Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

R&R Auction Co., LLC v. Mueller

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

September 3, 2019

R&R Auction Company, LLC
v.
Todd Mueller

          ORDER

          Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge.

         R&R Auction, LLC brought suit against Todd Mueller, seeking a declaratory judgment that Mueller is obligated under the parties' Auction Consignment Agreement to indemnify R&R Auction for costs and fees incurred in litigation involving Mueller and other parties. R&R Auction also brings a claim for “Express Indemnity.” Mueller moves for judgment on the pleadings, and R&R Auction objects.

         Standard of Review

         A motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is addressed under the standard for a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). Shay v. Walters, 702 F.3d 76, 82 (1st Cir. 2012). The court takes the plaintiff's factual allegations as true and draws reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Kando v. R.I. State Bd. Of Elections, 880 F.3d 53, 58 (1st Cir. 2018). Legal conclusions are not credited. Najas Realty, LLC v. Seekonk Water Dist., 821 F.3d 134, 140 (1st Cir. 2016). Taken in that light, the complaint must provide facts to support a claim that “is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Doe v. Brown Univ., 896 F.3d 127, 130 (1st Cir. 2018).

         Background

         In the complaint, R&R Auction alleges that it is an auction house located in New Hampshire that conducts live and on-line auctions, specializing in auctions of autographed memorabilia. Mueller and R&R Auction entered into the Auction Consignment Agreement (“Agreement”) in November of 2010. Either then or at another time, Mueller attempted to consign items to R&R Auction that R&R Auction rejected because it could not verify the authenticity of the items.

         Mueller and his company, Todd Mueller Autographs LLC, brought suit against R&R Auction, and others, in the Superior Court of the State of California in April of 2016. Mueller alleged claims of intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, violation of California Business and Professional Code § 17200, and conspiracy to commit trade libel. The claims arose from disputes between Mueller and R&R Auction, and others, about the authenticity or value of Mueller's items.

         On the same day, Nelson Deedle and his company, Iconographs, Inc., also brought suit against R&R Auctions, and others, in California. Deedle and his company alleged the same claims that were brought by Mueller based on allegations that R&R Auction wrongfully refused to accept items from Deedle, falsely claiming the items were not authentic. Deedle alleged that R&R Auction rejected the items because of Deedle's relationship with Mueller.

         R&R Auction resolved Deedle's claims on March 7, 2019, although it apparently has not yet been dismissed from the action. R&R Auction alleges that Mueller dismissed it from Mueller's suit on April 3, but then moved to set aside the dismissal. Counsel for R&R Auction appended to its objection an order by the California court in Mueller's case.[1] In the order, the court granted another defendant's motion to terminate sanctions and also dismissed Mueller's complaint with prejudice because Mueller threatened to kill a witness, which resulted in a civil harassment restraining order, threatened a court officer, and willfully violated multiple discovery orders.

         R&R Auction alleges that it has incurred $250, 000 in attorneys' fees and costs in litigating the Mueller and Deedle suits. R&R Auction further alleges that the Agreement with Mueller provides for reimbursement and indemnification for those fees and costs. Mueller has refused to indemnify or reimburse R&R Auction.

         Discussion

         In Count I of the complaint, R&R Auction seeks a declaratory judgment that Mueller is obligated under the terms of the Agreement to indemnify and reimburse R&R Auction for its fees and costs incurred in the California suits. In Count II, titled “Express Indemnity, ” R&R Auction alleges that Mueller breached the Agreement by failing to indemnify and reimburse R&R Auction for those fees and costs. Mueller moves for judgment on the pleadings on both of R&R Auction's claims, arguing that the Agreement does not provide for reimbursement or indemnification to R&R Auction for the fees and costs incurred in the California suits. R&R Auction objects.

         A. Auction Consignment Agreement

         The Agreement includes information at the top that was filled in by hand. Todd Mueller is identified as Consignor #1101, with a Colorado Springs, Colorado, address. The first paragraph of the Agreement states that R&R Auction agrees to act as Mueller's agent “in the sale of the property listed on the Auction Consignment Listing. You commission us to sell your items to the highest bidder in our monthly telephone and internet auction.” Doc. no. 1-1, at *2.

         The other paragraphs provide terms and conditions for the consignment and sale of items. The Agreement includes a statement that it is to be signed and returned with the consignment. It was signed by Mue-ller and by someone on behalf of R&R Auction on November 5, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.