Lewis, et al v. Miller, et al

Filing 115

ORDER denying 113 Motion to Reopen Case. Signed by Judge Mary H Murguia on 10/5/09.(KSP)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 WO IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA NEIL LEWIS, SHARON LEWIS,) ) husband and wife, d/b/a S.D.I.C, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) vs. ) ) NORMAN MICHAEL MILLER, SHERI) MILLER, husband and wife, J.A.) MILLER and JANE DOE MILLER,) h u s b a n d and wife; NORMAND) MICHAEL MILLER as TRUSTEE OF) THE QID AND TID TERM OF YEARS) TRUST; TID LIMITED PARTNERSHIP;) QID LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; JOHN) and JANE DOES 1-10; XYZ Corporation) 1-10; Black & White partnerships 1-10;) and, L-N limited liability companies 1-10, Defendants No. CV-00-1796-PHX-MHM ORDER I. DISCUSSION On September 04, 2009, Plaintiffs Neil Lewis and Sharon Lewis, husband and wife, filed the instant Motion to Reopen Case Against J.A. Miller. (Dkt. #113). This Court entered final judgement in this case over six years ago, on June 12, 2002. (Dkt. #112). The Court entered its judgement pursuant to the settlement reached between Plaintiffs and Defendants Mike and Sherri Miller, husband and wife ("Miller"). (Dkt. #113, ex.5). Defendant J.A. Miller was not a party to the settlement agreement. Id. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 In support of their Motion, Plaintiffs cite Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b), arguing it "allows claims to continue against parties that are not part and partial [sic] to a final judgement." (Dkt. #113, p.3) In so urging, Plaintiff oversimplifies and misunderstands the purpose and application of Rule 54(b). As a general rule, piecemeal appeals during a single litigation are looked upon unfavorably, with appellate courts preferring one appeal at the conclusion of the lawsuit. STEVEN BAIKER-MCKEE, ET AL., FEDERAL CIVIL RULES HANDBOOK 1037 (2009). Rule 54(b) carves out an exception to this rule. In a multiclaim or multiparty action, it allows a district court to enter final judgement as to one claim or party, certifying it for immediate appeal, "where awaiting a final judgement [as to all claims or parties] would be unduly harsh or unjust." Id.; see Wood v. GCC Bend, LLC, 422 F.3d 873, 878 (9th Cir. 2005) (discussing the determinations a district court must make when utilizing Rule 54(b)). Having explained what Rule 54(b) is, this Court will now state what it very clearly is not: a mechanism for reopening a case. In light of this fact, Rule 54(b) does not support Plaintiffs' motion. Additionally, the Court did not enter the final judgement in this case pursuant to Rule 54(b), and Plaintiffs do not allege that it did. And, even if this Court had entered a Rule 54(b) final judgement, it would not have excused them from pursuing their claims against J.A. Miller, or any of the other Defendants, especially not for six years. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED denying Plaintiffs Motion to Reopen Case Against J.A. Miller (Dkt. #113). DATED this 5th day of October, 2009. -2-

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