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Neelu Aviation, LLC v. Boca Aircraft Maintenance, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

September 12, 2019

NEELU AVIATION, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
BOCA AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          BETH BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE is before the Court upon Defendant Advent Aircraft's (“Defendant Advent”) Motion for Relief from Prior Order or, Alternatively, to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, ECF No. [112] (the “Motion”). The Court has carefully reviewed the Motion, Plaintiff's Opposition. ECF No. [121], the record and the applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On April 16, 2019, Plaintiff Neelu Aviation, LLC filed its Amended Complaint against Defendants Boca Aircraft Maintenance, LLC, Skurka Aerospace, Inc., Advent Aircraft Systems, Inc., and One Aviation Corp. ECF No. [63] (“Complaint”). On June 20, 2019, Defendant Advent filed its Answer to the Complaint, ECF No. [89] (“Answer”). In the Answer, Defendant Advent denied the allegation that the Amended Complaint properly conferred jurisdiction upon this Court. ECF No. [89], at ¶ 1. Defendant Advent also asserted that the Court did not have personal jurisdiction over it as its Fifth Affirmative Defense. Id. at ¶ 74. On August 9, 2019, Defendant Advent filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction, ECF No. [109] (the “Motion to Dismiss”). On that same day, the Court struck the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss as an improper filing. ECF No. [110] (“Order”).

         Defendant now seeks relief from the Court's Order, or alternatively moves to dismiss this action for lack of personal jurisdiction. ECF No. [112].

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Pursuant to Rule 60, the Court may grant relief from a judgment or order based upon “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; . . . or any other reason that justifies relief.” See Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1), (6). “The determination of what constitutes excusable neglect is generally an equitable one, taking into account the totality of the circumstances surrounding the party's omission.” Sloss Indus. Corp. v. Eurisol, 488 F.3d 922, 934 (11th Cir. 2007). On the other hand, “Rule 60(b)(6) motions must demonstrate that the circumstances are sufficiently extraordinary to warrant relief.” Aldana v. Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A., Inc., 741 F.3d 1349, 1355 (11th Cir. 2014) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “It is well established, . . . that relief under Rule 60(b)(6) is an extraordinary remedy which may be invoked only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances.” Griffin v. Swim-Tech Corp., 722 F.2d 677, 680 (11th Cir. 1984) (internal citation and quotations omitted). Relief under Rule 60(b)(6) applies only to cases that do not fall into any other category under the rule. United States v. Route 1, Box 111, Firetower Rd., 920 F.2d 788, 791 (11th Cir. 1991). Whether to grant relief pursuant to Rule 60(b) is a matter of discretion. Aldana, 741 F.3d at 1355 (citing Cano v. Baker, 435 F.3d 1337, 1342 (11th Cir. 2006) (internal citation and quotations omitted)).

         III. DISCUSSION

         In its Motion, the Defendant argues that the Court should set aside its Order and reconsider its Motion to Dismiss because other courts in this Circuit have permitted the filing of similarly postured motions. ECF No. [112], at 5-7. Alternatively, Defendant Advent moves under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) and/or 12(i) for dismissal of this action as a matter of law because the Complaint fails to establish the Court's personal jurisdiction over it. Id. at 9-10.

         Upon being served with the Complaint, Defendant Advent was afforded the opportunity to determine how it would respond to the Plaintiff's allegations. Here, Defendant Advent elected to file the Answer prior to filing its Motion to Dismiss. Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides in relevant part:

Every defense to a claim for relief in any pleading must be asserted in the responsive pleading if one is required. But a party may assert the following defenses by motion:
(1) lack of subject-matter jurisdiction;
(2) lack of personal ...

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