The Appellate Group

Cohen Braffits v. Shae Financial

Cohen Braffits v. Shae Financial, 2024 UT App 12 (Tenney, J.)

Civil Procedure

One partner of Plaintiff LLC obtained two loans from Defendant LLC, secured by a deed of trust on property that Plaintiff LLC owned in Utah. The other partner of the Plaintiff LLC sued his partner on behalf of the LLC and obtained a monetary judgment in New York. However, Defendant LLC moved to foreclose on the Utah property used to secure the loan. Plaintiff LLC then sued Defendant LLC in Utah to invalidate the loans. The district court determined the suit was barred by the election of remedies doctrine. Plaintiff LLC petitioned the New York court to amend its judgment and remove the monetary award. The Utah court denied Plaintiff LLC’s subsequent motion under rule 60(b) to vacate its prior ruling. Plaintiff LLC appealed. The Utah Court of Appeals affirmed, holding:

  • The district court did not err when it concluded that the election of remedies doctrine prevented Plaintiff LLC from seeking a declaration in Utah that Defendant LLC’s loans were null and void. As a result, the district court correctly granted summary judgment in Defendant’s favor.
  • The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiff LLC’s request for relief under rule 60(b).
  • Practice Tip: The election of remedies doctrine prevents double redress for a single wrong and has two branches: (1) a plaintiff may not obtain double recovery, and (2) a plaintiff also may not obtain legally or factually inconsistent recoveries for the same wrong. A plaintiff’s election becomes binding once one remedy is pursued to a determinative conclusion.
  • Practice Tip: A party seeking relief under Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) must express additional reasons in support of that argument and cannot rely solely on its arguments under other subsections of rule 60(b).

Read the full court opinion