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Sequoia Financial Solutions, Inc. v. Warren

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

February 2, 2017

SEQUOIA FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SYLVIA L. WARREN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          AMANDA ARNOLD SANSONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the court is Defendants Sylvia Warren and Donald Warren, Sr.'s Motion for Sanctions and to Compel Plaintiff's Attendance at its Own Deposition (Doc. 160), Plaintiff Sequoia Financial Solutions, Inc.'s Response to the Motion to Compel of the Warren Defendants (Doc. 164), and Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Response to the Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 169).

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 19, 2014, the Court dismissed the above-styled case. (Doc. 112). On January 28, 2015, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs incurred a result of this action. (Doc. 130). Plaintiff appealed the award of attorney's fees and costs, inter alia, to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. (Doc. 150).

         On August 17, 2016, the Eleventh Circuit rendered an opinion and judgment affirming all appealed orders, including the award of attorney's fees and costs. (Doc. 158). On September 1, 2016, appellate costs were taxed against Plaintiff by the Clerk of the Eleventh Circuit in the amount of $80.40. (Doc. 159). In addition, the Eleventh Circuit also entered an award for appellate attorney's fees in the amount of $11, 427.00. (Doc. 160, p. 2).

         On November 25, 2016, Defendants filed the instant Motion for Sanctions and to Compel Plaintiff's Attendance at its Own Deposition, asserting that on November 16, 2016, Plaintiff's corporate representative and records custodian, failed to appear for their scheduled depositions in aid of execution of Defendants' award of attorney's fees and costs. (Doc. 160). On December 17, 2016, [1] Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motion, arguing that the depositions at issue were unilaterally set and leave to depose these witnesses should have been sought. (Doc. 164). In addition, Plaintiff contends that Defendants did not confer with opposing counsel prior to filing their Motion, in violation of Local Rule 3.01(g), M.D. Fla., as well as Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37. (Id.). On December 21, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion for Leave to File a Reply, stating that counsel “attempted to contact the attorney of record for [Plaintiff] twice by telephone and once by email (with no response whatsoever).” (Doc. 165, p. 2).

         On December 22, 2016, the Court entered an Order directing the parties to confer regarding the pending motions and file a certificate of compliance. (Doc. 166). Specifically, the Court reminded both parties of the requirement to respond promptly to inquiries and communications from opposing counsel. (Id. at p. 2). On December 30, 2016, Defendants filed a certification outlining the numerous attempts made to confer with Plaintiff's counsel regarding the motions. (Doc. 167). It appears from Defendants' certification that counsel made numerous reasonable efforts to contact Plaintiff's counsel, who failed to cooperate with these attempts. (Id.). Plaintiff has not disputed this claim.

         On January 4, 2017, the undersigned granted Defendants' request for leave to file a reply. (Doc. 168). On January 11, 2017, Defendants filed a reply, reiterating their position that the undersigned should enter an Order compelling Plaintiff's corporate representative to attend a deposition in aid of execution and for sanctions.[2] (Doc. 169).

         Accordingly, this matter is now ripe for judicial review.

         II.ANALYSIS

         “[Federal] courts have always had jurisdiction to enforce their judgments.” Heape v. Flanagan, No. 607CV012, 2008 WL 2439736, at *6 (S.D. Ga. June 9, 2008); see also Eagerton v. Valuations, Inc., 698 F.2d 1115, 1118 n. 9 (11th Cir. 1983) (“Ancillary jurisdiction may be properly exercised to protect a judgment of a court through enforcement”). Rule 69 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, provides:

In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or a successor in interest whose interest appears of record may obtain discovery from any person-including the judgment debtor-as provided in these rules or by the procedure of the state where the court is located.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a)(2). “Rule 69(a) provides the process by which a judgment creditor can enforce a money judgment and authorizes post-judgment discovery in aid of execution of that judgment.” In re Clerici, 481 F.3d 1324, 1336 (11th Cir. 2007); see also First Federal Sav. & Loan Ass'n v. Fisher, 422 F.Supp. 1 (N.D.Ga. 1976) (“In absence of determination by trial court that judgment has been satisfied, plaintiff is entitled, as matter of law, to executions on judgment and discovery pursuant to Rule 69”).

         Here, Defendants are entitled to discovery in aid of execution of the award of attorney's fees and costs incurred as a result of this action. (Doc. 130). In addition, ...


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