dispute and their accuracy can be easily confirmed by examining the court's docket. Stern v. Great W. Bank, 959 F.Supp. 478, 481 (N.D. Ill. 1997) (taking judicial notice of the court record of a related proceeding); Cagan v. Intervest Midwest Real Estate Corp., 774 F.Supp. 1089, 1093 (N.D. Ill. 1991) (finding judicial notice of a court order in another case proper). Further, Defendant has not expressed any challenge to the authenticity of these entries. However, we take judicial notice only for the limited purpose of recognizing the existence of these docket entries. See Montegna v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No. 17 C 939 AJB BLM, 2017 WL 4680168, at *3 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 18, 2017) (taking limited notice of Verdin document in similar proceeding against OLS).

         II. Motion to Stay

         We now turn to Defendant's motion to stay the proceedings in the seven cases at issue. Defendant suggests the interpretation of the issues before the D.C. Circuit in ACA International will be determinative of the claims in these cases, and that the outcome of ACA International could “narrow” or “extinguish” plaintiffs' claims. (Def. Mot. at 5-6.) Defendant thus argues a stay in these cases will allow ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.