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Satori, LLC v. Prodema

September 22, 2011

SATORI, LLC, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRODEMA, LLS; AND CAVERSHAM, LLC DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary L. Sharpe District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Satori, LLC ("Satori") commenced this action against defendants Prodema, LLS ("Prodema") and Caversham, LLC ("Caversham"), seeking enforcement of a foreign money judgment granted by the Arbitrazh Court of the City of Moscow, pursuant to Article 53 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. (See Compl. ¶ 3, Dkt. No. 1.) Pending are Prodema and Caversham's motions to dismiss. (Dkt. Nos. 16, 34.) For the reasons that follow, Caversham's motion to dismiss is granted; the Court reserves judgment on Prodema's motion.

II. Background

A. Factual History*fn1

Satori, LLC, is a Russian legal entity primarily focused on construction contracting. (Compl. ¶ 1 n.1, Dkt. No. 1.) In September 2003, Satori entered into a construction contract with Prodema, a Wyoming limited liability company. (Id. ¶ 9.) Satori claimed that Prodema breached the contract by "using another's money resources" between February 11, 2005, and October 10, 2005. (Id.) In accordance with the contract's forum selection clause, Satori brought the dispute to the Arbitrazh Court of the City of Moscow ("Russian Court"). (Id. ¶ 10.)

Satori avers that Prodema "was served adequate notice of the requisite hearing on the matter but failed to appear." (Id. ¶ 11.) Based on Satori's "stipulated facts," the Russian Court, applying Russian Federation law, entered a default judgment against Prodema on May 25, 2007, in the amount of $914,634.61. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.) Thereafter, Prodema was given one month to appeal the judgment, but failed to do so. (Id. ¶3.)

Defendant Caversham, a New York limited liability company, is listed as a managing entity of Prodema. (Id. ¶ 1 n.1.) Satori alleges that Caversham controlled and directed Prodema at the time of the default judgment. (Id. ¶ 14.) Furthermore, it states: "There is no evidence to show that [Prodema] was ever doing business, [as] an independent entity, or, [] keeping sufficient corporate records, in accordance with Wyoming code." (Id. ¶ 14.) In support this of allegation, Satori avers that its investigation of Prodema's Wyoming operation "revealed only a vacant storefront with no business being conducted at that site." (Id. ¶ 5.)

Satori now asks the court to conclude (1) that the judgment against Prodema is a foreign money judgment entitled to recognition and enforcement in New York; (2) that the judgment is enforceable against Caversham; and (3) that a money judgment order in the amount of $914,634.61 should be entered against Caverhsam. (Id. at 6.)

III. Standard of Review

The standard of review under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 is well established and will not be repeated here. For a full discussion of the standard, the court refers the parties to its decision in Ellis v. Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP, 701 F. Supp. 2d 215, 218 (N.D.N.Y. 2010).

IV. Discussion

A. CAVERSHAM'S MOTION TO DISMISS*fn2

Caversham asserts several theories in support of its motion, including that the foreign money judgment is "barred by the applicable Russian statute of limitations"; that enforcement of the judgment would be unconstitutional against Caversham, a non-party to the Moscow action; and finally, that Satori failed to make a prima facie showing under Article 53 of the NY CPLR.*fn3 (See generally Dkt. No. 34, Attach. 6.) The court ...


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