GOODCAT, LLC v. COOK et al
ORDER granting GoodCat's 77 Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing statutory provisions against GoodCat. The court also ORDERS Defendants to issue an e-liquid manufacturing permit to GoodCat forthwith. GoodCat shall file any petition for an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 within fourteen days of the date of this Order. Signed by Judge Richard L. Young on 4/10/2017. (TMD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
DAVID COOK, DAVID COLEMAN,
DALE GRUBB, and MARJORIE
MAGINN, in their official capacities as the )
Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, )
and the STATE OF INDIANA,
CLOUDTOWN, LLC, DB VAPES, LLC,
DNM VENTURES, LLC, VAPOR BANK )
E-LIQUID, LLC, LICENSED E-LIQUID
MANUFACTURING LLC, and
ORDER ON GOODCAT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Plaintiff, Goodcat, LLC, moves for summary judgment as to Count I 1 of its
Verified Complaint pursuant to the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Legato Vapors, LLC v.
Cook, 847 F.3d 825 (7th Cir. 2017) and this court’s subsequent final judgment and
permanent injunction in Legato Vapors, LLC v. Cook, No. 1:15-cv-00761-SEB-TAB
Count I seeks a declaratory judgment that “[t]he security firm requirements imposed by Indiana
Code §§ 7.1-7-2-14; 7.1-7-2-22(3)(B); and 7.1-7-4-1(d) violate the dormant Commerce Clause.”
(Filing No. 1, Verified Complaint ¶ 34).
(S.D. Ind. Mar. 15, 2017). Defendants, Commissioners of the Indiana Alcohol and
Tobacco Commission and the State of Indiana, do not object, but Intervenor-Defendants,
Cloudtown, LLC, et al., oppose the motion.
Intervenors offer only one argument: in light of Legato, this case is moot and, as a
result, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. In other words, the court is powerless
to grant the relief GoodCat requests, and the only possible result at this phase is
dismissal. The court disagrees.
“Relief granted in another tribunal can moot a claim, but only where the relief
granted is complete.” Kennedy Bldg. Assocs. v. Viacom, Inc., 375 F.3d 731, 746 (8th Cir.
2004). The relief afforded in Legato is not complete as to GoodCat for two reasons.
First, in this case, GoodCat seeks a permanent injunction requiring the ATC to issue it a
manufacturing permit. GoodCat was not a party to Legato, so it did not obtain a permit
via that case. It currently has a permit pursuant to this court’s preliminary injunction
Order, but the plain language of that Order reveals that it was only intended to be
temporary relief. The Order specifically provides, “The court further ORDERS the ATC
to issue GoodCat a manufacturing permit until GoodCat’s claims reach final disposition.”
(Filing No. 54 at 38). Accordingly, if this court were to simply dismiss the case, the ATC
could potentially revoke GoodCat’s permit. Second, GoodCat seeks to enjoin specific
provisions of the statutory scheme that are not explicitly covered by the permanent
injunction in Legato, namely Indiana Code §§ 7.1-7-2-14 and 7.1-7-2-22(3)(B).
The court holds that it retains subject matter jurisdiction over this dispute. Noting
no other objection to the motion, the court finds that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and that GoodCat is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Count I.
Therefore, GoodCat’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Filing No. 77) is GRANTED. In
light of GoodCat’s consent to the dismissal of Counts II and III as potentially
superfluous, those counts are hereby DISMISSED.
The court holds that Indiana Code §§ 7.1-7-2-14, 7.1-7-2-22(3)(B), and 7.1-7-41(d)(1)-(3) violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution as
applied to GoodCat. Defendants are PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from enforcing
these statutory provisions against GoodCat. The court also ORDERS Defendants to
issue an e-liquid manufacturing permit to GoodCat forthwith.
GoodCat shall file any petition for an award of attorneys’ fees pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1988 within fourteen days of the date of this Order.
SO ORDERED this 10th day of April 2017.
Distributed Electronically to Registered Counsel of Record.
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