Title Resources Guaranty Company v. American Title Services Company et al
ORDER REOPENING CASE and Striking 160 Stipulation of Dismissal of Case. Ordered by Judge Raymond P. Moore on 02/04/2016. (cthom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Raymond P. Moore
Civil Action No. 14-cv-00366-RW-NYW
TITLE RESOURCES GUARANTY COMPANY,
AMERICAN TITLE SERVICES COMPANY, et al.,
This matter is before the Court following review of the parties’ Stipulated Notice of
Dismissal (ECF No. 160) (“the Stipulation”), filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) (“Rule
41(a)(1)(A)”). Rule 41(a)(1)(A) provides that, without a court order, a plaintiff may dismiss an
action by filing “a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) (emphasis added).
Here, on February 18, 2014 defendants America’s Home Title, LLC (“AHT”) and American
Title Services Company (“ATSC”) appeared through counsel. (ECF Nos. 23, 24.) On March 17,
2014, ATSC filed a Notice of Bankruptcy Filing (ECF No. 33), and, shortly thereafter, all
proceedings against the same were stayed unless and until relief from the automatic stay was granted
in the bankruptcy proceeding (ECF No. 34). Since that time, the Court has not been informed of any
relief from the automatic stay granted, or any events that have taken place, in ATSC’s bankruptcy
proceeding. On March 21, 2014, counsel for AHT and ATSC moved to withdraw (ECF Nos. 35,
36), and, on April 14, 2014, those motions were granted (ECF Nos. 48). Since that time, AHT and
ATSC—both legal entities—have appeared in this case without counsel, in violation of D.C. Colo.
L.Atty.R. 5(b), or, at least, without counsel filing a notice of appearance on their behalf as required
by D.C. Colo. L.Atty.R. 5(a)(1).
Nonetheless, as noted supra, on January 29, 2016, the parties filed the Stipulation. The
Stipulation appears to purport that all parties, “through their respective counsel,” have agreed to
move for dismissal with prejudice of this action. (See ECF No. 160 at 1.) All parties, though, have
not signed the Stipulation. Notably, defendant AHT is absent from the signature pages of the
Stipulation. (See id. at 2-3.) Moreover, although defendant ATSC appears on the signature pages
of the Stipulation, it appears through counsel Theodore J. Hartl as the attorney for “ATSC Trustee.”
(See id. at 2.) Suffice to say, Attorney Hartl has made no appearance nor has he filed any document
in this case, and thus, his appearance through the Stipulation violates Local Attorney Rule 5(a)(1).
In light of all of the above, the Clerk is ORDERED to STRIKE the Stipulated Notice of
Dismissal (ECF No. 160) as in violation of the Local Rules and Rule 41(a)(1)(A), and RE-OPEN
this case. The parties may file a revised joint notice of dismissal under Rule 41(a)(1)(A), however,
any such notice must contain the signatures of AHT and ATSC through counsel that have appeared
in this action. Alternatively, plaintiff may move under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(2) to dismiss this action.
The parties or plaintiff shall until February 29, 2016 to file a dismissal that complies with this
Upon independent research, the Court is aware that Attorney Hartl represents the Chapter 7
Trustee in ATSC’s bankruptcy proceeding. (See Bankr. D.Co. Case No. 14-br-12894, ECF No. 100.) The
Court is further aware that the Bankruptcy Court has approved the Settlement Agreement arising from this
case. (See Bankr. D.Co. Case No. 14-br-12894, ECF No. 358.) The Court notes, however, that AHT is not
a party to the agreement filed with the Bankruptcy Court. (See Bankr. D.Co. Case No. 14-br-12894, ECF
No. 346-1 at 2.) The Court will leave it to the parties to determine what this means in terms of how
dismissal is sought under Rule 41(a).
DATED this 4th day of February, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
RAYMOND P. MOORE
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?