USA v. 8 Luxury Vehicles
ORDER granting 103 United States' Motion to Voluntary Dismiss Complaint with Prejudice. This matter is DISMISSED with prejudice as it relates to Claimant JITCO Group Limited, only. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 2/10/2015. (LMF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No: 2:13-cv-793-FtM-38CM
34 LUXURY VEHICLES,
Defendants in rem.
This matter comes before the Court on the United States’ Motion to Voluntary
Dismiss Complaint with Prejudice (Doc. #103) filed on January 7, 2015. Claimant JITCO
Group Limited filed a response on January 21, 2015. (Doc. #107). This matter is now ripe
The United States filed a Second Amended Complaint for forfeiture in rem against
35 Luxury Vehicles, including eight vehicles claimed by JITCO Group Limited (hereinafter
“JITCO”).2 (Doc. #63; Doc. #18). In response to the operative complaint, JITCO filed its
answer, affirmative defenses, and counterclaim. (Doc. #72). JITCO also filed a motion for
partial summary judgment that is pending before the Court. (Doc. #92).
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JITCO’s eight vehicles are identified by their VIN numbers: 5UXZV4C56D0E00403,
5UXZV4C52D0E05856, 5UXZV4C50D0E05855, and 5UXZV4C59D0E05837.
Now, the United States asserts it will not be in the public interest to pursue this
action. As a result, it seeks dismissal of this action with prejudice against the eight JITCO
vehicles pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2). This rule states,
Except as provided in Rule 41(a)(1), an action may be dismissed at the
plaintiff’s request only by court order, on terms that the court considers
proper. If a defendant has pleaded a counterclaim before being served with
the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss, the action may be dismissed over the
defendant’s objection only if the counterclaim can remain pending for
independent adjudication. Unless the order states otherwise, a dismissal
under this paragraph (2) is without prejudice.
The United States argues JITCO will not be prejudiced by the dismissal of this
action because it does not oppose the relief requested in the motion. Further, since the
United States seeks to dismiss this action with prejudice, JITCO is at no risk of
subsequent litigation over the same issues. The United States asserts it is attempting to
end this litigation and conserve resources. Moreover, the United States asserts granting
this motion will result in the return of the eight vehicles, the relief requested by JITCO’s
pending motion for partial summary judgment. Lastly, the United States asserts the
counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication.
In response, JITCO asserts it does not oppose the dismissal with prejudice.
Nonetheless, JITCO seeks affirmation from the Court that its counterclaim is compulsory
and it has substantially prevailed under 28 U.S.C. § 2465(b).
Upon consideration, the Court find the United States’ motion is due to be granted
pursuant to Rule 41(a)(2). As a result, this matter will be dismissed with prejudice. Also,
JITCO’s counterclaim will remain pending for independent adjudication. In light of the
Court’s dismissal with prejudice, JITCO is the prevailing party pursuant to Section
2465(b). See United States v. Certain Real Prop., 543 F. Supp. 2d 1291, 1294 (N.D. Ala.
2008) (“the court finds that the claimants are entitled to recover attorneys’ fees as the
‘substantially prevailing’ party. The court’s ruling dismissing the case with prejudice
clearly ‘qualifies as a judicially qualified change in the legal relationship of the parties’ and
thus satisfies the standard announced in Buckhannon.”).
Accordingly, it is now
United States’ Motion to Voluntary Dismiss Complaint with Prejudice (Doc. #103)
is GRANTED. This matter is DISMISSED with prejudice as it relates to Claimant JITCO
Group Limited, only.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 10th day of February, 2015.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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