Parmalat Capital Finance Ltd. v. Bank of America Corp., 011811 FED2, 09-4302-cv (L)
|Docket Nº:||09-4302-cv (L), 09-4306-cv (con), 09-4373-cv (con)|
|Opinion Judge:||WESLEY, Circuit Judge:|
|Party Name:||Parmalat Capital Finance Limited, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Bank of America Corporation, Banc of America Securities Limited, Bank of America, N.A., Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association, Banc of America Securities LLC, Bank of America International, Ltd., Grant Thornton International, Ltd, Defendants-Appellees, Dr. Enrico Bondi, Extrao|
|Attorney:||Kathleen M. Sullivan, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, New York, NY (Peter E. Calamari, Terry L. Wit, Sanford I. Weisburst, on the brief), for Plaintiff-Counter-Defendant-Third-Party Defendant-Appellant Bondi. J. Gregory Taylor, Diamond McCarthy LLP, New York, NY (Allan B. Diamond, Richard...|
|Judge Panel:||Before: Cabranes, Wesley, Circuit Judges, and Koeltl, District Judge.|
|Case Date:||January 18, 2011|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit|
Argued: November 2, 2010
Amended: April 12, 2011
Plaintiff-Appellant Parmalat Capital Finance Limited and Plaintiff-Counter-Defendant-Third-Party-Defendant-Appellant Dr. Enrico Bondi (collectively, "Appellants") commenced these actions to recover damages that they contend are owed to them pursuant to Illinois state law. In this appeal, Appellants challenge orders of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kaplan, J.) and the Northern District of Illinois (Castillo, J.) denying Appellants' motions for remand and abstention, and granting summary judgment to Defendants-Third-Party-Plaintiffs-Counter-Claimants-Appellees Grant Thornton International and Grant Thornton LLP. We hold that the district courts had proper removal jurisdiction over these actions. As a matter of first impression in our Circuit, we set forth the standard for determining "timely adjudication" for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1334(c)(2) abstention. We then VACATE and REMAND to allow the district court to consider, in light of this Opinion, whether abstention is mandatory in the circumstances presented here.
The questions presented are (1) whether the district court erred in exercising jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334(b); and (2) whether the district court properly declined to abstain from exercising that jurisdiction, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334(c)(2). This appeal is taken from judgments of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Kaplan, J.) and challenges rulings made by that court and by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Castillo, J.). The contested rulings include two orders dated February 25, 2005 and February 16, 2006 finding federal jurisdiction in the present cases and declining to abstain from exercising that jurisdiction. We conclude that jurisdiction was proper, but remand to allow the district court1 to consider, in light of this Opinion, whether abstention is mandatory.
These cases arise from the financial collapse of Parmalat Finanziaria, S.p.A. and many of its subsidiaries. Twenty-three Parmalat-related corporations are now in the midst of bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings in Italy. Italy's Minister of Finance appointed Dr. Enrico Bondi, here the Plaintiff-Counter-Defendant-Third-Party-Defendant-Appellant, to serve as Extraordinary Commissioner of these bankruptcy proceedings in a role analogous to a Chapter 11 Trustee. Parmalat Capital Finance Limited ("PCFL"), a Parmalat subsidiary headquartered in the Grand Caymans, is likewise insolvent and currently in liquidation proceedings. These liquidation proceedings are ongoing in the Grand Caymans and are overseen by Joint Official Liquidators appointed by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.
In January and June 2004 respectively, PCFL and Bondi commenced separate proceedings pursuant to former 11 U.S.C. § 304 in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Section 304 permitted PCFL and Bondi, as representatives of the foreign bankruptcy estates, to commence bankruptcy cases in the United States in order to enjoin litigation against PCFL and Parmalat in United States courts.2 Section 304 also empowered PCFL and Bondi to seek orders from the bankruptcy court regarding turnover of property in the United States belonging to the respective bankruptcy estates.
Meanwhile, purchasers of Parmalat's debt...
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