The Lewis Firm Moves to Reinstate AWNG’s Lawsuit against Sandi Group

by Michael P. Lewis on January 14, 2013

On November 9, 2011, Aria Watan Nassery Group, Inc. (AWNG) sued The Sandi Group, Inc. (TSG) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  AWNG’s Complaint states claims arising out of breaches of a contract to provide fuel transport services to U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.  Aria Watan Nassery Group, IRC v. The Sandi Group, Inc., Case No. 11-cv-01980.  The district court allowed AWNG’s former counsel in the matter to withdraw on November 16, 2012, and issued a Show Cause Order, requiring AWNG to produce information before December 14, 2012, demonstrating why its case should not be dismissed for want of prosecution.  Despite substantial efforts, AWNG was unable to find new counsel within the timeframe stated in the district court’s Show Cause Order.

The Lewis Firm was formally retained by AWNG on December 28, 2012, and immediately filed a motion on AWNG’s behalf under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requesting relief from the Order Dismissing Without Prejudice Plaintiff’s Complaint and leave to respond out of time to the Court’s November 16, 2012, Show Cause Order.  Rule 60(b)(1) and (6) allow a court to relieve a party of final judgment for excusable neglect or for any other reason that justifies relief.  The motion argues that AWNG’s delayed response to the district court’s November 16, 2012, Order was excusable and that AWNG should be granted leave to respond to the Order because: (a) vacation of the order will not prejudice TSG; (b) AWNG acted in good faith; and (c) the length of delay was not significant.  Moreover, extraordinary circumstances, including being afforded less than one month to obtain new legal representation in a foreign language from a country nine time zones away, justify the relief requested by AWNG.  The Motion For Relief From Order was filed on January 12, 2013, and a copy can be found here.

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