United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DISSOLVED AIR FLOTATION CORPORATION and ACCURATE MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, INC., Plaintiffs,
BHARAT KOTHARI and RUDY PETERS, Defendants.
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
case originated as a breach of contract dispute within the
court's diversity jurisdiction and is currently before
the court on Plaintiffs' May 7, 2019 motion for contempt
requesting that the court hold Defendants in contempt and
order sanctions up to and including incarceration. For the
following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion will be partially
Dissolved Air Flotation Corporation and Accurate Mechanical
Contractors, Inc. filed this action in October 2014 alleging
breach of contract, conspiracy, injury to business,
promissory estoppel, and various misrepresentation claims
against Defendants Bharat Kothari, Rudy Peters, and DAF
Technology, LLC based on Defendants' failure to produce
the $2, 000, 000 purchase price after buying Dissolved
Air's business. On December 1, 2016, the court granted
Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment and
ordered that Defendants pay $12, 431.82 as a result of the
costs and fees incurred by Defendants' default. Dkt. No.
72. On July 11, 2017, based upon the parties'
stipulation, the court ordered that a judgment shall be
entered against Defendants Kothari and Peters, jointly and
severally, in the amount of $1, 000, 000.00 and dismissing
DAF Technology LLC with prejudice and without costs. The
court also ordered that Kothari provide a sworn statement
identifying all assets owned by him and execute such
documentation as is necessary to grant to Plaintiffs a first
priority lien against the real estate located at 2 North
Broadway in Aurora, Illinois within fourteen days of the date
of the order. Dkt. No. 94. Judgment was entered the following
day. Dkt. No. 95.
October 10, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their first motion for
contempt, seeking an order against Defendant Kothari for
contempt for his failure to pay the sum of $12, 431.82 and to
provide any of the documentation that the court ordered he
produce in its July 11, 2017 order. Dkt. No. 96. On November
9, 2017, the court ordered Defendants to appear in person
before the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin in Green Bay on November 21, 2017, at
1:30 P.M. to show cause why they should not be held in
contempt for violating the court's orders. Dkt. No. 101.
The court warned that Defendants' failure to appear or
failure to show cause may result in the imposition of a
warrant for their arrest. Id. at 2.
Kothari appeared at the November 21, 2017 show cause hearing,
Peters was not present. The court advised that if Kothari
wished to avoid contempt and not return to court, he should
complete the discovery that Plaintiffs requested. The court
ordered that all discovery responses were to be submitted by
December 22, 2017. As to Peters, the court held the matter
open until December 22, 2017, and noted that if Peters did
not appear or cooperate with Plaintiffs, the court would hold
him in contempt. Dkt. No. 104. On December 7, 2017, the court
ordered that the matter of contempt against Defendants for
failure to comply with the court's orders be held open
until December 22, 2017, to allow Defendants to complete the
discovery served. The court noted that if Defendants failed
to comply with the court's order, counsel for Plaintiffs
could file a request for further proceedings at which time
the court would consider the imposition of sanctions until
compliance occurs. Dkt. No. 105.
7, 2018, the court entered an order holding open the matter
of contempt against Defendants for failure to comply with the
court's orders. The court advised that, to avoid further
proceedings, Defendants shall provide all documentation
requested of them pursuant to the discovery served upon them
or, in the alternative, a detailed explanation of what
requested documents are not provided and why; and Kothari
shall provide responses to the Second Set of Discovery served
upon him by July 17, 2018. The court noted that if Defendants
failed to comply by July 17, 2018, counsel for Plaintiffs
could file a request for further proceedings at which time
the court would consider whether Defendants are in contempt
and whether sanctions should be imposed. Dkt. No. 109.
Defendants filed a motion for an extension of time to file
answers to discovery on July 17, 2018. Dkt. No. 110. The
court granted the motion and ordered that Defendants complete
the requirements by August 14, 2018, or risk a fine or jail
term. Dkt. No. 111.
October 22, 2018, the court granted Plaintiffs' motion
for miscellaneous relief and directed Defendant Kothari to
provide the following information:
A. Full, written and sworn, responses to Plaintiffs'
Second Set of Written Discovery to Bharat Kothari.
B. All documents requested in Plaintiffs' Second Set of
Written Discovery to Bharat Kothari including, but not
limited to, all documents requested in Requests for
Production of Documents 14-15 including:
1. Tax Transcripts from 2010 to Present; 2. Any documents
identified in a Request for Admission or Interrogatory.
C. A list of all professional books identified in Request for
Production Number 58 to Plaintiffs' Corrected Collection
Discovery to Bharat Kothari; D. A copy of the Title to the
automobiles pursuant to Request for Production Number 60.
E. A copy of the legal description for the real estate in
which Kothari owned an interest in as of the date of judgment
pursuant to Request for Production Number 63.
See Dkt. No. 119 at 2. The court also directed
Defendant Peters to provide his 2017 IRS Tax Returns or such
documentation as may permit Plaintiffs to actually receive
information regarding the same. Id. The court noted
that Defendants' failure to provide this information
within thirty days of the date of the order without good
cause may result in a finding of contempt and sanctions up to
and including incarceration until Defendants comply with the
order and ...