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Willcox v. Lloyds TSB Bank, PLC

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

September 16, 2016

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

          ORDER FINDING PLAINTIFFS ARE ENTITLED TO A JURY TRIAL

          Alan C. Kay Sr. United States District Judge.

         For the reasons discussed below, the Court finds that Plaintiffs made a proper jury demand in the instant case; accordingly, Plaintiffs are entitled to a jury trial.

         BACKGROUND

         This case involves the issuance by Defendant Lloyds TSB Bank plc's (now known as Lloyds Bank plc) (“Lloyds” or “Defendant”) of certain dual currency loans, also referred to as International Mortgage System (“IMS”) loans. The Court and the 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 September 13, 2013, Plaintiff Bradley Willcox filed a Complaint on behalf of himself and a similarly situated class against Lloyds, in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawaii. Compl., ECF No. 1-2. The Complaint attached a jury demand. Id. at 17. The Complaint brought a claim under the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (“UDAP”), H.R.S. §§ 480-2 and 481A-3(a)(12), and requested declaratory relief pursuant to H.R.S. §§ 632-1 et seq. and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202. See Compl. ¶¶ 46-62. On October 7, 2013, Lloyds removed the case to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1. Lloyds' removal filing included the jury demand from the state action. Id. Ex. A, at 17, ECF No. 1-2.

         On December 3, 2013, Willcox filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), adding Frank Dominick as a named plaintiff. ECF No. 25. On June 10, 2014, the Court granted Lloyds' Motion to Dismiss the FAC. Order Granting Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 49. The Court concluded that the Hong Kong choice-of-law provision in the parties' contractual agreements precluded the assertion of Hawaii and U.S. statutory claims; accordingly, it dismissed the FAC in its entirety. Id. at 46. However, the Court granted Willcox and Dominick leave to file a further amended complaint. Id.

         On August 14, 2014, Willcox and Dominick filed a Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”), bringing claims under Hong Kong law for Breach of Contract (Count I), Breach of an Implied Term Limiting Lloyds' Discretion to Change the Interest Rate (Count II), and declaratory relief (Count III). See SAC ¶¶ 54-78, ECF No. 61.

         On September 19, 2014, Lloyds moved to dismiss the SAC on grounds of forum non conveniens and failure to state a claim. Def. Lloyds' Mot. to Dismiss the Claims Asserted in the SAC, ECF No. 62. On December 23, 2014, the Court issued an Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 73. The Court denied Lloyds' motion to dismiss for forum non conveniens and for failure to state a claim as to Counts I and II of the SAC. However, it granted Lloyds' motion as to Willcox and Dominick's claim for declaratory relief (Count III). Id. at 35-36.

         On January 9, 2015, Lloyds moved to join Michele Sherie Dominick, wife of named Plaintiff Frank Dominick, as a party. ECF No. 76. Magistrate Judge Puglisi issued an Order Granting Defendant Lloyds' Motion to Join Michele Sherie Dominick as a Party on March 16, 2015. ECF No. 94. That order directed that an amended complaint naming Ms. Dominick as a party to this action be filed by March 27, 2015. Id. at 10.

         Plaintiffs filed the operative Third Amended Complaint (“TAC”) on March 27, 2015. ECF No. 100. The TAC names Frank Dominick, Michele Sherie Dominick, and Bradley Willcox (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) as class representatives and brings claims 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.[1]

         The FAC, SAC, and TAC did not contain jury demands.

         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.

         On August 15, 2016, the Court held a hearing on Lloyds' Motion to Compel Plaintiffs to Present a Trial Plan. During the hearing, Lloyds for the first time questioned the basis for a jury trial in this action. The same day of the hearing, the Court ordered the parties to file briefs addressing whether Plaintiffs were entitled to a jury trial. ECF No. 472. The parties filed their respective briefs on August 22, 2016. ECF Nos. 474, 475. On August 30, 2016 the Court issued a minute order allowing the ...


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