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Wye Oak Technology, Inc. v. Republic of Iraq

United States District Court, District of Columbia

December 15, 2017

Wye Oak Technology, Inc. Plaintiff,
v.
Republic of Iraq, et al, Defendants.

          OMNIBUS OPINION ADDRESSING AH OUTSTANDING MOTIONS AS OF 12/15/2017

          HONORABLE ROYCE LAMBERTH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are the following motions and all responses and replies thereto:

         • Plaintiffs Motion to Vacate the Scheduling Order ("Motion to Vacate"). (ECF #160).

         • Plaintiffs Motion for a Status Conference and to Modify the Docket. (ECF #164).

         • Plaintiffs Motion for an Emergency Anti-Suit Injunction and to Quash Iraq's Summons for Lack of Appropriate Process and Jurisdiction ("Motion to Quash"). (ECF #166).

         • Plaintiffs and Defendants' cross Motions for Scheduling Orders. (ECF #185; ECF #187). For the following reasons, the Court will GRANT the plaintiffs Motion to Vacate, GRANT IN PART and DENY AS MOOT IN PART the plaintiffs Motion for a Status Conference and to Modify the Docket, DENY AS MOOT the plaintiffs Motion to Quash, GRANT the plaintiffs Motion for Scheduling Order, and DENY the defendants' Motion for Scheduling Order.

         Wvc Oak's Motion to Vacate

         On July 15, 2016, the plaintiff, Wye Oak, asked this Court to vacate the most recent scheduling order in this case (that scheduling order may be found in ECF #141). (ECF #160). The Court delayed ruling on this motion until Iraq could again be represented by counsel and fully participate in this litigation. As that time has now arrived, the Court can turn its attention to the old scheduling order.

         Every single deadline in that scheduling order has already passed. The latest deadline in that earlier schedule, for the completion of expert discovery, was November 30, 2016, more than one year ago, yet this litigation has barely proceeded beyond where it was when that deadline was set in 2015. It is clear that the earlier scheduling order is now in shambles. The defendants do not object to its being vacated. Therefore, the Court will GRANT the Motion to Vacate.

         Wye Oak's Motion for a Status Conference and to Modify the Docket

         On June 16, 2017, Wye Oak moved for a status conference and for the "terminated" designation that appears in the ECF docket of this case to be removed. (ECF #164). The Court has already convened several status conferences since the date this motion was filed, and so the motion for a status conference will be DENIED AS MOOT. But the Court sees that the ECF docket in this case still shows that the case was terminated on 12/17/2010. Wye Oak is correct that this designation is inaccurate and ought to be corrected. Therefore, the Court will GRANT the motion to modify the docket and will order the clerk to remove the "terminated" designation on ECF.

         Wye Oak's Motion to Quash

         On August 13, 2017, Barbara N. Stoffel-the widow of Dale Stoffel, the former president of Wye Oak who was killed in Iraq while there on business-received a "Letter of Summons" purporting to be from the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Iraq. The letter was delivered to Wye Oak's corporate headquarters address in Pennsylvania. The letter informed Ms. Stoffel and Wye Oak that a court in Baghdad was to hear "their case"[1] on September 17, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. In response to this letter, Wye Oak filed in this Court a motion asking that the Iraqi summons be squashed and that this Court issue an anti-suit injunction against Iraq. (ECF #166). The Court held a hearing on this motion and the factual circumstances surrounding it on September 13, 2017, and the parties have now also fully briefed the matter.

         Iraq has confirmed to the Court that (1) the Letter of Summons was officially withdrawn, (2) the September 17, 2017, court hearing in Baghdad was cancelled, and (3) Iraq is once again fully participating in litigation before this Court. (ECF #184 at 4-5). In light of this, the Court will DENY AS MOOT Wye Oak's motion to quash as there is no longer anything to quash. The Court will also DENY the motion for an anti-suit injunction because there is no present indication that there is any case regarding this matter before an Iraqi court nor any indication that Iraq intends to ...


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