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Super 8 Motels, Inc. v. Patel

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


November 7, 2007

SUPER 8 MOTELS, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAMESH K. PATEL, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

ORDER REGARDING IMPENDING DISMISSAL

In July 2007, Super 8 Motels, Inc. filed suit in this Court, alleging that Ramesh Patel breached the terms of a Franchise Agreement, thereby entitling Super 8 to an accounting, liquidated damages of $78,000 (and/or actual damages for premature termination of the agreement), another $2000 in "recurring fees," plus attorneys' fees, costs and interest. Super 8 invoked subject matter jurisdiction under the federal diversity statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

On threshold review, the Court now determines that the parties are completely diverse (Defendant Patel is an Illinois citizen; Plaintiff Super 8 is a South Dakota and New Jersey citizen), and the amount in controversy suffices. The case was filed (not removed) here, so the "forum defendant" rule of 28 U.S.C. 1441(b) presents no obstacle. Venue appears to be proper as well.

Defendant Patel failed to move, answer or otherwise respond to the complaint, and Super 8 secured a Clerk's entry of default against Patel, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55(a). That was two months ago, however, and Super 8 has not -- in the interim -- moved for default judgment under Rule 55(b).

Accordingly, the Court DIRECTS Super 8 -- no later than November 23, 2007 -- to take one of the following actions: (a) file a motion for default judgment and submit to the undersigned Judge's proposed document inbox*fn1 a detailed Proposed Order which delineates the precise relief sought (accounting, liquidated damages, etc.); (b) file a motion to voluntarily dismiss this case (if, for instance, the parties have settled or otherwise resolved this matter); or (c) file a memorandum explaining why neither such step can be taken at this time.

If Super 8 fails to take one of the three above-outlined actions by November 23, 2007, the Court WILL DISMISS THIS ACTION for want of prosecution.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge


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