United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief Judge United States District Court
Court has before Defendant's Motion to Stay (Dkt. 39).
For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant the
originally brought several claims against various defendants.
These claims stem from the allegation that Tuttle entered
into agreement to purchase a boat and trailer from Treasure
Valley Marine, Inc. (“TVM”) on February 5, 2014.
Under the agreement, TVM was to fabricate a custom jet boat
for $147, 241, which was to be financed by a loan from
Defendant KeyBank for the full amount. KeyBank distributed
the loan to TVM or Bohnenkamps Whitewater Customs, Inc.
(“BWC”), but the custom-built boat was not
delivered to Tuttle on the date agreed upon by Tuttle and
TVM. Tuttle further alleged that KeyBank had an agreement
with Christopher Bohnenkamp, TVM, and BWC wherein KeyBank
would pay those defendants a “kickback” when they
referred individuals to KeyBank to finance custom boats. He
also claimed that the loan distributed to TVM was not used to
fabricate the financed boat, but instead was invested in a
new Bohnenkamp enterprise, Niagara Jet Adventures LLC
these allegations, Tuttle asserted claims for (1) breach of
contract, (2) violation of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act
(“ICPA”), (3) fraud, (4) conspiracy to violate
the ICPA and defraud Tuttle, (5) aiding and abetting fraud
and vioaltions of the ICPA, (6) violation of the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Idaho
Racketeering Act (collectively “RICO Acts”) by
committing mail and wire fraud (“RICO claims”),
and (7) conspiracy to violate the RICO Acts. After a first
round of motions to dismiss, the Court dismissed the
Complaint, but gave Tuttle leave to amend. He filed his
Amended Complaint, and the defendants responded with another
set of motions to dismiss.
that same time, Bohnenkamp was indicted on several counts of
wire and bank fraud related to the facts of this case. That
case is also pending before this Court. Trial is set to
commence on May 8, 2017. Bohnenkamp is represented by the
same attorney in both this case and the criminal matter.
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power inherent
in every court to control the disposition of the causes on
its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for
counsel, and for litigants.” Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). To determine whether it
should exercise its discretion to stay a case, the district
court considers: (1) whether staying the action serves
judicial economy; and (2) the potential prejudice to the
parties. See, e.g., Single Chip Sys. Corp. v. Intermec IP
Corp., 495 F.Supp.2d 1052, 1057 (S.D.Cal.2007).
Defendant Bohnenkamp is scheduled to commence a 3-week
criminal trial defending more than 25 counts of wire and bank
fraud in approximately two months. A district court may stay
a civil proceeding pending the outcome of a parallel criminal
proceeding where the interests of justice require it.
Keating v. Office of Thrift Supervision¸45
F.3d 322, 324 (9th Cir. 1995). The decision whether to stay
the civil proceeding should be made in light of the
particular circumstances of the case. Id. Factors to
consider include: (1) the extent to which the defendant's
fifth amendment rights are implicated; (2) the interest of
the plaintiffs in proceeding expeditiously with this
litigation or any particular aspect of it, including
potential prejudice of a delay; (3) the burden which any
particular aspect of the proceedings may impose on
defendants; (4) the convenience of the court in the
management of its cases, and the efficient use of judicial
resources; (5) the interests of non-parties; and (6) the
public's interest. Id. (Internal citation
noted above, Bohnenkamp is scheduled to commence his criminal
trial in front of this Court in approximately two months. As
the sole owner of BWC and TVM, he faces potential Fifth
Amendment issues. Counsel - who represents Bohnenkamp in both
the civil and criminal matters - notes that complying with
the discovery schedule in this civil case directly exposes
him to potential liability in the criminal case. And the
interests of TVM, BWC and Niagara in full discovery may be
jeopardized when Bohnenekamp asserts his right to remain
silent and refuses to assist in the civil case.
the defendants' ability to defend themselves could be
impaired if Bohnenkamp invokes his Fifth Amendment privilege.
The burden on the plaintiff of staying the case for
approximately three months is outweighed by the defendants
being able to assert a full defense. Likewise, the burden on
defense counsel and the Court warrants a stay. Both defense
counsel and the Court can better address the criminal matter
without having to simultaneously address likely discovery
disputes that will come up because of Bohnenkamp's Fifth
Amendment rights. Trying to balance those potential discovery
disputes with Bohnenekamp's rights in the criminal matter
is not a good use of defense counsel's preparation time
or judicial resources.
the Court does not find that any interests of non-parties
would be negatively affected by staying this case for three
months. And the public's interest in seeing the criminal
matter proceed without delay or complication from this civil
matter is in the public's best interest. ...