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Harrison v. Republic of Sudan

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

September 9, 2014

RICK HARRISON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
REPUBLIC OF SUDAN, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JANIE S. MAYERON, Magistrate Judge.

The above matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge to determine whether this case should be dismissed for lack of any activity. The matter has been referred to this Court for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 72.1(c).

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs had obtained a judgment against defendant in the District of Columbia in the amount of $314, 705, 896.00 ("Judgment"). See Docket No. 1, Ex. B. In a related action, this Court issued an order authorizing attachment of defendant's assets within this jurisdiction and authorized plaintiffs to enforce the judgment against defendant within this jurisdiction using post-judgment enforcement procedures. See Harrison v. Sudan, Misc. No. 13-39 (PJS/JSM), Order [Docket No. 4]. Plaintiffs then commenced this action by filing a Notice of Pending Action - 28 U.S.C. § 1605A(g) Lis Pendens in this Court.[1] [Docket No. 1]. The purpose of this action was to provide notice of the Judgment, which affects all property located in this judicial district owned by the defendant and numerous entities, agencies or instrumentalities of defendant, so as to allow plaintiffs to proceed to take over any assets located in the District.

More than a year has now passed since commencement of this proceeding, and no action has been taken except for a Stipulation for a Protective Order executed by plaintiffs and Wells Fargo, and submitted to this Court in August, 2013, and which this Court adopted a few days later. See Docket Nos. 5, 6. Accordingly, on August 8, 2014, this Court issued an Order directing plaintiffs by August 28, 2104, to: (1) notify defense counsel immediately that he or she is required to make an appearance or move for an extension of time to do so; (2) file an application for entry of default unless the required pleading is filed within 10 days; or (3) advise the Court in writing of any good cause to the contrary.[2] [Docket No. 7]. The Order expressly informed plaintiffs that if they failed to comply with the Order, the Court would recommend dismissing the case for lack of prosecution. Id.

On September 3, 2014, plaintiffs submitted a Response to the Court's Order of August 8, 2014. [Docket No. 8]. In their Response, plaintiffs admitted that contrary to the information they had received from the Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC"), they had located no assets belonging to defendant in this District. Id . Plaintiffs did state that they were continuing their efforts to locate and execute upon assets belonging to defendant, and that they intended to re-subpoena the OFAC for any new assets that may have been blocked in this district over the past year. Id . In short, it is apparent to this Court that the matter was filed here erroneously or prematurely. Therefore, this Court recommends that this matter be dismissed without prejudice. In the event that plaintiffs discover assets located in this District belonging to defendant, or any entities, agencies or instrumentalities of defendant, plaintiffs may commence a new proceeding at that time.

II. RECOMMENDATION

For the reasons stated above, it is hereby RECOMMENDED that Plaintiffs' Complaint [Docket No. 1] be DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.


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