United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Timothy J. Louris, Roger A. Jensen, and Emily L. Marshall,
MILLER O'BRIEN JENSEN, P.A., for plaintiff.
J. Steffenhagen and Jason S. Raether, HELLMUTH & JOHNSON
PLLC, for defendants.
Patrick J. Schiltz United States District Judge
year, plaintiff United Food & Commercial Workers, Local
653 (the “Union”) sued defendants Fresh Seasons
Market, LLC, and Fresh Seasons Market Victoria, LLC
(collectively, “Fresh Seasons”), to compel Fresh
Seasons to arbitrate a contract dispute. ECF No. 1. Both
parties moved for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 18, 24. The
Court granted the Union's motion for summary judgment and
ordered Fresh Seasons to arbitrate the dispute. ECF No. 34.
Fresh Seasons appealed. ECF No. 36.
Seasons now asks the Court to stay its order compelling
arbitration until the Eighth Circuit rules on Fresh
Seasons' appeal. ECF No. 37. This Court denied a similar
request two years ago. See Valspar Corp. v. Nat'l
Union Fire Ins., 81 F.Supp.3d 729, 731-35 (D. Minn.
2014). For many of the same reasons, the Court will also deny
Fresh Seasons' motion for a stay of the Court's prior
STANDARD OF REVIEW
may stay the enforcement of an order while that order is on
appeal. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 62(c). But such a stay
“is not a matter of right.” Nken v.
Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 433 (2009). It is “an
exercise of judicial discretion, ” and “[t]he
party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the
circumstances justify [it].” Id. at 433-34. In
determining whether to grant a stay, the court can consider
“(1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong
showing that [it] is likely to succeed on the merits; (2)
whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a
stay; (3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially
injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and
(4) where the public interest lies.” Id. at
434 (quoting Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776
(1987)). “The first two factors . . . are the most
four factors weigh against granting a stay here.
with the first factor: On appeal, Fresh Seasons argues that
the Court erred in ruling that the Union's action to
compel arbitration was not barred by the statute of
limitations. But in ruling for the Union on this issue, the
Court merely applied the “general rule” that the
statute of limitations does not start to run on an action to
compel arbitration under § 301 of the Labor Management
Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, until one party rejects
another party's demand for arbitration. ECF No. 34 at 12.
Fresh Seasons has failed to make a “strong
showing” that the Eighth Circuit is likely to adopt a
different rule on appeal.
the second factor, the Court agrees with Judge Richard A.
Posner and Judge Richard H. Kyle that having to arbitrate a
case is generally not an irreparable harm. See Graphic
Commc'ns Union, Local No. 2 v. Chi. Tribune Co., 779
F.2d 13, 15-16 (7th Cir. 1985); Valspar, 81
F.Supp.3d at 731-35. If Fresh Seasons wins on appeal, the
arbitrator's decision will likely be invalidated. In the
meantime, the cost of submitting to arbitration is not an
irreparable harm, “even if the sums expended in
arbitration ultimately prove unrecoverable.”
Valspar, 81 F.Supp.3d at 733 (citing FTC v.
Standard Oil Co. of Cal., 499 U.S. 232, 244 (1980)).
third factor also cuts against granting a stay. The dispute
between the Union and Fresh Seasons has already dragged on
for several years. Staying the Court's order compelling
arbitration would injure the Union by further delaying
resolution of its claim. See Dakota, Minn. & E. R.R.
Corp. v. Schieffer, 742 F.Supp.2d 1055, 1063-64 (D.S.D.
the fourth factor, there is a “strong federal policy in
favor of arbitrating disputes in general and labor disputes
in particular.” Graphics Commc'ns Union,
779 F.2d at 15. “Arbitration is supposed to be swift.
It will not be swift if orders to arbitrate are routinely
stayed pending appeals from those orders.” Id.
four factors weigh against granting a stay, and thus the