the status of the state proceeding at the time the stay is requested. Id.
In the instant case, the only significant difference between parties is that the Dittons are not named parties in the state action counterclaim, and IT is not a party in the federal action. However, the Dittons control IT and the only real difference between P & P's federal action and state action is that P & P alleges that the Dittons "caused" IT to commit the fraud and breach of agreements complained of in its state-court counterclaim against IT. Clearly, substantially the same issues are involved in the state-court action. All three of the same agreements or transactions are at issue. The state-court action will necessarily involve the application of Illinois contract and partnership law to the disputes between IT, P & P, the Dittons and Edward Pellegrini. P & P's federal action, involving these same agreements, would also require this court to resolve substantially the same issues involving the interpretation and enforcement of these agreements under Illinois law. The court finds a substantial likelihood that the state-court action will dispose of all the claims presented in the federal case. This is especially true where P & P's civil RICO claim could have been brought as part of its state-court counterclaim and res judicata or collateral estoppel would likely operate to bar such a claim after resolution of the state-court proceedings. See Tafflin v. Levitt, 493 U.S. 455, 110 S. Ct. 792, 107 L. Ed. 2d 887 (1990) (state courts have concurrent jurisdiction over civil RICO claims). Thus, the prerequisite to the application of the Colorado River doctrine is satisfied in this case.
Having determined that the state and federal actions are parallel, there are at least ten factors a court should consider in exercising its discretion to determine whether "exceptional circumstances" exist that would justify deference to the state courts under the Colorado River doctrine. LaDuke, 879 F.2d 1556, 1559. These ten factors are: (1) whether the state has assumed jurisdiction over property; (2) the inconvenience of the federal forum; (3) the desirability of avoiding piecemeal litigation; (4) the order in which jurisdiction was obtained by the concurrent forums; (5) the source of governing law, state or federal; (6) the adequacy of state-court action to protect the federal plaintiff's rights; (7) the relative progress of the state and federal proceedings; (8) the presence or absence of concurrent jurisdiction; (9) the availability of removal; and (10) the vexatious or contrived nature of the federal claim.
No single factor is necessarily determinative and the weight to be given any one factor depends on the particular circumstances of each case. Id. These factors are "to be applied in a pragmatic, flexible manner with a view to the realities of the case at hand". Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital v. Mercury Construction Corp., 460 U.S. 1, 25, 103 S. Ct. 927, 940, 74 L. Ed. 2d 765 (1983). "The district court must reach a carefully considered judgment[,] taking into account both the obligation to exercise jurisdiction and the combination of factors counseling against that exercise." LaDuke, 879 F.2d at 1559 (quoting Colorado River, 424 U.S. at 818-819, 96 S. Ct. at 1247).
In the instant case, jurisdiction was first obtained by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois which has already issued and dissolved a temporary restraining order, denied a motion to strike and dismiss the complaint and directed P & P and Edward Pellegrini to set up an escrow account for receipt of the profits from the Capcom Bowling Kit sales. Discovery has also begun with the state-court proceeding. Inconvenience of the federal forum is a non-factor in this case as the courts are only a few blocks from each other. As can readily be seen from the almost identical nature of the state and federal actions which involve the same three transactions and relationships between the same people or entities, a decision to stay the federal proceeding would definitely avoid piecemeal litigation and the attendant risks of duplicative efforts with possibly conflicting results. See Day v. Union Mines, Inc., 862 F.2d 652, 659 (7th Cir. 1988). This is especially true where the validity, interpretation and enforcement of the agreements as well as the nature of the relationships between the parties (partnerships) are controlled by Illinois law. While federal law would control P & P's RICO claim, P & P's fraud claim in the federal action, and all of its claims in the state actions are controlled by Illinois law concerning contracts, partnerships and common law fraud. The fact that the state courts have concurrent jurisdiction of civil RICO claims, see Tafflin, 493 U.S. 455, 110 S. Ct. 792, 107 L. Ed. 2d 887, further bolsters the adequacy of the state-court action to protect P & P's federal rights. Removal to federal court is not available as the state action currently stands. See 28 USC § 1441. As to the last factor listed, the court hesitates to make any finding that P & P's federal action is contrived or vexatious. The Supreme Court holding in Tafflin was issued after the state-court action was filed by IT and only two weeks prior to P & P's counterclaim and one month prior to P & P's federal action in this court. However, this does not change the fact that P & P's federal claim may now be asserted as part of its counterclaim in the state-court action and failure to assert such a claim might later preclude P & P from litigating such issues in the future under the doctrines of res judicata or collateral estoppel.
The court is aware of the exceptional circumstances required before a court may exercise its discretion under Colorado River to abstain in exercising federal jurisdiction, but the instant case is such a situation. The factors discussed weigh heavily in favor of deference to the state-court action. P & P's claims against the Dittons in the federal action and the Dittons' corporation, IT, in the state action, are essentially disputes over relationships and agreements governed by Illinois law. In light of the factors discussed and the near identical factual basis of P & P's state and federal claims along with the fact P & P may litigate its federal civil RICO claim in state court, this court finds that the state-court action "will be an adequate vehicle for the complete and prompt resolution of the issue[s] between the parties". Moses H. Cone Hospital, 460 U.S. at 28, 103 S. Ct. at 943. Accordingly, the court grants defendants', the Dittons, motion to stay this proceeding pending resolution of the state-court action. See LaDuke, 879 F.2d at 1561, 1562 (stay not dismissal is appropriate action when deferring to a parallel state-court proceeding under the Colorado River doctrine).
ORDERED: Defendants', the Dittons, motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is denied. Defendants' alternative motion for a stay pending resolution of a parallel state-court action is granted.
This case is hereby stayed pending resolution of Case No. 90 CH 327 currently pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.