United States District Court, D. Delaware
May 28, 2014
DR. LAKSHMI ARUNACHALAM, Plaintiff,
FULTON FINANCIAL CORPORATION, Defendants.
RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.
By separate order, I am granting Plaintiff's motion to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice. I am not going to condition the dismissal on the payment of $23, 470 in attorney's fees. I am influenced by the discussion in DuToit v. Strategic Minerals Corp., 136 F.R.D. 82, 87-88 (D.Del. 1991), which seems to be directly on point.
There are two considerations that I think suggest the correct result here. First, the later in the case that dismissal is sought, the greater the justification for conditioning dismissal on payment of fees or expenses. In this case, dismissal was sought shortly after Defendants answered the complaint. The answer was filed March 14, 2014; the motion to dismiss was filed April 23, 2014. No motions were filed, and the docket reflects no activity between March 14th and April 23rd.
Second, whatever the $23, 470 was spent on, in all likelihood, substantially all of it would have been spent even had Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit on November 26, 2013. A new lawsuit, with a Plaintiff who has standing, has been filed. Had the new lawsuit been filed on or around November 26, 2013, there is no reason to doubt that substantially the same expenses would have been incurred by the Defendants. I do not expect that they will have to be redundantly incurred in connection with the new lawsuit.