Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BRIDGEWAY CORP. v. CITIBANK

March 2, 2001

BRIDGEWAY CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
V.
CITIBANK, N.A., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chin, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM DECISION

In November 1992, plaintiff Bridgeway Corporation ("Bridgeway") sued defendant Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank"), in Monrovia, Liberia, to recover monies it deposited in Citibank's Liberian branch. After the Supreme Court of Liberia granted judgment against defendant in the amount of US$189,376.66 (the "Liberian judgment"), plaintiff sought to enforce the Liberian judgment in the United States. On March 31, 1999, this Court denied plaintiffs motion for summary judgment and granted, sua sponte, summary judgment for defendant after finding as a matter of law that the Liberian judicial system did not comport with the requirements of due process. Bridgeway Corp. v. Citibank, 45 F. Supp.2d 276, 287-88 (S.D.N.Y. 1999). The Second Circuit affirmed. Bridgeway Corp. v. Citibank, 201 F.3d 134 (2d Cir. 2000).

Plaintiff now moves to be relieved from the March 31, 1999, judgment and for leave to file an amended complaint. Defendant opposes plaintiffs motion and also moves to dismiss the complaint, arguing that (1) plaintiffs claims — breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment — are untimely, (2) plaintiff failed to state a claim for breach of contract, (3) plaintiff failed to plead fraud with particularity, and (4) plaintiff failed to state a claim for unjust enrichment. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiffs motion to be relieved from the March 31, 1999, judgment and to file an amended complaint is granted, and defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint is denied in part and granted in part.

BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

The underlying facts of this action are detailed in this Court's March 30, 1999, opinion. Bridgeway, 45 F. Supp.2d at 280-82.

B. Prior Proceedings in New York Courts

In October, 1997, plaintiff brought an action in New York State Supreme Court, pursuant to Article 53 of the C.P.L.R., to enforce the Liberian judgment against defendant. The action was brought by the filing of a motion for summary judgment in lieu of a complaint, as permitted by § 3213 of the C.P.L.R. (Calvey Certif. ¶ 9). Defendant removed the action to the Southern District of New York. Because the federal rules do not provide for litigation of an action solely upon a summary judgment motion, plaintiff filed a complaint on February 27, 1998, which was two pages in length and sought solely the enforcement of the Liberian judgment (the "original action" or "original complaint"). (See Nevling Decl., at A3-4). Plaintiff then moved for summary judgment, and, on March 31, 1999, I denied the motion. Instead, I granted, sua sponte, summary judgement in favor of defendant, finding that "at the time the judgment at issue was rendered, the Liberian judicial system was not fair and impartial and did not comport with the requirements of due process." Bridgeway, 45 F. Supp.2d at 287. The Second Circuit affirmed.

On May 12, 2000, plaintiff commenced an entirely new action against defendant, docket number 00 Civ. 3598 (the "new action"). The new action seeks recovery for defendant's alleged breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment — in essence, raising, for the first time before this Court, the matters that formed the basis of the Liberian judgment.

On May 26, 2000, plaintiff moved to be relieved from this Court's March 31, 1999, judgment, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b)(6), and to file an amended complaint, which is identical to the complaint filed in the new action. In addition, plaintiff requested that the new action be consolidated with the original action.

Defendant opposes plaintiffs Rule 60(b)(6) motion and motion for leave to amend, and defendant also moves to dismiss the new action.*fn1

DISCUSSION

First, I address plaintiffs Rule 60(b)(6) motion. Then, I shall address plaintiffs motion for leave to file an amended complaint, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15(a). Finally, I will address defendant's motion to dismiss the amended complaint.*fn2

I. Relief From Judgment and Leave to File an Amended Complaint

A. Rule 60(b)(6)

Rule 60(b)(6) provides that a "court may relieve a party . . . from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for . . . any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment." Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(6). The rule:

confers broad discretion on the trial court to grant relief when appropriate to accomplish justice, . . . [and] it constitutes a grand reservoir of equitable power to do justice in a particular case. . . . It is properly invoked where there are extraordinary circumstances, . . . or where the judgment may work an extreme and undue hardship, . . . and should be liberally construed when substantial justice will thus be served.

Matarese v. LeFevre, 801 F.2d 98, 106 (2d Cir. 1986) (internal quotations and citations omitted); accord Manhattan Cable Television, Inc. v. Cable Doctor, Inc., 824 F. Supp. 34, 35 (S.D.N.Y. 1993) (quoting Matarese and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.