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Kraft v. Hatch

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

October 30, 2018

RUNE KRAFT, Plaintiff,
v.
JESSE CLARK HATCH, STANLEY N. HATCH, MATTHEW J. DYKMAN, in his official capacity as Clerk of Court, United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, and DOES 1-10, Inclusive, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         On April 30, 2018, Plaintiff Rune Kraft filed a Motion to Set Aside Judgment and Related Order. (Doc. 9).

         Background

         In 2011, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a judgment in favor of Inland Concrete against Plaintiff. 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. Inland Concrete assigned its interest in the judgment and attorney fees to Oldcastle Precast, Inc. See Doc. 1-1 at 1 in No. 15mc33 WJ. Attorneys for Oldcastle Precast 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 Plaintiff. 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. See Doc. 4, filed August 27, 2015, in No. 15mc33 WJ.

         Plaintiff initiated this case by filing a Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief containing five causes of action. See Doc. 1, filed March 30, 2018. The first cause of action alleged that the Clerk of Court violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights because the Clerk did not serve Plaintiff with orders and motions filed in Inland Concrete Enterprise, Inc. E.S.O.P. v. Kraft Americas, L.P., No. 15mc33 WJ (D.N.M.) (“Inland Concrete”), as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         The Court dismissed the first cause of action after finding that the Clerk of Court complied with the relevant Federal Rule of Civil Procedure and Tenth Circuit precedent. Doc. 4 at 3, filed April 20, 2018. Having dismissed the first cause of action “and concluding there is no independent basis for jurisdiction over the remaining causes of action which would allow the Court to issue declaratory judgments, ” the Court dismissed the case without prejudice. Doc. 4 at 5.

         Plaintiff now moves the Court under “Fed. R. Civ. P. 60 (a, b and/or d)” to set aside the Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal, Doc. 4, and the Final Judgment, Doc. 5. In their Response, Defendants Jesse Clark Hatch and Stanly N. Hatch (“Hatch Defendants”) state that “Plaintiff has not bothered to articulate on which subsection of Rule 60 he relies, merely claiming that the judgment must be set aside pursuant to ‘Rule 60 (a) (b) and/or (d).'” Doc. 11 at 3. The Hatch Defendants then address each of the provisions of Rule 60.

         In his Reply, Plaintiff clarifies the reasons the Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal and Final Judgment should be set aside:

Case No.15mc33 WJ was started at this Court with orders being issued affecting my property before notifying me.
Case No. 15mc33 WJ was started at this Court with orders being issued affecting my property before establishing personal jurisdiction over me.
The following statement in Doc. 4, page 4, lines 5 and 6 is plainly false: All documents filed thereafter in No. 15mc33 WJ were served on Kraft via NEFs through CM/ECF.

Reply at 2, Doc. 12, filed May 17, 2018 (underline and italics in original). Plaintiff also states that the Court “misunderstood” Strong v. Laubach, 65 Fed.Appx. 206, 209 (10th Cir. 2003) and N.M.R.A. §§ 1-065.2(F) and 2-802(F), which the Court cited in its Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal because that Tenth Circuit Case and the New Mexico Rules “contain[] no text that allows this Court to: (a) violate Kraft's constitutional due process rights; (b) take actions related to his property without first establishing personal jurisdiction over him; (c) not serve [Plaintiff] with orders; and (d) not serve [Plaintiff] with motions.” Reply at 3.

         Discussion

          The Court will deny Plaintiff's Motion to set aside the Court's Memorandum Opinion and Order of Dismissal and its Final Judgment because Plaintiff's arguments are without merit.

         The Court did not improperly issue orders affecting Plaintiff's property before notifying Plaintiff. The Court proceeded according to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69(a)(1)[1] and Tenth Circuit precedent[2] in No. 15mc33 WJ when it issued the Writ of Garnishment which ordered the Garnishee to serve Plaintiff with a copy of the Application for Writ of Garnishment, the Writ of Garnishment, and the Garnishee's Answer. See Oklahoma Radio Assoc. v. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp., 969 F.2d 940, 942 (10th Cir. 1992) (“the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have the force and effect of a federal statute”); United States v. Spedalieri, 910 F.3d 707, 709 n.2 (10th Cir. 1990) (“A district court must follow the ...


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