Q: I filed a summons with notice in NY.Defendant ignored Summons & filed complaint in Maine based on same dispute.allowed?
The summons with notice was filed in NY for a breach of an LLC operations agreement. The defendant ignored the summons and instead, filed a separate complaint in a different state - in Portland, Maine, which arises out of the same transactions or occurrences that are the subject matter of the NY summons with notice; and (B) does not require adding another party over whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. Do I have a defense? can I get the case dismissed in Maine because the NY summons with notice has been ignored and arises out of the same facts as the complaint filed out of state in Maine?
A: The short answer is, “it depends.” I would need to know more facts and details to provide a more precise answer. That said, you should keep a few general principles in mind. First, what you are describing may be called either parallel or duplicative litigation, depending on whether the lawsuits are identical and mirror images of each other or substantially similar lawsuits with common questions of law or fact between substantially identical parties. Also, what you are describing seems to be a reactive suit filed by the defendant in the first action against the plaintiff in the first action, but obviously in a different state than the first action. Second, except for certain actions concerning real property, there is no outright bar to pursuing parallel or related lawsuits in the state courts of the United States. Third, staying one lawsuit is preferred to dismissing that lawsuit when parallel litigation is pending in multiple jurisdictions. This does not cover all the possible outcomes or scenarios, but hopefully provides you with some general and helpful guidance.
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