United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
October 24, 2005.
KENNETH ROGERS, Plaintiff,
RANDO MACHINE CORP., et al., Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID HERNDON, District Judge
Upon being notified by the parties that a settlement had been
reached, on August 30, 2005, the Court entered its Order of
Dismissal in this case, but retained jurisdiction over the case
for purposes of enforcing the settlement agreement. (Doc. 61.)
Pursuant to the dismissal order, the parties had a sixty (60) day
window from the date of the order in which to move to reopen the
case for purposes of enforcing the settlement agreement.
One of plaintiff's attorneys, Gordon W. Neilson, has filed a
timely motion to reopen the case. (Doc. 62.) However, his request
deviates slightly instead of asking the Court to reopen the
case to enforce the settlement agreement, he requests the Court to enforce his attorney lien and interest thereon. It
is unclear from the instant motion as to whom Mr. Neilson seeks
to enforce his lien against. Either way, enforcing a lien for
attorneys' fees is a matter collateral to enforcing the
settlement agreement between the parties. It is a separate
contractual matter existing between Mr. Neilson and either his
client or co-counsel (depending upon the party he seeks to
enforce the lien against) or could even involve a Defendant
failing to honor a perfected lien.
In order to consider the instant motion, the Court must have
independent jurisdiction over the matter. Clearly, Mr. Neilson
has not supplied sufficient information necessary for the Court
to determine whether proper jurisdiction exists. It is possible
that jurisdiction may exist under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, however,
the Court is unaware of whom Mr. Neilson specifically seeks to
enforce the lien against, whether that party is diverse from Mr.
Neilson, and also whether the amount in controversy would be met.
Otherwise, it is very likely that this shall be a matter to be
resolved in state court.
At this time, Plaintiff's Motion to Open Case and to Retain
Jurisdiction Thereof is GRANTED, so that the Court does not
lose jurisdiction pursuant to its previous order. However, Mr.
Neilson is required to amend his motion for adjudication of his
attorney lien in order to be more specific in his claim as to
whom he seeks to enforce his lien against and the basis of this
Court's jurisdiction. The amended motion must be filed on or
before November 21, 2005. For that purpose, the Clerk is directed to REOPEN this file.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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