United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
LARSON MANUFACTURING COMPANY OF SOUTH DAKOTA, INC., SUPERIOR HOMES, LLC, Plaintiffs,
WESTERN SHOW HOMES, INC., AMERICAN MODULAR HOUSING GROUP, LLC, AMERICAN MODULAR HOUSING GROUP, INC., PAUL THOMAS, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR LETTERS
ROGATORY [DOCKET NO. 139]
VERONICA L. DUFFY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is pending before the court pursuant to
defendants' removal of the action from South Dakota state
court. Jurisdiction is premised on diversity of citizenship
of the adverse parties and an amount in controversy in excess
of $75, 000. See 28 U.S.C. § 1332. The parties
have consented to this court's handling of their case
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Now pending is a motion
by defendants for letters rogatory to parties in Canada.
See Docket No. 139. Plaintiffs oppose the motion in
part. See Docket No. 143.
case arises out of contracts between plaintiffs and
defendants for the production and sale of modular housing
units by plaintiffs to defendants and related financing
agreements. A more complete recitation of the facts is
contained in this court's order denying the parties'
cross-motions for partial summary judgment. See
Docket No. 142. The facts from that earlier opinion are
incorporated herein by reference.
original complaint contained 21 counts involving nine
separately-named projects. See Docket No. 1-1.
Midway through this litigation, the parties settled the
claims relating to five of those projects so that the
remaining claims concern only four projects, plus some
free-standing claims of debt, guarantee, fraud and deceit,
conversion, and piercing the corporate veil. The housing
projects still being litigated herein are the [Doug] Simon
Unit, Units C5452HTC 1 & 2, Unit 5383, and the Aspen
project. See Docket No. 58. The claims related to
the following projects have been settled: the Carlyle Units
(Waugh Who), the Heidt Unit, Unit 5334, the Colt Unit, and
the Stephenson Unit. Defendants have asserted various
counterclaims against plaintiffs. See Docket No. 57.
addition to the present litigation pending before this court,
there are at least four lawsuits pending in Canada. Two of
those cases, like this one, were begun in 2016 and two were
initiated in 2017. The parties and claims being litigated in
Canada are as follows.
Larson Manufacturing Co. v. Aspen Village Properties
Ltd., QBG 16-2044, plaintiff herein Larson Manufacturing
Company of South Dakota, Inc. is suing Aspen Village
Properties Ltd., the Canada Revenue Agency, and various
contractors or subcontractors seeking to foreclose its
mortgage interest in the Aspen project.
Jahnke v. Thomas, QBG 16-2125, Gregory Jahnke, the
principal in the Aspen properties, is suing defendant herein
Paul Thomas, and Craig Johnson, Dale Larson, and Jeffrey
Ries, the latter three of which are principals in plaintiffs
herein. The subject of that lawsuit involves the credit
agreement and mortgages involved in the Aspen project.
Western v. Aspen Village Properties, Ltd., QBG
17-2616, plaintiff herein Western Showcase Homes, Inc. is
suing Aspen Village Properties, Ltd.; Aspen Village
Developments, Ltd.; Aspen Creek Developments Ltd.; and
Gregory Jahnke, the principal behind the Aspen entities. The
subject matter of that suit is apparently enforcement of the
sales agreement related to the Aspen project.
Mauri-Gwyn v. Larson Manufacturing Co., QBG 17-2404,
plaintiff Mauri Qwyn (of which Gregory Jahnke is the
principal) is suing plaintiff herein Larson Manufacturing Co.
of South Dakota, Inc. and defendant herein American Modular
Housing Group, Inc. seeking an accounting upon the sale of
condominiums by Larson and AMHG.
Motion for Letters Rogatory
defendants now seek to obtain letters rogatory to allow