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Double Eagle Energy, Inc. v. Loos

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION


March 20, 2007

DOUBLE EAGLE ENERGY, INC., A TEXAS CORPORATION REGISTERED TO DO BUSINESS IN ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DALE R. LOOS AND LYNN S. LOOS, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge

OPINION

This case is before the Court on the Defendants' motion to dismiss and the Plaintiff's motion to strike the Defendants' motion to dismiss.

The Plaintiff filed its complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages. The Plaintiff alleges that because the dispute is between citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, subject matter jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

The Defendants move to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on the basis that the Plaintiff's have failed to establish the requisite amount in controversy. When the allegations of the complaint are accepted as true, the Court is unable to conclude that the Plaintiff is unable to satisfy the amount in controversy.

Alternatively, the Defendants move to dismiss on the basis of res judicata. The Defendants note that each count in the Plaintiff's complaint concerns the parties' rights, duties and responsibilities pursuant to the Oil and Gas Lease entered into between the parties on September 15, 2003. Defendants allege that they obtained a judgment against the Plaintiff in the Circuit Court of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, Adams County, Illinois on November 27, 2006, which determined the Lease entered into between the parties to be wholly null and void.

In its response, the Plaintiff contends that it has moved to set aside the default judgment on the basis that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction. Because that issue has not been resolved, the Court agrees with the Plaintiff's assertion that the Court is unable to conclude the Plaintiff's claims are barred as a matter of law.

Ergo, the Defendant's motion to dismiss [d/e 6] is DENIED. The Plaintiff's motion to strike the Defendant's motion to dismiss [d/e 7] is DENIED AS MOOT. The parties are Directed to contact United States Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore for the purpose of scheduling a discovery conference.

20070320

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