BARNFIELD v. HALBERTHAL et al
ORDER denying 53 Motion Abstention. Signed by JUDGE RICHARD SMOAK on 4/30/2015. (jcw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
PANAMA CITY DIVISION
SHORES OF PANAMA RESORT
COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION, INC.,
A Florida non-profit corporation,
CASE NO. 5:14-cv-294-RS-GRJ
SOLLY HALBERTHAL, ISERE HALBERTHAL,
JOSHUA OSTREICHER, and JAY GLATTER,
Before me is the Defendants’ Motion for Abstention (Doc. 53). Under the
Colorado River doctrine, a federal court may choose to abstain from exercising
jurisdiction where there are parallel state proceedings. See Colorado River Water
Conservation Dist. v. U.S., 424 U.S. 800, 96 S. Ct. 1236 (1976). “The principles
of this doctrine ‘rest on considerations of ‘[w]ise judicial administration, giving
regard to conservation of judicial resources and comprehensive disposition of
litigation’.’” Moorer v. Demopolis Waterworks and Sewer Board, 374 F.3d 994,
997 (11th Cir. 2004) (quoting Colorado River, 424 U.S. at 817). The generally
accepted test for determining whether proceedings are sufficiently “parallel” to
warrant inquiry into whether abstention ought to be considered, is whether the
foreign proceedings “involve substantially the same parties and substantially the
same issues.” Ambrosia Coal and Construction Company v. Morales, 368 F.3d
1320, 1330 (11th Circuit 2004).
The Defendants in this case are not parties to any of the three pending state
court cases. Additionally, the claims in both cases are not identical. The claims
being made in the state court cases seek declaratory and injunctive relief, breach of
contract, and an ejectment claim against corporations. On the other hand, the
claims in this case are for breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy against the
members of the board. Although the factual circumstances underlying the cases are
the same, the parties and the issues are not substantially the same.
Accordingly, the relief requested in Defendants’ Motion for Abstention
(Doc. 53) is DENIED
ORDERED on April 30, 2015.
/s/ Richard Smoak
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?