United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division
JAMES W. MYART, JR., Plaintiff,
FROST BANK, PAT FROST, PRESIDENT; PHILIP GREEN, CEO; JAMES WATERS, PRESIDENT; JORGE GUTIERREZ, TREY BANACK, JASON LISERIO, ANDREA KNIGHT, ATTORNEYS JOHN DOE 1-10, JEFF CARRANZA, Defendants.
ELIZABETH S. ("BETSY") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES
the Court is the above-styled cause of action, which was
removed to this Court on June 26, 2019 and referred to the
undersigned for all pretrial proceedings on July 1, 2019
[#6]. In addition to this lawsuit, Plaintiff has two other
lawsuits pending in the San Antonio Division of this District
(5:19-CV-507-OLG and 5:19-CV-702-OLG). The Court set all
three cases for status conferences to facilitate the
Court's resolution of the pending motions and to
streamline the issues in these cases. On August 7, 2019,
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, and counsel for
Defendants appeared before the Court for the status
conference. The Court now confirms certain oral rulings
issued at the conference.
have moved to dissolve the two temporary restraining orders
(TROs) issued by the state court prior to removal [#5, #10].
Although Defendants dispute that the orders issued by the
state court were, in fact, valid TROs, all of the parties
agreed on the record that these orders, issued on June 21,
2019 and June 24, 2019, automatically expired under the
14-day limit for TROs imposed by the Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 680. Accordingly, the
Court will dismiss the motions to dissolve as moot. The Court
will also grant Defendants' motion to supplement their
Notice of Removal [#8] with a state-court order that was
inadvertently excluded from the record, and notes Plaintiff
did not object to the Court granting this motion.
status conference, the Court also addressed Plaintiff's
most recent filing, which was filed in all three cases. The
filing is styled as a “Sworn Motion for Hearing on Rule
65 Request for Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent
Injunction and Second Motion for Contempt and Motion for
Ninety (90) Day Stay of All Proceedings and Motion for
Extension of State Court Restraining Order Converted to a
FRCP Rule 65 Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary
Injunction” [#12]. Plaintiff also recently filed a
“Motion to Disqualify Attorneys and Law Firm and
Request to Refer Matter to the State Bar of Texas
Disciplinary Counsel and Motion for Contempt and Sanctions
and Request for Emergency Hearing” [#11]. Together,
these motions ask the Court to set a hearing to determine
whether Defendants and their counsel should be held in
contempt for failure to comply with the two TROs issued by
the state court prior to removal. Plaintiff also requests a
90-day stay of all proceedings due to his medical issues to
allow him time to retain an attorney and adequately respond
to the pending motions in this case [#2, #3, #5, #8, #10].
Plaintiff submitted a note with his motion signed by Dr.
Caridad Rebollar, MD, which states that Plaintiff was
admitted to Mission Trail Baptist Hospital on July 25, 2019
for the management of diabetes, hypertension, and other
conditions. In his note, the doctor also included her opinion
that Plaintiff should have 90 days to manage and improve his
medical condition and concentrate on his health.
(Doctor's Note [#12] at 24.)
Court stated orally at the conference, the request for a
90-day stay is denied. Although the record reflects that
Plaintiff is experiencing significant health issues, it also
reflects that he has continued to engage in litigation
activities in this and other cases during the last few
months, and thus, his request for a stay must be balanced
against the prejudice to Defendants in delaying a ruling on
their dispositive motion for another three months. The record
does not indicate that Plaintiff is currently hospitalized or
completely incapacitated. In fact, Plaintiff conceded that he
has not been continuously incapacitated or hospitalized, but
he maintains that his health conditions have been serious and
have prevented him from responding by the deadline or timely
requesting for an extension. Yet, despite this assertion, the
record this case indicates that during the past few months
Plaintiff has filed a new lawsuit, filed amended pleadings,
obtained temporary restraining orders, and moved for
contempt. Under these circumstances, Plaintiff is not
entitled to a 90-day stay of all proceedings. However, in
light of Plaintiff's health issues and because this is
Plaintiff's first request for an extension of time to
respond in this case, the Court will allow Plaintiff 14 more
days to respond to Defendants' motions to dismiss and to
strike [#2, #3], the full period of time he would be entitled
to under the Court's Local Rules if Defendants had filed
their motions today.
the Court will not grant the full 90-day stay requested by
Plaintiff, the Court, pursuant to its case management
authority under the Federal Rules, will stay all proceedings
in the case pending the issuance of the undersigned's
Report and Recommendation so that the predicate issues can be
addressed and the parties' resources can be conserved.
See Dietz v. Bouldin, 136 S.Ct. 1885, 1892 (2016)
(district courts have “inherent authority to manage
their dockets and courtrooms with a view toward the efficient
and expedient resolution of cases”); Fed. R. Civ. 16(c)
(during an initial pretrial conference, the court should
consider and take appropriate action to simplify the case and
control and manage discovery).
Court also notes that Plaintiff made oral motions at the
three status conferences.During the status conference in this
case, Plaintiff moved for the Court to compel mediation. That
motion is denied as premature but without prejudice to the
parties requesting Court-ordered mediation at a later date,
after preliminary matters have been resolved. Plaintiff also
moved for an order allowing him permission to file pleadings
and other documents electronically in this case. The Court
orally granted the motion.
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [#2], Defendants'
Motion to Strike [#3], and Plaintiff's Motion to
Disqualify Counsel [#11] are taken under advisement and will
be addressed by separate report and recommendation.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Sworn
Motion for Hearing on Rule 65 Request for Temporary
Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction and Second Motion
for Contempt and Motion for Ninety (90) Day Stay of All
Proceedings and Motion for Extension of State Court
Restraining Order Converted to a FRCP Rule 65 Temporary
Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction [#15] is
DENIED IN PART and Plaintiff's Request
for a 90-day stay is DENIED. The remainder
of the relief requested will be addressed in the Report and
Recommendation disposing of the motions taken under
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff may file any
response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [#2] and Motion
to Strike [#3] within 14 days of this Order.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to
Dissolve Temporary Restraining Order [#5] and Defendants'
Motion to Dissolve State Court Order of June 24, 2019 [#10]
are DISMISSED AS MOOT.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for
Leave to Supplement Defendants' Notice of Removal [#8] is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's oral motion
to compel mediation is DENIED WITHOUT
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's oral motion
for access to electronic filing is GRANTED.
Plaintiff is directed to contact the Office of the District
Clerk to obtain the e-filing and e-noticing registration form
and to submit the fully completed form to the Clerk. Under
standard procedures, the registration form will be processed
by the Clerk, who has the ...