Landis v. North American Co. - 299 U.S. 248 (1936)


U.S. Supreme Court

Landis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248 (1936)

Landis v. North American Co.

No. 221

Argued November 9, 1936

Decided December 7, 1936*

299 U.S. 248

Syllabus

1. The 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. How this can best be done calls for the exercise of judgment, which must weigh competing interests and maintain an even balance. P. 299 U. S. 254.

2. There is power, applicable especially in cases of extraordinary public interest, to stay one suit to abide proceedings in another, although in the two the parties are not the same and the issues not identical; the burden of making out the wisdom and justice of a stay in such cases lies heavily on him who seeks the stay, and discretion is abused if the stay is not kept within the bounds of moderation. P. 299 U. S. 254.

3. Suits brought in the District of Columbia by two holding companies, to restrain the Securities & Exchange Commission and other officials from enforcing the Holding Company Act, were stayed to await decision of a like suit brought by the Commission and still pending in another District Court.

Held:

(1) That to grant the stay until decision of the other case by this Court on appeal was abuse of discretion. P. 299 U. S. 256.

(2) The question whether the stay would have been proper under the conditions which existed when it was granted, had it been granted to continue only until decision of the other case by the District Court, is a question which this Court will not decide, because the conditions have changed. P. 299 U. S. 258.

(3) The cause is remanded to the court which granted the stay for a rehearing at which it will determine, in the light of the situation then existing and developed, and of the principles laid down in this opinion, what, if any, stay should be ordered, not to extend beyond the time when the other case shall be decided by the other District Court. P. 299 U. S. 258.

66 App.D.C. 141, 85 F.2d 398, reversed.

Page 299 U. S. 249

Certiorari to review a decision on special appeal which reversed orders of the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia granting a sty of proceedings in two cases.



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