United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL
Rune Kraft filed his Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive
Relief (Complaint), Doc. 1, on March 30, 2018. The Court
considers the Complaint sua sponte.
events giving rise to this case began with a dispute between
Inland Concrete Enterprises, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership
Plan (“Inland”) and Kraft Americas, L.P./Rune
Kraft, an individual. In 2011, the United States District
Court for the Central District of California entered a
judgment in favor of Inland against Kraft Americas/Kraft for
$3, 000, 000 and later awarded Inland $552, 623 in attorney
fees. See Doc. 1 at 9, 12, filed July 8, 2015, in
Inland Concrete Enterprise, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership
Plan v. Kraft Americas, No. 15mc33 WJ. On January 5,
2015, Inland assigned its interest in the judgment and
attorney fees to Oldcastle Precast, Inc.
(“Oldcastle”). See Doc. 1-1 at 1 in No.
summer of 2015, attorneys for Oldcastle initiated a case in
this Court, No. 15mc33 WJ, by registering the judgment from
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California and filing an application for a writ of
garnishment on the ground that CalMat Co. in Santa Fe holds
or controls money and/or property belonging to Kraft.
See Doc. 3, filed August 26, 2015, in No. 15mc33 WJ.
The Clerk of Court for the District of New Mexico issued a
Writ of Garnishment ordering CalMat to file an answer
regarding whether it owes Kraft any money. See Doc.
4, filed August 27, 2015, in No. 15mc33 WJ. Calmat then filed
a motion to file an amended answer and to stay action in the
garnishment pending the outcome of its interpleader case in
this Court, Calmat Co. v. Oldcastle Precast Inc.,
No. 16cv26 KG/JHR. See Doc. 7, filed January 8,
2016, in No. 15mc33 WJ. Judge Johnson granted the motion. The
interpleader case is currently pending.
Complaint sets forth five causes of action. The first cause
of action alleges that the Clerk of Court, Matt Dykman,
violated Kraft's constitutional rights because the Clerk
did not serve Kraft with the orders and motions filed in case
No. 15mc33 WJ as required by the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure regarding service. Kraft asks the Court to declare
that the orders issued in No. 15mc33 WJ are invalid.
See Complaint at 25.
second cause of action asserts that the application for a
writ of garnishment was filed in No. 15mc33 WJ by the
attorneys for Oldcastle, and that Oldcastle is not a party to
No. 15mc33 WJ and therefore has no standing. Kraft asks the
Court to declare that Oldcastle is not a party-litigant and
that the attorneys representing Oldcastle cannot use this
Court to decide the merits of a dispute. See
Complaint at 15, 25.
third cause of action asserts that even if Oldcastle is a
party to No. 15mc33 WJ as Inland's successor, there was
no contract between Kraft and Inland. Kraft seeks a
declarative judgment that there was no contract between Kraft
and Inland or that if one was formed it was invalid and void.
See Complaint at 17, 25.
fourth cause of action asserts that any claims Oldcastle may
have against Kraft based on a purported oral contract are
barred by the statute of limitations. Kraft asks the Court to
declare that any claims based on a purported oral contract
between Inland and Kraft are barred by the statute of
limitations and to enjoin Oldcastle's attorneys from
asserting any claims based on a purported December 17, 2007
transaction. See Complaint at 18, 26.
fifth and final cause of action asserts that Oldcastle does
not have standing because it did not suffer an injury in fact
caused by Kraft. Kraft asks the Court to declare that Inland
suffered no damages and did not have a broker contract. Kraft
also asks the Court to enjoin Oldcastle's attorneys from
asserting any claims based on a purported December 17, 2007
transaction. See Complaint at 22-23, 26.
Cause of Action
Court will dismiss the first cause of action, which is based
on the Clerk's alleged violation Kraft's
constitutional rights by not serving him with the Writ of
Garnishment as required by the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, for failure to state a claim. Federal rules
concerning service apply “only if there is no state
statute specifically applicable to service of garnishments.
In other words, a specific state garnishment rule
trumps the federal rules.” Strong v. Laubauch,
65 Fed.Appx. 206, 209 (10th Cir. 2003) (emphasis in
original). New Mexico has specific rules for service of
garnishment in actions in district and magistrate court which
require that the garnishee serve the debtor with copies of
documents served on the garnishee by the judgment creditor.
See N.M.R.A. §§ 1-065.2(F) and 2-802(F).
it appears that Kraft did receive the documents. While the
Clerk did not serve Kraft with a copy of the Application for
Writ of Garnishment, the Writ of Garnishment, or the
garnishee's Answer, he ordered the garnishee to serve
those documents on Kraft. See Doc. 4 at 2 in No.
15mc33 WJ. The garnishee certified that it served Kraft with
copies of those documents. See Doc's 6 at 3, 9
at 3, in No. 15mc33 WJ. Oldcastle noted that Kraft did not
dispute the assertion that the garnishee CalMat sent the
required documents to Kraft. See Doc. 11 at 3, in
No. 15mc33 WJ (in his reply, Doc. 12, to Oldcastle's
response, Kraft again does not dispute that CalMat sent him
the documents). All documents filed thereafter in No. 15mc33
WJ were served on Kraft via NEFs through CM/ECF.
Causes of Action
Court will dismiss the case because it does not have
subject-matter jurisdiction over the remaining causes of
action. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the
court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action”).
Kraft seeks declaratory judgments and injunctions under 28
U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202 which allow the Court to
“declare the rights and other legal relations of any
interested party seeking such declaration” and to grant
“[f]urther necessary or proper relief based on a
declaratory judgment.” “The Declaratory Judgment
Act does not extend the jurisdiction of federal courts; it
only enlarges the range of remedies available.”
Prier v. Steed, 456 F.3d 1209, ...