United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
John Z. Lee, Hon. Amy J. St. Eve, Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert,
Hon. Maria Valdez Hon. John J. Tharp, Jr., Hon. Jorge L.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. ASPEN, District Judge
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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
Plaintiff's Request for Judicial Notice
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).
Motion to Stay
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