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The Integrated Associates of Denver, Inc. v. Pope

United States District Court, D. Colorado

November 18, 2019

THE INTEGRATED ASSOCIATES OF DENVER, INC., a Delaware corporation, and THE INTEGRATED ASSOCIATES, INC., a California corporation, Petitioners,
v.
RYAN B. POPE, Respondent.

          ORDER

          KRISTEN L. MIX UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on Petitioners' unopposed Notice of Related State Action and Motion to File Pleadings From Such Action in This Case [#34][1] (the “Motion”). Petitioners do an excellent job of summarizing the procedural background to the Motion [#34], which the Court incorporates here:

On June 7, 2019, this action was initiated by Petitioners to seek vacatur or modification of an arbitration award. As asserted in Petitioners' Application and First Amended Application to vacate or modify, jurisdiction for this action lies in this Court by way of diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
On May 24, 2019 (14 days prior to the filing of this action), unbeknownst to Petitioners, Respondent Pope filed a state court action to seek confirmation of the same arbitration award under the Colorado Uniform Arbitration Act, C.R.S. §§ 13-22-222 and 13-22-225. Petitioners were unaware of Respondent Pope's filing of the state court action because he never served them with the Civil Case Cover Sheet and Motion to Confirm, nor otherwise gave Petitioners notice of his initiation of the state court action. On May 24, 2019, without hearing from Petitioners, the state court judge granted Respondent Pope's Motion to Confirm and entered judgment against Petitioners.
On July 2, 2019, after learning of the state court action on their own and the judgment entered against Petitioners, Petitioners filed a Motion to Vacate Judgment and sought an award of costs for Respondent Pope's actions in failing to serve Petitioners or otherwise give them notice of the state court action, which caused them to incur the filing fee and service of process costs associated with this action. On July 23, 2019, Respondent Pope filed his Response to Petitioners' Motion to Vacate Judgment in the state court action, in which he did not oppose Petitioners' request that the judgment be vacated, but opposed Petitioners' request for costs. On July 30, 2019, Petitioners filed their Reply in Support of Motion to Vacate Judgment in the state court action. On August 8, 2019, the parties appeared before Magistrate Judge Mix at the Scheduling Conference in this matter. Unfortunately, neither counsel for the parties thought to raise the issue of the related state court action at the Scheduling Conference.
Also on August 8, 2019, the state court granted Petitioners' Motion to Vacate Judgment, vacating the judgment improvidently entered against Petitioners, ordering Petitioners to file a Response to Respondent Pope's Motion to Confirm Award on or before August 29, 2019, and reserving a ruling on Petitioners' request for a cost award against Respondent Pope. Because this matter regarding the same subject matter as the related state court action was pending and to avoid duplicative litigation regarding whether to confirm or vacate the arbitration award, on August 29, 2019, Petitioners filed a Notice of Removal to remove the related state court action and consolidate it with the instant action. On August 30, 2019, this Court rejected Petitioners' Notice of Removal filed in this action, stating that the Notice of Removal requires a new case filing with a new filing fee paid. On September 3, 2019, the state court closed the related state court action based on the filing of the Notice of Removal.

         Motion [#34] at 1-3 (internal citations, footnotes, paragraph numbering, and some paragraph breaks omitted).

         In the present Motion [#34], Petitioners take issue with the Clerk of Court's Administrative Notice directing them to initiate a new, third action related to this subject matter and to pay a new filing fee. Id. at 4. They give three legal bases which they assert provide the Court with the authority to take notice of the related state action and accept the pleadings from that case.

         First, Petitioners believe that the Court has authority to take notice of the related state action pursuant to “D.C.COLOLCIVR. 32 [sic]” and to accept the pleadings attached to the Motion for filing in this case “to avoid the time, expense and complexity of filing a third action involving the same parties and subject matter.” Id. Petitioners do not further discuss this Local Rule (which does not exist as cited), although they are presumably referring to D.C.COLO.LCivR 3.2: Notice of Related Cases, which provides:

(a) Notice. A party to a case shall file a notice identifying all cases pending in this or any other federal, state, or foreign jurisdiction that are related to the case. Under this rule, no party may seek special assignment, reassignment, or transfer of a related case from one judicial officer to another.
(b) Related Cases. Related cases are cases that have common facts and claims and:
(1) have at least one party in common; or
(2) are filed serially or collectively as a group by the same ...

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