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In Re: Ifc Credit Corp (Coactiv Capital Partners v. Leibowitz
March 11, 2011
IN RE: IFC CREDIT CORP (COACTIV CAPITAL PARTNERS
Name of Assigned Judge Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge George M. Marovich than Assigned Judge
Motion  to reassign case is granted. The Court finds that case no. 10 C 7494 is related to this case and should be reassigned to this Judge's calendar.
O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.
In late September 2010, trustee David Leibowitz obtained an injunction from the bankruptcy court that stayed four separate lawsuits, including suits filed by Coactiv Capital Partners ("Coactiv") and First Chicago Bank and Trust ("First Chicago"). Coactiv (10 C 7475) and First Chicago (10 C 7494) filed separate appeals, and the trustee has moved to reassign the First Chicago appeal as related to the Coactiv appeal. Coactiv does not object and agrees that consolidation would save judicial resources. First Chicago objects.
Rule 40.4 of the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois defines "related" cases and sets out the conditions for reassignment. Here, the two cases are related because they involve some of the same issues of law and some of the same facts. See L.R. 40.4(a)(2) ("Two or more civil cases may be related if one or more of the following conditions are met: . . . (2) the cases involve some of the same issues of fact or law; . . ."). Specifically, each of the two appeals seeks review of the same order from the bankruptcy court. Each appeal requires an analysis of the same legal issue (whether the bankruptcy court has "related to" jurisdiction over certain claims) and consideration of some of the same facts (the breadth of the trustee's claims). Accordingly, the appeals are related for purposes of Local Rule 40.4.
Related cases may be reassigned if they meet all of the criteria set out in Local Rule 40.4(b). The Court concludes that the cases meet the conditions for reassignment. First, the two cases are pending before the Northern District of Illinois. Second, the handling of both cases by one judge is likely to result in a substantial saving of judicial time and effort. This is true even though, as First Chicago points out, each appeal presents some unique issues. Third, this case has not progressed to the point where reassigning case no. 10 C 7494 will delay substantially the proceedings in this case. The cases are at the same point, procedurally: Coactiv and First Chicago have filed their opening briefs. The trustee has not filed a response to either. Finally, the cases are susceptible of disposition in a single proceeding, as evidenced by the fact that the bankruptcy court issued a single order dealing with both Coactiv and First Chicago.
For these reasons, the Court finds that case no. 10 C 7494 should be reassigned to this Judge's calendar.
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