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Suraleb, Inc. v. Production Association" Minsk Tractor Works, " Republic of Belarus

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 21, 2014

SURALEB, INC., Petitioner,
v.
PRODUCTION ASSOCIATION

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

GEORGE M. MAROVICH, District Judge.

The parties to this case have a history of first asking the Court for relief and only later citing (and perhaps researching) the applicable law. This shoot-first-aim-later approach has rendered more complex a relatively straight-forward motion to revive a judgment.

On June 27, 2006, petitioner Suraleb, Inc. ("Suraleb") filed a petition to confirm a foreign arbitration as to respondent Production Association "Minsk Tractor Works, " Republic of Belarus ("Tractor Works"). The arbitrators had rendered an award that, among other things, required Tractor Works to pay Suraleb $2, 166, 555.00 plus $987, 224.61 for attorneys' fees plus 1, 203, 761 Swedish Kronor for the costs of arbitration. On December 5, 2006, the Court entered judgment confirming the arbitration award and granting Suraleb $88, 777.96 in prejudgment interest.

After nearly seven years had passed, Suraleb filed a motion to revive the judgment. In its motion, it asked the Court to revive the judgment in the amount of $3, 745, 535 plus $1, 225, 698 in post-judgment interest. Suraleb also noted in its motion that Tractor Works was entitled to credits in the amount of $100, 000.00.

The Court referred Suraleb's motion to Magistrate Judge Brown, and the parties briefed the motion. After the deadline for filing a reply in support of its motion to revive the judgment, Suraleb filed a motion for leave to amend its motion to revive the judgment. In its motion to amend, Suraleb noted that Tractor Works was entitled to additional credits against the judgment and that it wanted a chance to include them. On November 8, 2013, Magistrate Judge Brown entered a Report and Recommendation, in which she recommended that Suraleb's motion to amend be denied and that its motion to revive the judgment be granted, though without putting a dollar figure on the post-judgment interest.

Tractor Works filed timely objections, which are now fully briefed. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts in part the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, overrules Tractor Works' objections, grants the motion to revive the judgment and denies as moot the motion for leave to amend the motion to revive the judgment.

I. Standard of review

When a magistrate judge has issued a Report and Recommendation, "[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

II. Discussion

Rule 69 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure says that execution of a judgment must proceed according to state law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(a)(1). Under Illinois law, a judgment is good for seven years, but it can be revived ( see 735 ILCS 5/12-108(a)) within twenty years of the date of judgment ( see 735 ILCS 5/13-218). The Illinois code sets out the procedure:

(a) A judgment may be revived by filing a petition to revive the judgment in the seventh year after its entry, or in the seventh year after its last revival, or in the twentieth year after its entry, or at any other time within 20 years after its entry if the judgment becomes dormant.
(b) A petition to revive a judgment... shall include a statement as to the original date and amount of the judgment, court costs expended, accrued interest, and credits to the judgment, if any.
* * *
(d) An order reviving a judgment shall be for the original amount of the judgment. The plaintiff may recover interest and court costs from the date of the original judgment. Credits to the judgment shall be reflected by ...

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