Tijuanas Produce, Inc. v. Mi Pueblo Latin Market, Inc., et al
ORDER by Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 3/12/15 denying 29 Motion to Reopen Case. (bsimm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 14-cv-01034-NYW
TIJUANAS PRODUCE, INC.,
MI PUEBLO LATIN MARKET, INC.,
JAIME A. CUEVA,
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REOPEN
Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang
This case and matter is pending before this Magistrate Judge pursuant to the Parties’
consent to a Magistrate Judge filed on September 4, 2014 [#21]. The court dismissed the action
without prejudice on September 30, 2014. [#28]. Plaintiff Tijuanas Produce Inc. (“Tijuanas”)
now seeks to reopen the case to enforce the settlement agreement, alleging that Defendants have
breached the agreement, by its Motion to Reopen Case & for Entry of Judgment (“Motion to
Reopen”) filed on February 9, 2015. [#29].
The 21-day time period for Defendants to respond to the Motion to Reopen under Local
Rule 7.1(d) has elapsed without the filing of a response to the Motion to Reopen. Defendants Mi
Pueblo and Jaime A. Cueva filed a Notice of Filing of Case in Bankruptcy Court on February 26,
2015, with exhibits reflecting the filing of voluntary petitions. [#31, #31-1, #31-2]. Defendant
Daneen Cueva was not included in the Notice or the underlying bankruptcy filings. [#31, #31-1,
Under 11 U.S.C. § 362, a creditor must stay collection activities once put on notice of a
debtor's bankruptcy. However, in this case, not all of the Defendants are included in the Notice.
[#31]. Therefore, this court will entertain Tijuanas’ Motion to Reopen, which seeks not only to
reopen the case but the entry of judgment. [#29].
This court does not retain inherent authority to enforce a settlement agreement between
the Parties. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375 (1994). Rather, federal
courts are ones with limited jurisdiction, and the enforcement of a settlement agreement requires
a separate basis for jurisdiction. Id. at 377. The burden of establishing jurisdiction rests upon
the party seeking to assert it. Id. And the court has an independent responsibility to consider
whether it has jurisdiction in this matter, even absent a challenge by either party. Arbaugh v.
Y&H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 511 (2006) (citation omitted).
Tijuanas’ Motion to Reopen fails to state any identifiable federal cause of action that
would justify this court’s jurisdiction. When the court issued its Order of Dismissal, it did not
retain any jurisdiction to enforce. [#28]. Nor does Tijuanas identify any provision of the
Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, the statute that it originally asserted in its Complaint
against Defendants [#1], that would provide for this court’s continuing jurisdiction. Kokkonen,
511 U.S. at 378. Tijuanas clearly seeks to reopen the case in order to enforce a provision of the
settlement agreement that provides for the entry of judgment against Defendants, [#29, at ¶ 7],
which the Supreme Court has held to be insufficient to confer subject matter jurisdiction.
Kokkonen, 511 U.S. at 378. And a review of the settlement agreement in this case also does not
support jurisdiction. [#27-1 (restricted access)].
Based on this court’s review of the Motion to Reopen, the procedural history of this case,
the plain terms of the settlement agreement, and the application of the case law, IT IS
(1) Plaintiff’s Motion to Reopen [#29] is DENIED.
Dated: March 12, 2015
BY THE COURT:
s/ Nina Y. Wang
United States Magistrate Judge
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