489 F.2d 1031 (5th Cir. 1974), 73-1119, Holiday Queen Land Corp. v. Baker

Docket Nº:73-1119.
Citation:489 F.2d 1031
Party Name:HOLIDAY QUEEN LAND CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Barton BAKER et al., Defendants, Insurance Company of North America, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:February 25, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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489 F.2d 1031 (5th Cir. 1974)

HOLIDAY QUEEN LAND CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Barton BAKER et al., Defendants, Insurance Company of North America, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 73-1119.

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

February 25, 1974

Charles R. Stack, Miami, Fla., for plaintiff-appellant.

Charles F. Mills, Miami, Fla., John Carruthers, II, Coral Gables, Fla., for Ins. Co. of North America.

Hugh S. Glickstein, Hollywood, Fla., for King.

Leroy N. Friedman, Philadelphia, Pa., for other defendants.

Before WISDOM, AINSWORTH and GEE, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM:

Holiday Queen seeks review of the district court's refusal to dismiss without prejudice, under Rule 41(a)(2), F.R.Civ.P., 1 Holiday Queen's action against Insurance Company of North America (INA). Holiday Queen sought voluntary dismissal of INA because of Holiday Queen's inability to present evidence of its claim against INA on the date set for trial. As a result the district court entered judgment in favor of INA and

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dismissed Holiday Queen's action with prejudice. We reverse.

INA was one of numerous defendants in a conspiracy and fraud case brought by Holiday Queen. Although the original complaint was filed July 12, 1971, it was not until July 11, 1972, after substantial discovery and joinder of various other defendants, that Holiday Queen joined INA as a defendant. INA answered on September 14, 1972. The court held pretrial conference on November 3, 1972 and denied a motion for continuance submitted by Holiday Queen and three defendants (not including INA). At the conference the court ruled that the deposition in which Holiday Queen discovered the facts underlying its claim against INA would be inadmissible against INA. In addition, the court refused to reopen discovery for purposes of retaking the deposition, with notice to INA. The court also notified the parties that the trial would commence in ten days, on November 13.

At a hearing on November 8, Holiday Queen renewed its motions for continuance and for voluntary dismissal of INA. Over Holiday Queen's insistence that it could not properly proceed to trial and that no prejudice would befall INA should the dismissal be granted, the district court again denied the motions. On the date of trial the court, upon Holiday Queen's failure to present evidence, entered its judgment.

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