United States District Court, D. Idaho
THOMAS E PEREZ, SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Plaintiff,
SANDPOINT GAS N GO & LUBE CENTER, INC., an Idaho corporation, and SYDNEY M. OSKOUI, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
Court has before it Defendant's Motion to Vacate (Dkt.
97), Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment Debtor Exam (Dkt.
103), and Defendant's Motion to Disqualify (Dkt. 105).
Motion to Vacate
Sydney Oskoui asks the Court to vacate the Court's July
12, 2018 Order granting Plaintiff's motion for an order
to show cause. Oskoui asks to vacate the Order as
“void” under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
60(b)(4). Rule 60(b)(4) allows the Court to “relieve a
party or its legal representative from a final judgment,
order, or proceeding” because “the judgment is
void.” Fed. R.Civ. P. 60(b)(4). But Rule 60(b) applies
only to final, appealable orders. U.S. v. Martin,
226 F.3d 1042, 1048 n. 8 (9th Cir. 2000). The July 12 Order
was simply an order to show cause, and therefore not subject
to Rule 60(b).
the Court has already conducted the show cause hearing, but
Oskoui failed to appear. Therefore, the motion is moot. And
even if the motion was properly before the Court, the Ninth
Circuit has already rejected Oskoui's claim that
Plaintiff's counsel is not authorized to represent the
Secretary of Labor in this case. Dkt. 89 at 2-3. Oskoui's
due process and bias arguments are also without merit because
this Court has given Oskoui more than a fair opportunity to
be heard in this matter. As the Court has noted on more than
one occasion, Defendants have engaged in culpable conduct to
avoid litigation of the merits of this matter from the
beginning. Defendants filed several frivolous pleadings,
tried to unilaterally set a hearing on the Court's
calendar, attempted to be represented by a non-lawyer,
disobeyed the Court's rulings, and failed to show at
scheduled hearings. Finally, Oskoui's assertion that the
Court lacks authority to proceed with post-judgment
proceedings in light of his petition for a writ of certiorari
to the Supreme Court is meritless because the Supreme Court
denied the petition. Dkt. 107. Accordingly, the Motion to
Vacate will be denied.
Motion for Debtor's Exam
noted above, Oskoui failed to appear before the Court as
ordered for an examination of his assets and debts after he
failed to pay the damages awarded. The Court directed
Plaintiff to file a brief addressing the Court's
authority to impose sanctions, including monetary fines or
incarceration. Plaintiff has filed that brief, and the Court
has reviewed it.
have inherent power to enforce compliance with their lawful
orders through civil contempt.” Shillitani v.
U.S., 384 U.S. 364, 370 (1966). Civil contempt is
intended to coerce compliance with the Court's order,
rather than to punish as with criminal contempt. U.S. v.
Ayres, 166 F.3d 991, 995 (9th Cir. 1999). One civil
contempt sanction is a per diem fine imposed for each day a
party fails to comply with a court order. Id.
Incarceration is an appropriate coercive sanction so long as
“the contemnor can avoid the sentence imposed on him,
or purge himself of it, by complying with the terms of the
original order.” Hicks on Behalf of Feiock v.
Feiock, 485 U.S. 624, 635 n.7 (1988).
determining what sanction to impose, courts consider the
“character and magnitude of the harm threatened by
continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any
suggested sanction.” General Signal Corp. v.
Donallco, Inc., 787 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir.1986).
Typically, civil sanctions should be the least coercive
sanction reasonably calculated to win compliance with the
Court's orders. U.S. v. Flores, 628 F.2d 521,
527 (9th Cir. 1980).
Plaintiff asks the Court to defer imposing civil contempt
sanctions. Instead, Plaintiff asks the Court to order Oskoui
to appear and produce documents for a judgment debtor
examination pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69.
Plaintiff further requests that the Court notify Oskoui that
if he fails to appear, he may be subject to arrest for
contempt of court and the Court may make an order requiring
him to pay the reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the
judgment creditor in this proceeding. The Court agrees that
such an order is the most efficient and appropriate course of
action at this time. Accordingly, the Court will issue such
an order below.
Motion to Disqualify
asks the undersigned judge to disqualify himself because of
bias. Oskoui essentially bases his argument on his
disagreement with the Court's prior rulings. However,
disagreement with the Court's prior rulings is not
grounds for recusal. Liteky v. United ...