United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. Bucklo United States District Judge
2013, plaintiff Armada (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
(“Armada”) sued defendant Amcol International
Corporation and two of its subsidiaries, asserting claims
under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. § 1964; several claims
under Illinois law; and a claim under maritime law. On March
21, 2017, I issued a memorandum opinion and order (“the
March 21 Order”) granting the defendants' Rule
12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Armada's
RICO claims and its claims under Illinois law. See Armada
(Singapore) Pte Ltd. v. Amcol Int'l Corp., No. CV 13
C 3455, 2017 WL 1062322 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 21, 2017). I denied
the defendants' motion insofar as it sought dismissal of
Armada's claim under maritime law.
me is Armada's motion pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure seeking reconsideration and
vacatur of my dismissal of its RICO claims. In the
alternative, Armada requests that I amend the March 21 Order
to certify the underlying legal issue for interlocutory
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b). For the reasons
below, I deny the motion for reconsideration and vacatur;
however, I grant Armada's request for certification under
Motion for Reconsideration
outset, I agree with the Amcol defendants that Rule 60(b)(6)
does not authorize Armada's motion, which seeks
reconsideration of an interlocutory order. See Chicago
Regional Council of Carpenters v. Prate Installations,
Inc., No. 10 C 5431, 2011 WL 2469820, at *1 (N.D. Ill.
June 20, 2011) (St. Eve, J.). While such relief may be
available pursuant to Rule 54(b), it is appropriate only to
correct “manifest errors of law or fact.”
Id. Armada has not identified any such errors.
dismissal of Armada's RICO claims was based on the
Supreme Court's decision in RJR Nabisco, Inc. v.
European Community, 136 S.Ct. 2090 (2016). The question
presented in RJR Nabisco was whether RICO's
private right of action in § 1964(c) applied
extraterritorially -- i.e., whether the provision applied
“to injuries that are suffered in foreign
countries.” Id. at 2108. The Court answered
the question in the negative, holding that to state a claim
under § 1964(c), a “plaintiff [must] allege and
prove a domestic injury to business or property.”
Id. at 2111.
RICO claims were based on Amcol's alleged interference
with its attempts to collect on a debt it was owed by
Ashapura Minechem Limited (“Ashapura”), an Amcol
subsidiary that became insolvent. Because Armada is a foreign
corporation, and because its alleged injury was economic in
nature, I held that the injury was suffered in Armada's
principal place of business (i.e., Singapore). Accordingly, I
dismissed Armada's RICO claims for failing to assert a
Armada contends that this ruling was mistaken, the arguments
it presents are the same as those previously advanced in its
brief in opposition to Amcol's motion for judgment on the
pleadings. “Reconsideration is not an appropriate forum
for rehashing previously rejected arguments.”
Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole v. CBI
Industries, Inc., 90 F.3d 1264, 1270 (7th Cir. 1996).
Armada again argues that a proper reading of RJR
Nabisco indicates that the relevant question for
purposes of RICO's domestic-injury requirement is the
location of the business or property injured, not where the
injury was suffered. The only novel feature of this argument
is its citation to post-RJR Nabisco district court
decisions, e.g., Tatung Co., Ltd. v. Shu Tze
Hzu, 13-cv-1743, 2016 WL 6683201 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 14,
2016), and Akishev v. Kapustin, 13-cv-7152, 2016 WL
7165714 (D.N.J. Dec. 8, 2016). But I considered these
decisions prior to issuing the March 21 Order. The cases are
distinguishable to varying degrees, and to the extent they
may be on point, I find the contrary line of authority more
these reasons, I decline to vacate the dismissal of
Armada's RICO claims.
Certification Pursuant to § 1292(b)
Armada seeks certification of the domestic-requirement issue
for interlocutory review pursuant to § 1292. The Seventh
Circuit has identified four criteria to be considered in
determining whether to grant a § 1292(b) petition:
“there must be a question of law, it must be
controlling, it must be contestable, and
its resolution must promise to speed up the
litigation.” Ahrenholz v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ.
of Illinois, 219 F.3d 674, 675 (7th Cir.
2000). An order may be certified for
interlocutory appeal only if all four requirements are met.
Id. at 676. The Seventh Circuit has stated that
“§ 1292(b) ... must be used sparingly lest
interlocutory review increase the time and expense required
for litigation.” Asher v. Baxter Int'l
Inc., 505 F.3d 736, 741 (7th Cir. 2007).
conclude that the question concerning the proper
understanding of RICO's domestic-injury requirement is
appropriate for interlocutory appeal. First, the question is
one of law. As the Seventh Circuit has explained, a question
of law is one “the court of appeals could decide
quickly and cleanly without having to study the
record.” Ahrenholz, 219 F.3d at 676- 77.
Although the facts surrounding the transactions and various
corporate entities in this case are complex, the question at
issue here is a very narrow and purely legal one. The parties
do not dispute the nature of Armada's injury or even
where the injury was suffered. Their dispute centers on the
proper way of determining whether the injury should be deemed
foreign or domestic for purposes of § 1964(c).
the question is contested. As noted in the March 21 Order,
RJR Nabisco itself acknowledged that applying its
holding “in any given case will not always be
self-evident, as disputes may arise as to whether a
particular alleged injury is ‘foreign' or
“‘domestic.'” RJR Nabisco, 136
S.Ct. at 2111. While I remain unpersuaded by Armada's
arguments, they are not implausible and, as noted above, they
are supported to some degree by case authority. See,
e.g., Cevdet Aksüt Oğullari Koll. Sti v.
Cavusoglu, No. CV 2:14-3362, 2017 WL 1157862, at *4
(D.N.J. Mar. 28, 2017) (“Several district courts have
considered the meaning of “domestic injury” in
light of the Supreme Court's RJR decision....
[T]wo separate, and apparently conflicting, lines of
reasoning have emerged from these opinions. The first line
... focuses on where the alleged injury was suffered. The
second line ... focuses on where the conduct occurred that
caused the injury.”).
the question is “controlling.” A question is
“controlling” for purposes of § 1292(b) if
its “resolution is quite likely to affect the further
course of the litigation, even if not certain to do
so.” Sokaogon Gaming Enter. Corp. v.
Tushie-Montgomery Assocs., Inc., 86 F.3d 656, 659 (7th
Cir. 1996). Importantly, a question may be controlling
“even though its decision might not lead to reversal on
appeal, if interlocutory reversal might save time for the
district court, and time and expense for the
litigants.” Johnson v. Burken, 930 F.2d 1202,
1206 (7th Cir. 1991) (quotation marks omitted). In short, the
Seventh Circuit has explained, “controlling”
means “serious to the conduct of the litigation, either
practically or legally.” Id. (quotation marks
omitted). The question of whether Armada suffered a domestic
injury for purposes of its RICO claims is serious to the
litigation. Given that Armada's state-law claims have
been dismissed, its RICO claims are its central causes of
action. This is especially so in light of the fact that the
relief available to Armada under ...