United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye U.S. District Court Judge.
before the Court are Defendants Caring People, LLC, and
CaringOnDemand, LLC's (hereinafter referred to
collectively as “Defendants”), First and Second
Motions to Dismiss. Dkt. 6; Dkt. 21. Having reviewed the
record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the
interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court
finds that the decisional process would not be significantly
aided by oral argument, the Court will address the motions
without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R.
7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons outlined below, the Court
finds good cause to DENY both Motions.
Court recounted the background of this dispute in its
previous order. Dkt. 16, at 1-3. The Court now incorporates
that background in full by reference. On March 28, 2018,
Defendants filed their First Motion to Dismiss. On May 8,
2018, this Court entered an order staying the case pending
the resolution of the Florida action. On June 22, 2018, the
United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida (“Florida court”) issued an order in the
Florida action compelling arbitration. That court
“decline[d] to decide the question of the appropriate
forum for arbitration, ” and closed the case.
CaringOnDemand, LLC v. Ventive LLC, No.
18-cv-80211-BLOOM/Reinhart, 2018 WL 3093543, at *3-5 (S.D.
Florida June 22, 2018).
Court lifted its stay on June 28, 2018. On July 6, 2018,
Defendants filed their Second Motion to Dismiss the Idaho
action, arguing that the collateral attack doctrine bars any
relief Plaintiff seeks-including the appointment of an
arbitrator-and that this Court lacks jurisdiction over the
dispute. However, in subsequent filings, Defendants reversed
their position and joined Plaintiff's request for this
Court to appoint an arbitrator. Dkt. 24, at 4
(“Notwithstanding the Collateral Attack Rule,
Defendants Join in the Pending Request for Appointment of an
Arbitrator . . . Because of the practical realities arising
from the Florida court's refusal to act, Defendants will
join with Ventive in this request.”) (capitalization in
First Motion to Dismiss
First Motion to Dismiss raises two arguments: first,
Defendants argue that the first-to-file rule warrants
dismissal, and second, they argue that Plaintiff failed to
join an indispensable party. This Court previously considered
Defendants' first-to file argument, and-after considering
the nature of the case and the related litigation in
Florida-determined that a stay was warranted, rather than
dismissal. Dkt. 16, at 3-5.
Court, however, has not yet addressed Defendants' second
argument. The contract underlying this dispute involves four
parties: Ventive, LLC, Caring People, LLC, CaringOnDemand,
LLC, and Avior Sciences, LLC (“Avior”). Plaintiff
failed to initially join Avior as a defendant due to the
mistaken belief that Avior was “an assumed name or DBA
of CaringOnDemand, LLC.” Dkt. 10, at 10. In its
response to Defendants' First Motion to Dismiss,
Plaintiff said it intended to join Avior as a party. However,
it never did so. As such, the Court must now determine
whether Avior is a necessary party.
to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party is necessary
if “in that person's absence, the court cannot
accord complete relief among existing parties.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(a)(1)(A). Under Rule 19(a)(1)(A), the Court
must determine whether the absence of a party “would
preclude the district court from fashioning meaningful relief
as between the parties.” Disabled Rights Action
Comm. v. Las Vegas Events, Inc., 375 F.3d 861, 879 (9th
Complaint originally sought “an order from the Court
compelling arbitration . . . and appointing an
arbitrator.” Dkt. 1-4, at 2-3. Because the Florida
court has already entered a valid order compelling
arbitration, this Court must simply determine whether it may
properly appoint an arbitrator.
Court's primary concern as it relates to this request is
the potential conflict such an appointment could cause if
Avior is not joined as a party in this case. Avior is a party
to the contract underlying this dispute and was a party in
the Florida action. As such, Avior is subject to the Florida
court's order compelling arbitration. However, the Court
fears appointing an arbitrator now will simply spawn
additional litigation over whether Avior is required to
accept the arbitrator this Court selects. Clearly, such a
situation would prevent this Court's appointment of an
arbitrator from serving as meaningful relief for the existing
parties. Instead, it would simply add an additional layer of
conflict and confusion to the case.
similar reasons, Rule 19(a)(B)(ii) also supports a
determination that Avior is a necessary party. That rule