United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
BERLE M. SCHILLER, Judge.
Glenwood Real Estate Group, LLC ("Glenwood") sought an injunction to protect its access to assets from which it may be able to satisfy a judgment. The Court held a hearing on the motion on March 24, 2014. Defendant Joseph Pacitti, who received notice of the hearing, neither appeared at the hearing nor responded to the Court's order for briefing on the motion. On March 25, 2014, the Court issued an injunction temporarily restraining Pacitti from (1) receiving or transferring distributions from Front Street Development Associates, LP ("Front Street"), in which Pacitti owns a 99% interest; (2) transferring his interest in Front Street; and (3) causing Front Street to transfer, convey, assign, or otherwise dispose of property owned by Front Street. This Memorandum explains the Court's reasoning.
In March 2011, Center Capital Corp. ("Center Capital") obtained a judgment in this Court against PRA Aviation, LLC and Pacitti for $2, 458, 489.33 after Defendants defaulted on a loan. Center Capital assigned its interest in the judgment to Glenwood in February 2014. (Glenwood's App. for Order Charging Partnership Interest [Glenwood Application] Ex. 2.) Glenwood claims that neither Defendant has made any payment in satisfaction of the judgment. (Glenwood's Br. in Supp. of Injunctive Relief [Glenwood Br.] at 1.) On February 11, 2014, Glenwood moved for an order charging Pacitti's partnership interest in Front Street, in which Pacitti owns a 99% interest and is a general partner. (Glenwood Application Ex. 3 [Certificate of Limited Partnership].) The remaining 1% interest is owned by Arline Pacitti, who Glenwood asserts is Pacitti's wife. ( Id. ; Glenwood's Letter to the Court of Mar. 10, 2014 [Glenwood Letter] at 1.)
In a letter to the Court dated March 10, 2014, Glenwood reiterated its request for the charging order and sought an injunction temporarily restraining Front Street and Pacitti from transferring or otherwise dissipating any assets or funds. (Glenwood Letter at 2.) On March 11, 2014, the Court ordered Glenwood, Pacitti, and Front Street to submit briefing by March 18, 2014 regarding whether the Court should enjoin the transfer of assets or funds by Pacitti and Front Street pending its decision on Glenwood's application for a charging order. The Court also set a hearing for March 24, 2014 regarding the proposed injunction. Glenwood served the March 11, 2014 Order on Pacitti and Front Street at an address that Glenwood asserts is Pacitti's last-known address. Neither Pacitti nor Front Street submitted briefing on the proposed injunction or appeared at the hearing. The lawyer who represented Pacitti in the underlying lawsuit, Joseph Lamonaca, represented to the Court that he no longer represents Pacitti.
Glenwood requested that the Court: (1) enjoin Pacitti from receiving or transferring distributions from Front Street; (2) enjoin Pacitti from transferring his interest in Front Street; and (3) enjoin Front Street from transferring, conveying, assigning, or otherwise disposing of property owned by Front Street pending the Court's consideration of Glenwood's charging order application. The Court enjoined Pacitti from transferring his interest in Front Street and from receiving or transferring distributions from Front Street. The Court also enjoined Pacitti from causing Front Street to transfer, convey, assign, or otherwise dispose of property owned by Front Street. However, the Court rejected Glenwood's request to enjoin Front Street from transferring property because Front Street is not a party to the case, and Glenwood did not demonstrate that an exception to the general rule against enjoining a nonparty applies.
A. Pacitti's Interest in and Distributions from Front Street
The Court enjoined Pacitti from receiving or transferring distributions from Front Street and from transferring his interest in Front Street. The Court's authority to issue this injunction lies in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69, Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 3118, and the Pennsylvania Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act.
A federal court must generally follow state law in a proceeding to execute on a judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 69(a) ("The procedure on execution-and in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution-must accord with the procedure of the state where the court is located, but a federal statute governs to the extent it applies."). Pennsylvania law provides, in part:
On petition of the plaintiff, after notice and hearing, the court in which a judgment has been entered may, before or after the issuance of a writ of execution, enter an order against any party or person (1) enjoining the negotiation, transfer, assignment or other disposition of any security, document of title, pawn ticket, instrument, mortgage, or document representing any property interest of the defendant subject to execution; (2) enjoining the transfer, removal, conveyance, assignment or other disposition of property of the defendant subject to execution;... and (6) granting such other relief as may be deemed necessary and appropriate.
Pa. R. Civ. P. 3118. To demonstrate entitlement to relief under Rule 3118, the movant must establish (1) the existence of an underlying judgment; and (2) that the property of the debtor, whose transfer the movant seeks to enjoin, is subject to execution. Marshall Ruby & Sons v. Delta Mining Co., 702 A.2d 860, 862 (Pa.Super. Ct. 1997). Rule 3118 does not require a showing of the traditional requirements for an injunction. Kaplan v. I. Kaplan, Inc., 619 A.2d 322, 326 (Pa.Super. Ct. 1993).
Both elements of this test are met with respect to Pacitti's interest in Front Street. First, this Court entered a judgment against Pacitti and in favor of Center Capital for $2, 458, 489.33, and Center Capital assigned its interest in the judgment to Glenwood. (Glenwood Application Exs. 1, 2.) The second element is also met. Partnership interest-"[a] partner's share of the profits and losses of a limited partnership and the right to receive distributions of partnership assets"-is personal property subject to execution. 15 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8503; see also Pa. R. Civ. P. 3101.1(b) (providing that a judgment-debtor's personal property is subject to execution); 15 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8561 ("A partnership interest is personal property."); id. at § 8563 ("On application to a court of competent jurisdiction by any judgment creditor of a partner, the court may charge the partnership interest of the ...