Stay for Specific Discovery Only

By James Juo.

In the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, filing a motion for protective order against specific discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) will automatically stay that specific discovery unless otherwise ordered. D.C.Colo.LCivR 30.2(a). But this does not apply to a motion seeking a blanket stay of all discovery pending resolution of a dispositive motion.

The district court has consistently interpreted this rule narrowly as concerning only a motion for protective order which is directed at specific discovery requests. See Kerr v. Boulder, No. 19-cv-01724-KLM, 2020 WL 6383224 (D. Colo. Oct. 30, 2020); Jot Labs, LLC v. OneBy Coffee, Inc., No. 1:21-cv-01364-RM-MEH, 2021 WL 4099574 (D. Colo. Sept. 8, 2021). Local Rule 30.2(a) does not mandate a stay when a motion seeking a blanket stay of discovery is filed. “Any other reading of the Local Rule would permit any party to unilaterally shut down discovery completely for an extended period simply by filing a motion for a blanket stay, whether in good faith or not, which is simply not contemplated by the spirit of the Local Rule.” Kerr, 2020 WL 6383224, at *2.

Separately, the District of Colorado recently proposed an amendment to Local Rule 30.2(a) which would codify this interpretation by expressly stating that “the filing of a motion to stay all discovery shall not effectuate a stay unless the motion is granted.” A compilation of this and all of the other proposed amendments to its local rules may be accessed at the Court’s website here. Public comments on any of the proposed rule changes may be submitted by email to [email protected] no later than Friday, October 8, 2021.