Civil Case Nos. 04-00045, 04-00046.
November 23, 2004
The above-captioned cases were originally filed in the Superior Court of Guam, but later removed to this Court by the Attorney General of Guam, allegedly on behalf of all defendants. The complaints in both cases are almost identical, the only difference being in the description of the plaintiffs. Both complaints raised the same three causes of action and sought the same relief. The case involving Ms. Aguon-Schulte listed herself as the only plaintiff, however, the second case was brought by Mr. Merrill on behalf of a purported class of registered voters. Ms. Aguon-Schulte would potentially be a class member in the second case. Because these actions involve common questions of law or fact, the Court hereby consolidates the cases under Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Consolidation is appropriate because it would promote judicial efficiency and tend to prevent unnecessary costs or delay. Accordingly, all future pleadings filed in these cases shall contain both case captions but shall be maintained by the Clerk's Office in the second case (Civil Case No. 04-00046).
The decision whether to consolidate actions is left to the sound discretion of the trial court. Shump v. Balka, 574 F.2d 1341, 1344 (10th Cir. 1978). In appropriate circumstances, a court can sua sponte consolidate cases before it, whether or not the parties want the cases consolidated. Connecticut Gen. Life Ins. Co. v. Sun Life Assur. Co. Of Can., 210 F.3d 771, 774 (7th Cir. 2000).