As I previously explained, on February 21, Dean voluntarily moved to dismiss his Superior Court action, explaining that he intended to refile it in federal court “due to the Court’s recent decision in 3M v. Boulter, No. 11-cv-1527 (RLW).” True to his word, he filed his federal court complaint, which is virtually identical to his Superior Court complaint, on February 21. (The case was randomly assigned to Judge Leon, which is the same judge who denied the anti-SLAPP motion in Sherrod last year; at the request of the DC Circuit, he explained his reasons last month).
Maddow’s memorandum explains the history of the parallel Superior Court litigation, including that the defendants have moved to vacate Dean’s voluntary dismissal (and instead rule on a pending motion for summary judgment) or, at a minimum, to order Dean to pay their fees. It explains that motion is still pending.
The memorandum asserts that the plaintiffs are engaged in blatant forum shopping and that, in this circumstance, the best course for the court is to stay the federal court action until the parallel Superior Court suit is resolved. It argues that this conclusion is particularly required where, as here, the case presents novel issues (involving whether the statute violates the Home Rule) that could – and should – be resolved by the Superior Court in the first instance.
The motion is strong and I anticipate that it will be granted.