IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA
September 13, 2010
ALEUT ENTERPRISE, LLC, AN ALASKA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
ADAK SEAFOOD, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, DEFENDANT, AND INDEPENDENCE INDEPENDENCE BANK, A RHODE ISLAND BANKING INSTITUTION, INTERVENOR,
ALEUTIAN SPRAY FISHERIES, INC., A WASHINGTON CORPORATION; PACIFIC PELAGIC GROUP, LLC, A WASHINGTON LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY; JOHN YOUNG, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND TRIDENT SEAFOODS CORPORATION, A WASHINGTON CORPORATION, THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ralph R. Beistline United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING BANK'S MOTION TO SEVER AND MOTION FOR EXPEDITED TRIAL
Before the Court is Intervenor Independence Bank ("Independence") with a Motion to Sever at Docket 77 and a Motion For Expedited Trial Assignment at Docket 78. Independence contends that it is appropriate to sever Independence's claims against Aleut in furtherance of judicial economy and efficiency.*fn1 Additionally, Independence requests that its claims against Aleut be tried in an expedited fashion."*fn2 Both Aleut and Adak Seafood, L.L.C. ("Adak") oppose at Dockets 94 and 95, respectively. Aleut argues that severance of Independence's claims against Aleut "would reduce judicial efficiency by requiring separate trials of the same issue and would raise the risk of inconsistent results."*fn3 Adak concurs with Aleut on this point, stating that "This is an issue that should be decided once, not twice."*fn4
Because separating Independence's claims would not promote convenience, avoid prejudicing a party to the action, nor expedite and economize the current litigation, the separation of such claims from the body of the current case is not appropriate.
Independence's Motion to Sever at Docket 77 is DENIED. Consequently, Independence's Motion For Expedited Trial Assignment at Docket 78 is rendered moot and is likewise DENIED.*fn5
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Civil Procedure Rule 42(b) reads, in relevant part, "a trial judge has the right within his discretion to order separate trials in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy."*fn6
Determining the validity of the Adak Island Fish Processing Plant lease agreement separately from the current Forcible Entry and Detainer ("FED") litigation would be a duplication of this Court's efforts.
Independence argues that having a separate trial would benefit not just the judiciary, but potentially all of the parties because discovery of the relevant facts is complete.*fn7 The request for a declaration by this Court "that the ADAK-[Aleut] lease is a legally valid, binding and enforceable agreement by and between [Adak] and [Aleut] until such time as [Adak] repays the Notes, in full, and the Security Agreements, and related loan documents are discharged" is the central issue among all of the parties' claims and defenses in the current controversy.*fn8 As such, it cannot be separated from the body of the present action.
The resolution of the validity of the Lease as between Adak and Aleut in a separate trial would render moot the current FED action. It would be a duplication of judicial resources for this Court to resolve the validity issue once, in the present case, and then again in another trial. Therefore, in the interest of judicial efficiency and economy, the Court refuses to separate Independence's claims against Aleut from the body of the present case.
For the foregoing reasons, Independence Bank's Motion to Sever at Docket 77 and Motion For Expedited Trial Assignment at Docket 78 are DENIED without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.