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Novel v. Lowe

United States District Court, Second Circuit

June 24, 2013

SUR G. NOVEL, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM DOUGLAS LOWE; REESE, PYLE, DRAKE, & MEYER, PLL; PATRICK M. McGRATH; THE GLEN GALLWITZ LIVING TRUST; THE ESTATE OF GLEN GALLWITZ; WAYNE GALLWITZ; PAUL A. GALLWITZ; DAVID R. GALLWITZ; MARY ANN TEET, RAY S. GALLWITZ; EARL R. GALLWITZ; BETTY SUE STREET; BRITTNEY BALLINGER; KEVIN GALLWITZ; CRYSTAL GALLWITZ; JEFFERY A. ZAPOR; DAVID C. MORRISON; AND FRED W. MANKINS, Defendants.

SUR G. NOVEL, Bangkok, Thailand, Plaintiff pro se.

MARGARET E. DUNHAM, ESQ.. O'CONNOR, O'CONNOR, BRESEE, & FIRST, P.C., Albany, New York, Attorneys for Defendants William Douglas Lowe and Reese, Pyle, Drake, & Meyer, PLL.

THOMAS A. SNYDER, ESQ., DEVINE, MARKOVITS, & SNYDER, L.L.P., Albany, New York, Attorneys for Defendant Patrick M. McGrath.

ALVIN E. MATTHEWS, ESQ., CRYSTAL R. RITCHIE, ESQ., JAMES E. ARNOLD & ASSOCIATES, LPA, Columbus, Ohio, Pro Hac Vice Attorneys for Defendant Patrick M. McGrath.

JOHN F. HARWICK, ESQ., THOMAS J. HIGGS, ESQ., HACKER & MURPHY, LLP, Latham, New York, Attorneys for Defendants The Glen Gallwitz Living Trust, Estate of Glen Gallwitz, Wayne E. Gallwitz, Paul A. Gallwitz, David R. Gallwitz, Mary Ann Teet, Earl R. Gallwitz, and Brittney Ballinger.

PETER T. SHAPIRO, ESQ., LEWIS, BRISBOIS, BISGAARD & SMITH, LLP, New York, New York, Attorneys for Defendants Ray Gallwitz, Betty Sue Street, Kevin Gallwitz, and Crystal Gallwitz.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

MAE A. D'AGOSTINO, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Sur G. Novel ("Plaintiff") initiated the present action pro se on September 19, 2012; he submitted an amended complaint on November 7, 2012 to include additional Defendants. See Dkt. No. 5 at 1-3.[1] Plaintiff alleges eleven counts against eighteen different Defendants: malicious prosecution, breach of contract, violation of federal and antitrust laws, negligence, fraud, interference with the right of sepulcher, and unauthorized practice of law and professional misconduct. See id. at 7, 16, 22, 26, 29, 34, 45, 50, 55-56, 59.

Presently before the Court are motions by fifteen of the eighteen Defendants.

Defendants Ray S. Gallwitz, Betty Sue Street, Crystal Gallwitz, and Kevin Gallwitz move for an order seeking the following relief: (1) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for the Court's lack of in personam jurisdiction over Defendants pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2); (2) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for improper venue, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3); or, in the alternative, (3) transferring venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). These Defendants also seek a stay on discovery pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). See Dkt. No. 21 at 2.

Defendant Patrick McGrath moves for an order: (1) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); (2) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint because Defendant McGrath enjoys judicial immunity; (3) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for the Court's lack of in personam jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2); and (4) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for improper venue pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3).[2] See Dkt. No. 27 at 3.

Defendants William M. Douglas and Reese, Pyle, Drake, & Meyer, PLL move for an order: (1) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for the Court's lack of in personam jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2); (2) dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for improper venue pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3); (3) dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6); or, in the alternative, (4) transferring venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). See Dkt. No. 28-8 at 3.

Defendants The Glen Gallwitz Living Trust, Estate of Glen Gallwitz, Wayne E. Gallwitz, Paul A. Gallwitz, David R. Gallwitz, David R. Gallwitz, Mary Anne Teet, Earl R. Gallwitz, and Brittney Ballinger move for an order: (1) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for the Court's lack of in personam jurisdiction pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2); (2) dismissing Plaintiff's amended complaint for improper venue pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3); (3) dismissing for improper service pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(5); or, in the alternative, (4) transferring venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). See Dkt. No. 35-11 at 5, 15.

Plaintiff has opposed Defendants' motions. See generally, Dkt. Nos. 39; 41.

II. BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are taken from Plaintiff's amended complaint and are, for the purposes of Defendants' motions, presumed to be true. Plaintiff is a United States citizen permanently residing in Bangkok, Thailand. See Dkt. No. 5 at 7, 39. Plaintiff attended high school, college, and law school in Ohio. See id. at 39. He then moved to New York State to take the New York State Bar exam, which he passed in 2002. See id. at 7, 9. Plaintiff retains residences in both Brooklyn, New York, and Hoboken, New Jersey, but has lived and worked in Thailand since either 2001 or 2002.[3] See id. at 5, 9, 39; Dkt. No. 5-2 at 1.

William Douglas Lowe ("Lowe") is a lawyer working and residing in Ohio. See id. at 7. Lowe represented some of the other defendants in Ohio claims. See id. at 11. Reese, Pyle, Drake, & Meyer, PLL ("Reese Pyle") is a law firm with its head office in Newark, Ohio. See id. Lowe is a lawyer at Reese Pyle. See id. Judge Patrick M. McGrath ("McGrath") is a retired Ohio judge residing in Ohio. See id. The Glen Gallwitz Living Trust ("The Trust") is an Ohio trust; its trustee is Wayne Gallwitz ("W. Gallwitz"), an Ohio resident. See id. The Estate of Glen Gallwitz ("The Estate") is an Ohio estate; its executor is W. Gallwitz. See id. at 8. W. Gallwitz, Paul A. Gallwitz ("P. Gallwitz"), David R. Gallwitz ("D. Gallwitz"), Mary Ann Teet ("Teet"), Ray S. Gallwitz ("R. Gallwitz"), Earl R. Gallwitz ("E. Gallwitz"), Betty Sue Street ("Street"), and Brittney Ballinger ("Ballinger") are all residents of Ohio and beneficiaries of The Trust and The Estate. See id. at 8-9. Kevin Gallwitz ("K. Gallwitz") and Crystal Gallwitz ("C. Gallwitz") are married Ohio residents. See id. at 9. Jeffery A. Zapor ("Zapor") represented some of the other defendants in Ohio claims. See id. at 11. ...


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