United States District Court, D. Hawaii
MICHAEL C. GREENSPON, Plaintiff,
AIG SPECIALTY INSURANCE CO F/K/A CHARTIS SPECIALTY INSURANCE CO.; AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP, INC.; PROMMIS SOLUTIONS HOLDING CORP. N/K/A OLD ALABAMA CLOSING COPR.; MCCORRISTON MILLER MUKAI MACKINNON LLP; and DOES 10-30, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR WITHDRAWAL AND VOLUNTARY
DERRICK K. WALTSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is pro se Plaintiff Michael Greenspon's Motion
for Withdrawal and Voluntary Dismissal pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2). Dkt. No. 58. The Court
finds this matter suitable for disposition without a hearing,
pursuant to Local Rule 7.2(d). For the reasons discussed
below, Greenspon's Motion is DENIED.
Complaint, originally filed in state court, seeks a
declaratory judgment regarding AIG Specialty's insurance
coverage obligations with respect to a default judgment
entered in Greenspon's favor in a 2014 state-court
lawsuit (2014 Lawsuit) against AIG Specialty's insured,
Prommis Solutions Holding Corp (PSHC), and Prommis'
wholly owned subsidiary, Cal Western. Id., Ex. 1.
November 2018, Defendant AIG Specialty, and then-Defendants
McCorriston, Miller, Mukai, MacKinnon LLP (M4) and American
International Group (AIG), removed this action to this Court.
Dkt. No. 1. Greenspon filed a Motion to Remand based on: (1)
lack of jurisdiction because of the incomplete diversity of
the parties and (2) discretionary considerations, including
the existence of duplicative, intertwined state-court
matters. Dkt. No. 10. On February 25, 2019, this Court denied
Greenspon's Motion for Remand (February 2019 Order),
concluding, inter alia, that: (1) Greenspon had not
asserted a claim against the sole in-state party, M4,
rendering the law firm's presence as a defendant improper
and resulting in its exclusion when determining diversity;
and (2) Greenspon's pending state-court matters
against defendants other than those named here did not relate
directly to the declaratory judgment action before this
Court, and the only possibly related state-court matter, the
2014 Lawsuit, was no longer pending, having concluded with
the entry of default judgment. Dkt. No. 22.
March 13, 2019, Greenspon moved in state court to amend the
findings of facts and conclusions of law in the
previously-concluded 2014 Lawsuit.
Opposition to Motion to Remand, Dkt. No. 45, at 4. The state
court promptly denied the motion to amend. Id. at 5.
On March 25, 2019, Defendant AIG Specialty, which was not
party to the 2014 Lawsuit, initiated a Special Proceeding
(2019 Special Proceeding) in state court to set aside the
default judgment in the 2014 Lawsuit as it relates to
AIG's insured, Cal-Western. Id. Greenspon
thereafter counterclaimed against AIG Specialty in the 2019
Special Proceeding asserting some claims similar to those in
the declaratory judgment action before this Court.
Id. at 6. The state court consolidated the 2014
Lawsuit with the 2019 Special Proceeding (Consolidated State
Court Proceeding). Id. at 7.
April 18, 2019, Greenspon filed a “Motion to 1)
Reconsider Motion to Remand or 2) to Stay Proceedings Pending
State Court Action” (Motion). Dkt. Nos. 38, 39. The
basis of the motion to reconsider was the newly revived 2014
Lawsuit now consolidated with the 2019 Special Proceeding.
Noting that AIG Specialty had sought to intervene in that
case, Greenspon argued that AIG Specialty would be litigating
in state court anyway and the renewed state-court litigation
constituted intertwined litigation that supported remand.
Declining to be entangled in Greenspon's efforts to
complicate matters before this Court through opportunistic
action in state court, this Court denied Greenspon's
Motion for Reconsideration or to Stay Proceedings. Dkt. No.
M4 and AIG moved for judgment on the pleadings, based in part
on this Court's determination in its Order on Remand
(Dkt. No. 22) that Greenspon had failed to state a claim
against M4. Dkt. Nos. 23, 24. Greenspon did not oppose
dismissal of Defendants AIG and M4 but asked that dismissal
of both defendants be without prejudice. On May 17, 2019, the
Court granted dismissal of the claims against M4 and AIG
without prejudice and instructed Greenspon that he could file
an amended complaint against either or both parties, if he
chose, by June 7, 2019. Dkt. No. 56. Greenspon did not file
an amended complaint.
6, 2019, Greenspon filed the instant Motion to Withdraw and
Dismiss Claims without Prejudice (Motion). Dkt. No. 58. In
support of the Motion, Greenspon argues that the pending
state court proceedings are duplicative of and related to the
insurance coverage proceedings in this Court and that AIG
Specialty has voluntarily entwined itself in the state-court
proceedings. Motion at 4. By his Motion, Greenspon states
that he seeks to “simplify redundant
the date of this Order, the state court proceedings are
ongoing. The state court has denied AIG Specialty's
motion to set aside the 2014 default judgment and AIG
Specialty's Complaint in the Special Proceeding for lack
of standing. Defendant's Opposition (Opp.), Dkt. No. 66,
at 11. Pending in the Consolidated State Court Proceeding are
Greenspon's motion for summary judgment on his amended
counterclaim and AIG Specialty's Motion to Dismiss
Greenspon's counterclaims. Id.
18, 2019, AIG Specialty filed its opposition to the instant
motion. Dkt. No. 66. Greenspon replied. Dkt. No. 67. Pursuant
to Local Rule 7.2(d), the Court elected to decide the matter
without a hearing and the previously-scheduled hearing was
vacated. Dkt. No. 68.
an answer has been served, as in the instant case, Rule
41(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a
plaintiff, pursuant to court order, and subject to any terms
and conditions the court deems proper, to dismiss an action
without prejudice. “A motion for voluntary dismissal
under Rule 41(a)(2) is addressed to the district court's
sound discretion[.]” Stevedoring Servs. of Am. v.
Armilla Int'l B.V., 889 F.2d 919, 921 (9th Cir.
1989). “The purpose of the rule is to permit a
plaintiff to dismiss an action without prejudice so long as
the defendant will not be prejudiced, or unfairly affected by
dismissal.” Id. (citations omitted).
Therefore, “[a] district court should grant a motion
for voluntary dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2) unless a
defendant can show that it will suffer some plain legal
prejudice as a result.” Smith v. Lenches, 263