Barker et al v. Bank of America, N.A. et al
ORDER granting (17) Motion to Consolidate Cases in case 1:17-cv-00021-SPW-TJC Signed by Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan on 6/6/2017. Associated Cases: 1:17-cv-00021-SPW-TJC, 1:17-cv-00055-SPW-TJC (AEC)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
JAMES L. BARKER, JEANNE A.
ONEWEST BANK, CIT BANK,
N.A., FIRST AMERICAN TITLE
COMPANY OF MONTANA, INC.,
Trustee, CHARLES PETERSON,
DEFENDANT CIT BANK,
Defendant CIT Bank, N.A. (“CIT”) has filed an Unopposed Motion to
Consolidate Case No. 1:17-cv-00021 with Case No. 1:17-cv-00055. (Doc.
17.) CIT seeks to consolidate these two cases and Plaintiffs do not object.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) provides:
Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a common
question of law or fact, the court may:
join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
consolidate the actions; or
issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a) (2007).
Consolidation of actions provides “a valuable and important tool of judicial
administration ... [that] helps relieve the parties and the [c]ourt of the burden of
duplicative pleadings and [c]ourt orders.” Blasko v. Washington Metropolitan
Area Transit Authority, 243 F.R.D. 13, 15 (D. D.C. 2007) (citations omitted). To
determine whether consolidation is appropriate, a court should “weigh
considerations of convenience and economy against considerations of confusion
and prejudice.” Id. Generally, consolidation may be appropriate if there are
common questions of law or fact. Cases that involve the same parties are also apt
candidates for consolidation. Id. “Moreover, consolidation is particularly
appropriate when the actions are likely to involve substantially the same witnesses
and arise from the same series of events or facts.” Id.
Here, Case No. 1:17-cv-00021 and Case No. 1:17-cv-00055 involve the
same parties. The actions arise from a dispute over a trust indenture executed by
the Plaintiffs. Both cases involve assignments of the trust indenture, assignments
of servicing rights, appointment of successor trustee under the trust indenture,
notices of trustee’s sales under the trust indenture, and an attempt by Plaintiffs to
modify the loan. Plaintiffs filed the exact same pleading in both cases, with the
only difference being that the pleading is a complaint in Case No. 1:17-cv-00021
and an exhibit to a motion for injunctive relief in Case No. 1:17-cv-00055. As a
result, resolution of both cases involves the same issues of fact and law. Therefore,
the Court finds consolidation will save time and effort and will not result in
inconvenience, delay, or expense to any party. Further, Plaintiff’s do not oppose
consolidation, and it is not readily apparent that any party would suffer unfair
prejudice were the Court to consolidate the actions. Thus, the Court deems
consolidation of Case No. 1:17-cv-00021 and Case No. 1:17-cv-00055 appropriate.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Defendant CIT’s Unopposed Motion to
Consolidate is GRANTED. Case No. 1:17-cv-00021 is hereby consolidated with
Case No. 1:17-cv-00055 for all purposes. Case No. 1:17-cv-00021 shall be the
lead case and all pleadings shall be docketed to this case until further notice of the
Court. Counsel for CIT shall file a notice of this Order in Case No. 1:17-cv-00055.
IT IS ORDERED.
DATED this 6th day of June, 2017.
TIMOTHY J. CAVAN
United States Magistrate Judge
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