December 6, 2013
James L Gagan, Plaintiff,
The Estate of Victor E Sharar, et al., Defendants.
ROBERT C. BROOMFIELD, District Judge.
Currently pending before the court is defendant James Monroe's motion to transfer Gagan v. Monroe, No. CV-13-1113-PHX-SRB ("Gagan II"), which was randomly assigned to the Honorable Susan R. Bolton, United States District Court Judge,  to this court pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a)(1) and LRCiv 42.1(a). As part of this motion, the defendant also requests a "suspen[sion] [of] all deadlines, including the Answer deadline;" and a stay of all discovery until the resolution of his motion to dismiss in the present action, Gagan v. Sharar, No. CV-99-01427-PHX-RCB ("Gagan I"). For the reasons set forth below, the court hereby GRANTS defendant Monroe's motion in its entirety.
For approximately 18 years, this court has presided over Gagan I, wherein plaintiff Gagan has been seeking to enforce an Indiana judgment for roughly $1.7 million against defendant James Monroe, among others. The court assumes familiarity with Gagan I. On May 31, 2013, plaintiff James L. Gagan commenced an action against defendant Monroe and others, some of whom are also participants in Gagan I in one capacity or another. In the recently filed Gagan II action, the plaintiff alleges five separate counts of fraudulent transfers, and a conspiracy to commit fraudulent transfers. The Gagan II complaint also broadly alleges that the foregoing is part of a larger attempt by defendant Monroe to conceal his assets and hinder the plaintiff's collection activities in Gagan I. Thus, as defendant Monroe accurately describes the Gagan II complaint, it "arises from the same judgment" as Gagan I and "seeks to introduce additional defendants for purposes of continued collection efforts." Mot. (Doc. 20) at 2:16-17.
LRCiv 42.1(a) states in part:
Whenever two or more cases are pending before different Judges and any party believes that such cases (A) arise from substantially the same transaction or event; (B) involve substantially the same parties or property;... (D) call for determination of substantially the same question of law; or (E) for any other reason would entail substantial duplication of labor if heard by different Judges, any party may file a motion to transfer the case or cases involved to a single Judge.
LRCiv. 42.1(a)(1) (emphasis added). Relying upon the highlighted language, defendant Monroe is seeking to have Gagan II transferred to the undersigned. The defendant points, inter alia, to the similarity of subject matter, and the "substantial duplication of effort" which would result if Gagan II is not transferred to the undersigned. Mot. (Doc. 20) at 3:12-13. Nearly all of the defendants in Gagan II are expressly joining in defendant Monroe's motion to transfer (Docs. 25 and 27).
Acknowledging the undersigned's involvement in this case for many years, plaintiff Gagan does not oppose transfer of Gagan II. Notice of Non-Opposition (Doc. 28). The plaintiff makes no mention, however, of the other aspects of the defendant's motion, i.e., the request to suspend all deadlines and preclude all discovery, "until such time as the Motion to Dismiss [in Gagan I] is fully litigated." See Mot. (Doc. 20) at 1:23-24.
In light of the foregoing, and given this court's extensive involvement and intimate familiarity with the subject of these two actions, it finds that in the interests of judicial economy, Gagan II should be transferred to the undersigned.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
"Defendant James Monroe's Rule 42 Motion to Transfer; Motion to Suspend Deadlines and Motion for a Protective Order" (Doc. 20 in No. CV-13-1113-PHX-SRB) is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that:
the Clerk of the Court shall transfer No. CV-13-1113 to this Court; and all future filings relating thereto shall reflect the new case number of CV-13-1113-PHX-RCB; and the Clerk of the Court shall file a copy of this order in CV-99-01427-PHX-RCB.