Global Liberty Insurance Company of New York v. Gonzalez

Filing 16

ORDER re 13 Ex Parte Application for Reconsideration of Denial of Entry of Judgment. Signed by Judge James Donato on 2/14/2017. (jdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/14/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 GLOBAL LIBERTY INSURANCE COMPANY OF NEW YORK, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Plaintiff, Case No.16-cv-06653-JD ORDER RE RECONSIDERATION v. MARIA FATIMA GONZALEZ, Defendant. 12 13 On November 16, 2016, plaintiff Global Liberty Insurance Company of New York 14 (“GLIC”) filed a complaint with a single count for declaratory relief. Dkt. No. 1. The question 15 presented is whether GLIC has a duty to defend its insured, defendant Maria Fatima Gonzalez 16 (operating as RF Limousine), under an auto insurance policy in a state court action for wrongful 17 death. Without any further litigation, the parties represented to the Court in January 2017 that 18 there was no longer a controversy and that Gonzales did not “dispute the lack of coverage.” Dkt. 19 Nos. 10, 13. The parties asked the Court to enter declaratory relief and judgment, relieving GLIC 20 from all claims in the underlying state action. Dkt. No. 10. The Court declined. Dkt. No. 12. 21 GLIC now seeks reconsideration of that decision in an ex parte motion. Dkt. No. 13. 22 As an initial matter, the Court has concerns about the propriety of a declaratory judgment 23 in this case. The parties have never appeared before it, and the Court has no visibility into the 24 appropriateness of declaratory judgment because it has not been litigated in any way beyond the 25 filing of the complaint and the request to enter judgment. In addition, Gonzalez appears to be 26 without a lawyer and purportedly has stipulated to relief that looks to be firmly against her 27 interests. It is also unclear why this dispute cannot be resolved in the state action and whether 28 there was, in fact, a “case or controversy” at the time the complaint was filed, given that 1 immediately following service, “defendant confirmed that she does not dispute any of the 2 allegations in the complaint.” Dkt. No. 13 at 2. Because the Court has no obligation to grant 3 declaratory judgment, and will not do so if it serves an illegitimate purpose, the Court declines to 4 issue judgment and uses its discretion to dismiss the case. Leadsinger, Inc. v. BMG Music Publ’g, 5 512 F.3d 522, 533 (9th Cir. 2008); see also Exxon Shipping Co. v. Airport Depot Diner, Inc., 120 6 F.3d 166, 168 (9th Cir. 1997). The Clerk is directed to close the case and vacate any set hearings. 7 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: February 14, 2017 9 10 JAMES DONATO United States District Judge United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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