IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD DIVISION
December 3, 2008
ENBRIDGE PIPELINES (ILLINOIS) L.L.C., PLAINTIFF,
VIVIAN E. MURPHY, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for reassignment of the case filed by the Plaintiff.
Plaintiff Enbridge Pipelines (Illinois) L.L.C. has moved, pursuant to Local Rule 42.1, for the reassignment of this case to United States District Judge Jeanne E. Scott. In its complaint, the Plaintiff proposes to construct a new pipeline leading to a hub in Patoka, Illinois. The Plaintiff alleges that the majority of the new pipeline will be installed within an existing pipeline right-of-way which it owns. Judge Scott recently presided over the earliest of these cases concerning the validity of the right-of-way, entering a judgment on May 16, 2008, declaring the rights of the parties under the pertinent right-of-way grant. See Kelly v. Enbridge (U.S.) Inc., No. 07-3245.
In support of its motion, the Plaintiff claims that this case is related to several cases currently pending in this Court. The Plaintiff alleges that it recently filed nine other cases that are nearly identical, eight of which are now pending before Judge Scott.*fn1 The Plaintiff has moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) to consolidate those cases which are pending before Judge Scott.
Local Rule 42.1 provides, in part, "Later-filed related cases may be transferred to the judge assigned to the first-filed suit, regardless of whether the cases are consolidated." The right-of-way grants at issue in this case are similar to those in the eight cases now pending before Judge Scott. As such, the Court concludes that judicial economy would best be served by having these cases assigned to the same judge.
Ergo, the Plaintiff's motion for reassignment of this case [d/e 7] is ALLOWED.
The Clerk is directed to transfer this case to Judge Scott.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Richard Mills United States District Judge