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Kopperl v. Bain

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 26, 2016

ANDREW KOPPERL, Plaintiff,
v.
KENT S. BAIN, AUTOMOTIVE RESTORATIONS, INC. VINTAGE RACING SERVICES, INC., JOHN ROLLS, and LAWRENCE A. NEVIASER, Defendants

RULING ON PENDING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND MOTION TO DISMISS

Charles S. Haight, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

In a decision reported at 23 F.Supp.3d 97 (D. Conn. 2014) ("the June 2, 2014 Ruling") [Doc. 90], the Court denied in part and granted in part Defendants' motion to dismiss. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration [Doc. 93] and a fourth amended verified complaint (the "Fourth Amended Complaint") [Doc. 96] which included two of the counts dismissed in the June 2, 2014 Ruling. Defendants then moved to dismiss [Doc. 100] the fourteenth and fifteenth counts of Plaintiff's Fourth Amended Complaint. This decision resolves both the Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration and the Defendants' motion to dismiss.

I. BACKGROUND

Familiarity with the facts of this case is presumed for the purposes of this decision. A thorough recitation of the factual background of this case may be found in the Court's earlier ruling reported at 2010 WL 3490980 (D. Conn. Aug. 30, 2010) (the "August 30, 2010 Ruling"). Essentially, this case distills to a contract dispute over the alleged failure of Defendant Bain to convey Plaintiff Kopperl's ownership interests in the corporate defendants, Automotive Restorations, Inc ("ARI") and Vintage Racing Services, Inc. ("VRS").

An explanation of the procedural posture of the motions addressed in this decision is necessary. After the June 2, 2014 Ruling granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion to dismiss [Doc. 36], the Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration on June 13, 2014. The motion for reconsideration concerned the dismissal of the fourteenth and fifteenth counts of the Third Amended Complaint. These counts alleged conversion and statutory theft of ownership in the defendant companies.

On June 27, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Fourth Amended Complaint against all Defendants. This complaint added back in the fourteenth and fifteenth counts from the Third Amended Complaint [Doc. 29] without any changes. Both counts were previously dismissed by this Court's June 2, 2014 Ruling. Then, on July 17, 2014, the Defendants filed their motion to dismiss the fourteenth and fifteenth counts of Plaintiff's fourth amended verified complaint.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motion for Reconsideration

In the June 2, 2014 Ruling, this Court concluded that, under Connecticut law, conversion and statutory theft both require that the Plaintiff identify in his pleadings specific property that he possessed and that was converted by the Defendant for his own use. Furthermore, this Court concluded that there could be no conversion or statutory theft in this case because:

Kopperl [Plaintiff] does not identify in his pleading specific property that he ever possessed and Defendant thereafter converted to his own use. The [Third Amended Complaint] and Kopperl's briefs refer to shares of stock in ARI and VRS, but no shares or share certificates in these companies ever came into Kopperl's possession. On the contrary: Kopperl's complaint is that this never happened.

Doc 90, p. 13. This Court went on to note that:

(1) Plaintiff Kopperl bases his claimed entitlement to ownership interests in ARI and VRS upon a contract with Defendant Bain; and
(2) the promised but undelivered stock in those companies does not constitute property in the possession of ...

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