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Willcox v. Lloyds TSB Bank, PLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

March 7, 2016

BRADLEY WILLCOX, FRANK DOMINICK, and MICHELE SHERIE DOMINICK, Plaintiffs,
v.
LLOYDS TSB BANK, PLC and DOES 1-15, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING RESOLUTION OF DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS, RULE 23(F) PETITION, AND ANY RESULTING APPEAL AND VACATING TRIAL DATE

ALAN C. KAY, SR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant Lloyds TSB Bank PLC’s Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending Resolution of Dispositive Motions, Rule 23(f) Petition, and Any Resulting Appeal (“Motion to Stay”). ECF No. 402.

Further, the Court vacates the trial date.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The Court and parties are familiar with the extensive factual and procedural history of this case, and the Court will not repeat it here except as necessary.

On March 27, 2015, Plaintiffs filed the operative Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”). ECF No. 100. The TAC names Frank Dominick, Michele Sherie Dominick, and Bradley Willcox (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) as class representatives and brings claims against Lloyds TSB Bank, PLC, now known as Lloyds Bank PLC (“Lloyds” or “Defendant”) for Breach of Contract (Count I) and Breach of an Implied Term Limiting Lloyds’ Discretion to Change the Interest Rate (Count II). Id. ¶¶ 6-8, 55-72.

Trial in this case was earlier set to commence on May 17, 2016. ECF No. 178.

I. Class Certification and Rule 23(f) Petition

On July 15, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Class Certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. ECF No. 156. After briefing and oral argument from the parties, Magistrate Judge Puglisi issued his Findings and Recommendation to Grant in Part and Deny in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification (“F&R”) on November 12, 2015. ECF No. 317. The F&R recommended: (1) certifying the instant case as a class action, (2) appointing Willcox (but not the Dominicks) as class representative, (3) appointing Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing and Steptoe & Johnson LLP as class counsel, (4) directing the parties to meet and confer regarding notice to class members, (5) denying any remaining relief requested in Plaintiffs’ class certification motion, and (6) defining the certified class as:

All persons and entities who entered prior to August 2009 into an IMS [International Mortgage System] loan with Lloyds that contained a Hong Kong choice-of-law provision and an interest rate provision based upon Cost of Funds and who are, or were at any time during entering into such an IMS loan, residents or citizens of the State of Hawaii, or owners of property in Hawaii that was mortgaged to secure any such IMS loan.

Id. at 31-32. Lloyds filed objections to the F&R on November 25, 2015, ECF No. 332, to which Plaintiffs filed a Response on December 9, 2015, ECF No. 335. The parties also submitted supplemental Reply and Sur-Reply briefs on December 17, 2015 and December 28, 2015, respectively. ECF Nos. 337, 340.

On January 8, 2016, the Court issued an Order Adopting in Part, Rejecting in Part, and Modifying in Part the Findings and Recommendations to Grant in Part and Deny in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification (“Class Certification Order”). ECF No. 366. For the reasons explained therein, the Court adopted the F&R over Lloyds’ objections, except as to the class definition, which the Court modified to include only plaintiffs of U.S. and Canadian citizenship.

On January 22, 2016, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f), Lloyds filed with the Ninth Circuit a Petition for Permission to Appeal the class certification Order (“Rule 23(f) Petition”). ECF No. 397. Plaintiffs filed an Opposition to the Rule 23(f) Petition on February 1, 2016, 9th Cir., No. 16-80009 (“Pls.’ Rule 23(f) Opp.”), ECF No. 4, and an Emergency Motion to Expedite Review of the Rule 23(f) Petition (“Emergency Motion”) on February 18, 2016, 9th Cir., No. 16-80009, ECF No. 7. On February 29, 2016, Lloyds filed an Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion. 9th Cir., No. 16-80009, ECF No. 8.

II. Summary Judgment

Meanwhile, on October 16, 2015, Plaintiffs and Lloyds filed cross-motions for summary judgment. Lloyds moved for summary judgment as to both of Plaintiffs’ Counts I and II. See Def. Lloyds’ Mot. for Summ. J. at 4, ECF No. 249. Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment only as to their Count I and requested “immediate declaratory relief” as to that claim. Pls.’ Mot. for Partial Summ. J. on Their and the Putative Class’s Claim for Breach of Contract at 1, ECF No. 251.

On December 29, 2015, the parties filed their Oppositions to the respective cross-motions for summary judgment. See Pls.’ Opp’n to Def.s’ MSJ, ECF No. 347; Def. Lloyds’ Mem. of Law in Opp’n to Pls.’ Mot. for Partial Summ. J., ECF No. 348. On January 5, 2016, each party filed a Reply in support of its summary judgment motion. See Reply in Supp. of Pls.’ MSJ, ECF No. 358; Def. Lloyds’ Reply Mem. of Law in Supp. of Lloyds’ Mot. for Summ. J., ECF No. 360.

The Court held a two-day hearing regarding the cross-motions for summary judgment on January 19-20, 2016. On February 11, 2016, the Court issued an Order Denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Their and the Putative Class’s Claim for Breach of Contract on Count I, Denying Plaintiffs’ Request for Declaratory Relief, Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and Sua Sponte Granting Partial Summary Judgment to Plaintiffs on Count II (“Summary Judgment Order”). ECF No. 419.

III. Lloyds’ Motion to Stay and Plaintiffs’ Motion to Modify the Court’s Rule 16 Scheduling Order

On February 3, 2016, Lloyds filed with this Court a Motion to Stay. ECF No. 402. Magistrate Judge Puglisi thereafter suspended the parties’ obligations to meet and confer regarding notice to potential class members and to submit to the Court a proposed class notice and distribution plan until the Court issues a decision on the pending Motion to Stay. ECF No. 405.

On February 23, 2016, Plaintiffs filed an Opposition to Lloyds’ Motion to Stay (“Pls.’ Opp.”). ECF No. 425. Lloyds filed a Reply in support of its Motion (“Def.’s Reply”) on March 1, 2016. ECF No. 428. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(e), the Court ...


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