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Ford Motor Credit Co., LLC v. Cowling

United States District Court, S.D. Alabama, Northern Division

April 28, 2015

FORD MOTOR CREDIT CO., LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LEONARD E. COWLING, Defendant.

ORDER

KATHERINE P. NELSON, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Ford Motor Credit Company, LLC's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 22) without prejudice, pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(2).[1] Plaintiff requests dismissal without prejudice of its entire suit. Doc. 22 at 1. As grounds for the motion, Plaintiff indicates that Defendant Leonard Cowling's debt to Plaintiff has been discharged in bankruptcy. Doc. 22 at 1; see Doc. 22-1. As Defendant Cowling has previously filed an answer (Doc. 14), the Court cannot construe the motion as a notice of dismissal under FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(1)(A)(i).

Under FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(2), the Court may dismiss Plaintiff's claims "upon such terms and conditions as the court deems proper." Such a dismissal is without prejudice unless otherwise specified by the Court. FED. R. CIV. P. 41(a)(2). The Eleventh Circuit has explained the relevant considerations for a motion for voluntary dismissal in the following terms:

The district court enjoys broad discretion in determining whether to allow a voluntary dismissal under Rule 41(a)(2). McCants v. Ford Motor Co., Inc., 781 F.2d 855, 857 (11th Cir. 1986). "[I]n most cases, a voluntary dismissal should be granted unless the defendant will suffer clear legal prejudice, other then [sic] the mere prospect of a subsequent lawsuit, as a result." Id. at 856-57. "The crucial question to be determined is, Would the defendant lose any substantial right by the dismissal." Durham v. Florida East Coast Ry. Co., 385 F.2d 366, 368 (5th Cir. 1967). In exercising its "broad equitable discretion under Rule 41(a)(2), " the district court must "weigh the relevant equities and do justice between the parties in each case, imposing such costs and attaching such conditions to the dismissal as are deemed appropriate." McCants, 781 F.2d at 857...

Pontenberg v. Boston Scientific Corp., 252 F.3d 1253, 1255-56 (11th Cir. 2001) accord Goodwin v. Reynolds, 757 F.3d 1216, 1219 (11th Cir. 2014); see also Bracket v. State Highways and Transp. Comm'n, 163 F.R.D. 305, 307 (W.D. Mo. 1995) (the decision of whether to grant dismissal and, if so, whether to impose conditions on that dismissal rests in the court's discretion).

On April 17, 2015, the Court ordered Mr. Cowling to "file any substantive response he may have in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss without prejudice (Doc. 22) no later than Friday, April 24, 2015." Doc. 23 at 2. Mr. Cowling was informed that if no such response was filed, "the motion w[ould] be deemed unopposed and the Court w[ould] unconditionally grant the motion on April 27, 2015." Id.

The Court's deadline has passed, with Mr. Cowling having filed no response in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss without prejudice (Doc. 22) is GRANTED and that this action is DISMISSED without prejudice.

Final judgment in accordance with this Order and FED. R. CIV. P. 58 shall issue separately.

DONE and ORDERED.


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