United States District Court, D. Minnesota
DIOCESE OF ST. CLOUD; CHURCH OF SAINT JOSEPH, ST. JOSEPH; CHURCH OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA, ST. CLOUD; CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF VICTORY, FERGUS FALLS; CHURCH OF SAINT ANNE, KIMBALL; CHURCH OF SAINT JAMES, RANDALL; CHURCH OF SAINT LOUIS BERTRAND, FORESTON; CHURCH OF SAINT BONIFACE, COLD SPRING; CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION, EDEN VALLEY; CHURCH OF SEVEN DOLORS, ALBANY; CHURCH OF SAINT MARY OF THE PRESENTATION, BRECKENRIDGE; CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS, ONAMIA; CHURCH OF SAINT GALL, TINTAH; CHURCH OF SAINT OLAF, ELBOW LAKE; CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, OSAKIS; CHURCH OF SAINT PETER, DUMONT; CHURCH OF AVE MARIA, WHEATON; CHURCH OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, ST. CLOUD; CHURCH OF THE HOLY ANGELS OF ST. CLOUD, ST. CLOUD, f/k/a Holy Angels Congregation of St. Cloud, St. Cloud; CHURCH OF SAINT HEDWIG, f/k/a Church of All Saints, Holdingford; CHURCH OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, NEW MUNICH; CHURCH OF SAINT PAUL, SAUK CENTRE; CHURCH OF SAINT JOSEPH, CLARISSA; CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART, STAPLES; CHURCH OF SAINT STANISLAUS, SOBIESKI; CHURCH OF SAINT PETER, ST. CLOUD; CHURCH OF SAINT ANDREW, ELK RIVER; CHURCH OF SAINT EDWARD, BOWLUS; CHURCH OF SAINT PAUL, ST. CLOUD; and CHURCH OF ST. MARY'S CATHEDRAL OF ST. CLOUD, ST. CLOUD, f/k/a Church of the Immaculate Conception, St. Cloud, Plaintiffs,
ARROWOOD INDEMNITY COMPANY, individually and as successor to Royal Indemnity Company, Connecticut Indemnity Company, The Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, Security Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut Specialty Insurance Company, New Amsterdam Casualty Company, and Orion Capital Companies; THE OF ST. BENEDICT, d/b/a St. John's Abbey; CONTINENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY; ST. PAUL FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY; TRAVELERS INDEMNITY COMPANY;and HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, Defendants.
H. Faricy, Jr., FARICY LAW FIRM, P.A., 12 South Sixth Street,
Suite 211, Minneapolis, MN 55402, for plaintiffs.
S. Carter, Jr., James R. Murray, and Jared Zola, BLANK ROME
LLP, 1825 Eye Street Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20006, and
Stacey L. Sever, STICH ANGELL KREIDLER & DODGE, 250
Second Avenue South, Suite 120, Minneapolis, MN 55401, for
defendant The Order of St. Benedict.
M. Lundeen, BRADSHAW & BRYANT, PLLC, 1505 Division
Street, Waite Park, MN 56387, and Troy A. Poetz, RAJKOWSKI
HANSMEIER LTD., P.O. Box 1433, St. Cloud, MN 56302, for
defendant Continental Insurance Company.
O. Thornsjo and Lance D. Meyer, O'MEARA LEER WAGNER &
KOHL, P.A., 7401 Metro Boulevard, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN
55439, for defendant Travelers Indemnity Company.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
R. TUNHEIM, CHIEF JUDGE
Diocese of St. Cloud and various Catholic parishes in
Minnesota (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) brought
this insurance coverage action to determine which parties
will pay compensation to victims of clerical abuse who have
filed claims in state court.
brought claims for declaratory relief against their insurers,
Arrowood Indemnity Company (“Arrowood”), Church
Mutual Insurance Company, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance
Company, and Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company
(collectively, “Plaintiffs' Insurers”). They
brought additional claims against Arrowood alone for breach
of contract, bad faith/breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent
misrepresentation, and tortious interference with contractual
relations. The Court dismissed all the claims against
Plaintiffs' Insurers except the declaratory judgment and
breach of contract claims. Diocese of St. Cloud v.
Arrowood Indem. Co., No. 17-2002, 2018 WL 1175421, at *9
(D. Minn. Mar. 6, 2018).
also brought a claim for declaratory relief against a fellow
Catholic religious organization, The Order of St. Benedict,
doing business as St. John's Abbey (“the
Abbey”), and its insurers, Continental Insurance
Company (“Continental”) and Travelers Indemnity
Company (“Travelers”) (collectively, the
“Moving Parties”). In January 2018, the Court
issued an order (the “January Order”) dismissing
that claim on ripeness and standing grounds. Diocese of
St. Cloud v. Arrowood Indem. Co. (“Jan.
Order”), No. 17-2002, 2018 WL 296077, at *5 (D.
Minn. Jan. 4, 2018).
March 8, 2018, Travelers filed a Motion for Entry of Judgment
under Rule 54(b) seeking certification of the January Order
as a final judgment. (Travelers' Mot. for Entry of J.,
Mar. 8, 2018, Docket No. 123.) Continental and The Abbey also
seek to join Travelers' Motion. (Continental's Am.
Mot. for Joinder, Apr. 13, 2018, Docket No. 153; Abbey's
Mot. for Entry of J., Mar. 29, 2018, Docket No. 142.)
Plaintiffs oppose the motions. (Pls.' Mem. in Opp. to
Travelers' Mot. for Entry of J., Mar. 29, 2018, Docket
No. 148; Pls.' Mem. in Opp. to the Abbey's Mot. for
Entry of J., Apr. 19, 2018, Docket No. 154.)
the Moving Parties have not demonstrated that the equities of
this case warrant entry of judgment under Rule 54(b), the
Court will deny the motions.
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) allows the court to
“direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or
more, but fewer than all of the claims” in an action.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b). Such an order is appropriate “only
if the court expressly determines that there is no just
reason for delay.” Id.
54(b) orders are an exception and should not be issued
routinely. See Interstate Power Co. v. Kansas City Power
& Light Co., 992 F.2d 804, 807 (8th Cir.
1993). Only a “special case” warrants such an
order. Id. (quoting Hardie v. Cotter &
Co., 819 F.2d 181, 182 (8th Cir. 1987)).
“In determining that there is no just reason for delay,
the district court must consider both the equities of the
situation and judicial administrative interests, particularly
the interest in preventing piecemeal appeals.”
McAdams v. McCord, 533 F.3d 924, 928 (8th
Cir. 2008) (quoting Interstate Power Co., 992 F.2d
at 807)). The Court grants Rule 54(b) orders only if there
exists “some danger of hardship or injustice through
delay which could be alleviated by immediate appeal.”
Burlington N. R.R. Co. v. Bair, 754 F.2d 799, 800
(8th Cir. 1985) (quoting Hayden v.
McDonald, 719 F.2d 266, 268 (8th Cir. 1983)).
Moving Parties argue that the January Order should be
certified as final because it resolves the only claim
asserted against them and denying the motions will delay the
eventual entry of judgment. Plaintiffs ...