District Judge Robert W. Sweet


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Defendants moved to stay proceedings on plaintiffs’ remaining claim pending the outcome of defendants’ interlocutory appeal on the issue of their qualified immunity defense. Defendants had previously moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint, which was granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, the court declined to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims of excessive force, municipal liability for failure to train, and state law claims of assault and battery. The court granted defendants’ motion, finding a stay as to plaintiffs’ excessive force and state law claims warranted since a finding by the appellate court that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity would bar plaintiffs’ claims against the individual defendants. The court further ruled that defendants’ interlocutory appeal did not “sever” plaintiffs’ Monell claim against the city and thereby preserved the court’s jurisdiction over the claim pending appeal. Instead, the court held that one of the questions in defendants’ appeal was whether a constitutional violation occurred, since the appeals court could find that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity due to the lack of such a violation, which would therefore preclude plaintiffs’ Monell claim.