Iofina Inc et al v. Khalev et al
ORDER granting #346 plaintiffs' Motion to Strike Defendants' Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law and striking defendants' Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or to Alter or Amend Judgment and Brief in Support [docket nos. 325 and 328]. (the court further reopens this case on cm/ecf) (as more fully set out). Signed by Honorable Vicki Miles-LaGrange on 6/8/2017. (ks)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
IOFINA RESOURCES, INC., and
IOFINA CHEMCIAL, INC.,
IGOR KHALEV and
KIVA HOLDING, INC.,
Case No. CIV-14-1328-M
Before the Court is plaintiffs’ Motion to Strike Defendants’ Renewed Motion for Judgment
as a Matter of Law or to Deem It Effective upon “Entry of Judgment,” filed April 10, 2017. On
April 18, 2017, defendants filed their response, and on April 25, 2017, plaintiffs filed their reply.
Based upon the parties’ submissions, the Court makes its determination.
Defendants have filed a renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law or to alter or
amend judgment. Plaintiffs assert that defendants’ motion is premature because there is no final
appealable judgment and that defendants’ motion, therefore, should be stricken or ordered to
become effective upon “entry of judgment.” In their response, defendants recognize that the Tenth
Circuit would not find the Court’s February 17, 2017 Judgment to be a final judgment. Defendants,
however, request the Court to sua sponte revise the February 17, 2017 Judgment to include explicit
findings on finality and no just reason for delay such that said judgment would be considered a
“A final decision must dispose of all claims by all parties, except a decision may otherwise
be considered final if it is properly certified as a final judgment under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 54(b).” New Mexico v. Trujillo, 813 F.3d 1308, 1316 (10th Cir. 2016) (internal citation
omitted). Rule 54(b) provides:
When an action presents more than one claim for relief – whether as
a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim – or when
multiple parties are involved, the court may direct entry of a final
judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only
if the court expressly determine that there is no just reason for delay.
Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated, that
adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of
fewer than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the
claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the entry of
a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the parties’ rights and
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b). The Tenth Circuit has interpreted the “expressly determines” language of
Rule 54(b) to require the district courts to make two determinations. “First, the district court must
determine the judgment is final. Second, it must determine there is no just reason for delay of
entry of its judgment.” Trujillo, 813 F.3d at 1316.
Factors for the district court to consider in making an express
determination of finality and no just reason for delay include
whether the claims under review [are] separable from the others
remaining to be adjudicated and whether the nature of the claims
already determined [is] such that no appellate court would have to
decide the same issues more than once even if there were subsequent
Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted). “In order to determine whether an order is ‘final’ a
district court must first consider the separability of the adjudicated and unadjudicated claims.”
Inola Drug, Inc. v. Express Scripts, Inc., 390 F. App’x 774, 775 (10th Cir. 2010) (internal citations
“In determining whether claims are separable, courts should consider whether the
allegedly separate claims turn on the same factual questions, whether they involve common legal
issues, and whether separate recovery is possible.” Id. at 776 (internal quotations and citation
At the time of the Court’s entry of the February 17, 2017 Judgment, this Court had not
resolved all claims for relief. Specifically, all but one of defendants’ counterclaims remained
pending, though stayed, and the Court had not fully disposed of plaintiffs’ claim for injunctive
relief. Accordingly, the February 17, 2017 Judgment was not a final judgment. 1
Further, having reviewed the parties’ submissions, the Court finds that it would not be
appropriate for this Court to revise its February 17, 2017 Judgment by including the requisite
findings to certify it as a final judgment under Rule 54(b). Specifically, the Court finds that the
claims addressed in the February 17, 2017 Judgment are not separable from at least one, if not
more, of the remaining counterclaims.2 Defendants have asserted a counterclaim for declaratory
judgment that defendants have not violated the Oklahoma Uniform Trade Secrets Act. This
counterclaim is a mirror image of plaintiffs’ already adjudicated trade secrets claim under the
Oklahoma Uniform Trade Secrets Act, presenting the same facts and legal issues. The Court,
therefore, finds that its February 17, 2017 Judgment is not “final” for purposes of Rule 54(b).
Accordingly, the Court finds that defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law is
premature and should be stricken. The Court, therefore, GRANTS plaintiffs’ Motion to Strike
Defendants’ Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law [docket no. 346] and STRIKES
When the Court’s February 17, 2017 Judgment was entered, this case was closed on the Court’s
CM/ECF system. Because that judgment was not a final judgment, the Court finds that this case
should be reopened on the Court’s CM/ECF system.
In their response, defendants note that their counterclaims are dependent upon final findings in
favor of defendants on plaintiffs’ already-adjudicated trade secret misappropriation claims.
defendants’ Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or to Alter or Amend Judgment
and Brief in Support [docket nos. 325 and 328].
IT IS SO ORDERED this 8th day of June, 2017.
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