Abascal v. Consulate General of Spain in Houston, Texas et al
ORDER & REASONS granting 31 Motion to Continue the hearing date on defendants motion to dismiss and this case is administratively closed pending final resolution of the litigation in Spain. Signed by Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on 8/7/2013. (caa, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
GERARDO D. ABASCAL
THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF SPAIN ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is plaintiff’s motion to continue
defendants’ motion to dismiss.
For the reasons that follow, the
motion is GRANTED.
This case involves alleged discrimination on the basis of
Gerardo D. Abascal, a permanent resident of the United
States domiciled in New Orleans, was hired locally in 1969 by the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain as an employee for the
Consulate General of Spain in New Orleans.
In 2009, the Ministry decided to close the Consulate General
office in New Orleans, effective December 31, 2009; however, the
Ministry decided to keep its entire staff on the New Orleans
payroll until September 30, 2010.
Mr. Abascal was then
reassigned as “Vice-Chancellor of the Consulate General of Spain
in Houston with residence in New Orleans.”
His compensation and
benefits remained the same as his former position.
Mr. Abascal worked continuously for the Ministry until
January 5, 2011, when he alleges that he was “forced to retire.”
He asserts that he has searched for comparable employment and
unsuccessfully applied for various positions.
On July 26, 2012,
Mr. Abascal sued in the Court for Social Matters (Juzgado de Lo
Social) in Madrid, Spain, naming as defendants the Consulate
General of Spain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, and the
Kingdom of Spain.
Plaintiff sued the same defendants in this
Court on July 27, 2012, alleging violations of the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act.
The case before the court in
Spain was “presented” on January 11, 2013, at which time the
court took the matter under advisement.
On May 28, 2013,
defendants filed a motion to dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(3), and 12(b)(6), alleging that
jurisdiction and venue are improper, and that plaintiff fails to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
dismiss was set for hearing on August 7, 2013.
The motion to
moves to continue the motion.
Plaintiff requests to continue the hearing date on
defendants’ motion for ninety days, because the “principle of
judicial economy would be best served by allowing the Honorable
Spanish Court to render a decision” on the matter already tried
In addition, the case before this Court could be rendered
moot by the Spanish court’s decision.
In response, defendants
contend that this is a “dilatory tactic to delay the dismissal of
Plaintiff’s suit and to further harass Defendants.”
Because this is plaintiff’s first request to continue the
hearing date on defendants’ motion, and defendants fail to state
how this continuance would result in prejudice, the Court grants
The Fifth Circuit has expressly stated that
a district court has the inherent power to “‘control the
disposition of the causes on its docket with the economy of time
and effort for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.’”
Ambraco, Inc. v. Bossclip B.V., 570 F.3d 233, 243 (5th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936)).
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff’s motion to
continue the hearing date on defendants’ motion to dismiss is
GRANTED and this case is administratively closed pending final
resolution of the litigation in Spain.
If necessary, this case
may be reopened upon the filing of a timely and proper motion.
New Orleans, Louisiana, August 7, 2013
MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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