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Brahma Group, Inc. v. Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 25, 2019

BRAHMA GROUP, INC., a Nevada Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
TONOPAH SOLAR ENERGY, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company Defendant. TONOPAH SOLAR ENERGY, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company Counter Claimant
v.
BRAHMA GROUP, INC., a Nevada Corporation, Counter Defendant

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Two motions are pending before the Court. First, Plaintiff Brahma Group, Inc. (“Brahma” or “Plaintiff”) moves to stay this matter or, alternatively, to amend the complaint. ECF No. 13. Second, Defendant Tonopah Solar Energy, LLC (“TSE” or “Defendant”) moves this Court for a permanent injunction. ECF No. 16. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies Brahma’s motion and grants TSE’s motion.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Brahma sued TSE in state court on July 17, 2018, asserting claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and a violation of Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) 624.609 and 624.610. ECF No. 1-1. TSE removed the matter to this Court on September 10, 2018. ECF No. 1. TSE then answered the complaint and asserted counterclaims against Brahma. ECF No. 4.

         Brahma amended the complaint on September 25, 2018. ECF No. 8. In the amended complaint, Brahma asserted a single claim for unjust enrichment. Id. TSE answered the amended complaint on October 9, 2018. ECF No. 11.

         Brahma now moves to stay the case or, alternatively, to amend the complaint for a second time. ECF No. 13. TSE opposed the motion, and Brahma replied. ECF Nos. 18, 24.

         Additionally, TSE seeks an injunction. ECF No. 16. Brahma opposed, and TSE filed a reply. ECF Nos. 20, 28.

         The Court entertained oral arguments on the two motions on June 25, 2019. ECF No. 50. This order now follows.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court makes the following factual findings. TSE owns the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, which is constructed on real property located in Nye County, Nevada (the “Work of lmprovement”). On February 1, 2017, TSE entered into a services agreement (“Agreement”) with Brahma. Under the Agreement, Brahma agreed to provide specific work, materials, and equipment for the Work of Improvement. Brahma fulfilled its obligations under the Agreement. However, a dispute arose concerning performance of the Agreement and TSE failed to fully pay Brahma for its services.

         In response to TSE failing to pay Brahma in full, Brahma recorded a notice of lien on April 9, 2018 with the Nye County Recorder. On April 17, 2018, Brahma filed a complaint in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Nye County (No. CV39237) to foreclose against the lien and to assert additional claims. Brahma also filed with the Nye County Court a notice of lis pendens and notice of foreclosure of mechanic’s lien and recorded the same against the Work of lmprovement.

         On April 24, 2018, TSE filed a motion to expunge Brahma’s lien in the Nye County Court. Before Brahma received notice of the motion to expunge, Brahma voluntarily dismissed its complaint the same day. But Brahma declined to discharge and release its lien. TSE decided to withdraw its first motion to expunge rather than proceed in that case.

         On June 11, 2018, TSE filed a second motion to expunge the lien pursuant to NRS 108.2275(1). Because there was no complaint pending, the second motion to expunge created a special proceeding in the Fifth Judicial District Court, Nye County, Nevada, (“Nye County Special Proceeding”) in accordance with NRS 108.2275(5) which provides that “[i]f, at the time the [motion] is filed, an action to foreclose the notice of lien has not been filed, the clerk of the court shall assign a number to the [motion] and obtain from the [moving party] a filing fee of $85.” NRS 108.2275(5).

         On July 17, 2018, while the motion to expunge in the Nye County Special Proceeding was still pending, Brahma filed a new complaint in the Eighth Judicial District Court, Clark County Nevada (“Clark County Action”). This complaint asserted the same claims against TSE as the previously dismissed Nye County Action, with the exception of the lien foreclosure claim: (1) breach of the Agreement, (2) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, (3) unjust enrichment, (4) and violation of Nevada’s prompt payment act (together “contract claims”). TSE removed the Clark County Action to federal court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction on September 10, 2018.

         In September and October of 2018, nonparty Cobra Thermosolar Plant, Inc., (“Cobra”) recorded surety bonds that detached Brahma’s mechanic’s lien and the mechanic’s lien of nonparty H&E Equipment Services, Inc, (one of ...


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