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U.S. v. BELL

United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania


August 5, 2003

UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF
v.
THURSTON PAUL BELL, DEFENDANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher Conner, District Judge

ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

Presently before the court is Bell's motion to suspend orders pending request for extraordinary writs. (Doc. 125). Bell requests that the court temporarily suspend the operation of its order directing the Clerk of Court to file defendant's Statement of Priviledges [sic] and Objections Regarding Documents Presented for In Camera Review (Doc. 116), and the court's order on plaintiff's motion to compel. (Doc. 119).

Bell's motion is analogous to a motion to stay an order pending appeal. Such motions are evaluated under the same four-factor balancing test used to determine a motion for preliminary injunction. See Hilton v. Braunskill, 481 U.S. 770, 776 (1987); Republic of Philippines v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 949 F.2d 653, 658 (3d Cir. 1991); Kahn v. Elwood, 232 F. Supp.2d 344, 349 (M.D. Pa. 2002). Accordingly, the court must evaluate four factors: (1) likelihood of success on the merits; (2) irreparable harm resulting from a denial of the relief; (3) the harm to the non-moving party if relief is granted; and (4) the public interest. Allegheny Energy, Inc. v. DQE, Inc., 171 F.3d 153, [ Page 2]

158 (3d Cir. 1999) (citing A.C.L.U. of New Jersey v. Black Horse Pike Regional Bd. of Educ., 84 F.3d 1471, 1477 n. 2 (3d Cir. 1996) (en banc); Rosile, 2002 WL 1760861 *1. Bell has the burden of proof. Mettler-Toledo, Inc. v. Acker, 908 F. Supp. 240, 245 (M.D.Pa. 1995) "The injunction shall issue only if the [defendant] produces evidence sufficient to convince the district court that all four factors favor preliminary relief." New Jersey Hosp. Ass'n v. Waldman, 73 F.3d 509, 512-13 (3d Cir. 1995) (citations omitted).

Bell's motion to suspend the court's order directing the Clerk of Court to file defendant's Statement of Priviledges [sic] and Objections Regarding Documents Presented for In Camera Review is facially meritless. Bell's statement of privileges discloses absolutely no privileged information. Thus, to the extent Bell seeks review of the court's July 11, 2003 order, Bell has no likelihood of success on the merits. Production of a statement of privilege is necessary to put the opposing party on notice of the claimed privileges and allow them to verify the existence of, or object to, the claims of privilege. The court will deny Bell's motion to suspend the court's order of July 11, 2003.

In support of his motion to suspend the court's order on plaintiff's motion to compel, defendant states that "[t]he Order of Court, does several things, but primarily fails to apply the proper and complete Fifth Amendment Guarantees to the Defendant and First and Fourth Amendment Rights of the Members of the N.I.T.E." (Doc. 125, pg. 4). However, Bell fails to present any new evidence or new arguments to support his motion to suspend the court's order on plaintiff's motion to compel. Therefore, for [ Page 3]

the reasons stated in the court's memorandum dated July 15, 2003 (Doc. 118), the court will deny Bell's motion to suspend the court's order on plaintiff's motion to compel.

AND NOW, this 5th day of August, 2003, it is hereby ORDERED that defendant's motion to suspend orders pending request for extraordinary writs (Doc. 125) is DENIED. [ Page 1]

20030805

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