American River Transportation Company
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the government's motion to reopen United States v. American River Transportation Co., et al., Case No. 4:14-CV-50 (CEJ) [Doc. # 61 ] is granted. A separate order dismissing United States v. American River Transportation Co., et al., Case No. 4:14-CV-50 (CEJ) will be entered.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 9/23/16. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT
OF AMERICAN RIVER TRANSPORTATION
COMPANY FOR EXONERATION FROM,
OR LIMITATION OF, LIABILITY.
Case No. 4:11-CV-523 (CEJ)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
AMERICAN RIVER TRANSPORTATION
CO., in personam; M/V JULIE WHITE,
and Barges AT 664, SG 542, CGB 361
and CBL 314, to include engines, tackle, )
gear, appurtenances, and all
accessories, in rem.
Case No. 4:14-CV-50 (CEJ)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the government’s motion to reopen the
consolidated case, United States v. American River Transportation Co., et al., Case
No. 4:14-CV-50, and dismiss the action without prejudice.1 American River
Transportation Co. (ARTCO) consents to dismissal, but asks the Court to impose
Under Rule 41(a)(2), Fed.R.Civ.P., a court may dismiss an action “at the
plaintiff’s request, on terms the court considers proper.” ARTCO argues that the
Familiarity with the procedural history of ARTCO’s limitation of liability action, 4:11-CV523, and the government’s Rivers and Harbors action, 4:14-CV-50, is presumed.
dismissal of the consolidated case should be with prejudice in order to prevent the
government from reinstating its claims in a later action. However, when ARTCO
filed its limitation of liability action, the Court entered an order restraining all other
actions “until the hearing and determination of this proceeding.” [Doc. #4]. This
order adequately protects ARTCO from the risk of a new lawsuit while preserving
the government’s ability to pursue its claim for damages in this action.
ARTCO also asks the Court to condition dismissal of the consolidated case on
payment of ARTCO’s reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in defending itself. “The
United States cannot be required to pay costs or disbursements as a condition of its
voluntary dismissal of an action, unless statutory authority exists for the
assessment of costs, or other expenses of defense, against the government.”
Charles Allen Wright et al., 9 Fed. Prac. & Proc. Civ. § 2366 (3d ed.). While there is
“general statutory authority to award costs against the United States . . . it is
limited to taxable costs and may not include the fees and expenses of attorneys.”
Id.; see also 28 U.S.C. § 2412(a)(1) (“[A] judgment for costs, as enumerated in
section 1920 of this title, but not including the fees and expenses of attorneys, may
be awarded to the prevailing party in any civil action brought by or against the
United States.”) ARTCO’s request for attorney’s fees must be denied.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the government’s motion to reopen United
States v. American River Transportation Co., et al., Case No. 4:14-CV-50 (CEJ)
[Doc. #61] is granted.
A separate order dismissing United States v. American River Transportation
Co., et al., Case No. 4:14-CV-50 (CEJ) will be entered.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 23rd day of September, 2016.
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