Court rules German citizen linked to Orange County real estate racketeering can be deposed

By Marian Johns | Apr 11, 2019

George C. Young Federal Building, Orlando, Fla.   Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain]

ORLANDO — A federal judge has ordered a German citizen who resides in Switzerland can be compelled to produce documents and undergo a deposition in a case regarding alleged racketeering that involved real estate in Orange County. 

According to the March 1 U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida Orlando Division order, plaintiffs Nicholas J. Randall and Fan Feng filed a motion to compel jurisdictional discovery against one of the defendants, Joachim Oliver Nedela. Additional defendants in the case include Offplan Millionaire AG, Capinvest LLC, Stephen Jordan-Quayle, Carl Dhir, Crescent Real Estate Management Inc., Daniel J. Doran, Jr. and Lucretia L. Doran.  

The plaintiffs petitioned the court to have Nedela, a German citizen who resides in Switzerland, produce documents and sit for a deposition and to resolve the issue of personal jurisdiction.

Randall and Feng allege the defendants engaged in racketeering that included wire and mail fraud in connection with the transferring and maintenance of central Florida real estate. 

According to the court filing, Nedela moved to dismiss on the grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. 

The plaintiffs responded to Nedela's motion to dismiss with a motion for leave to conduct discovery that was limited to personal jurisdiction and to stay Nedela's motion until discovery was completed. The plaintiffs also served Nedela with a set of interrogatories, a request for a production of documents and a request for a deposition.  

Randall and Feng were granted their motion to conduct discovery and a stay for their response to the defendant's motion for dismissal with a court mandated deadline.  

Several weeks later, Nedela then told the court that there "are obstacles to conducting the jurisdictional discovery" due to Swiss law and he requested relief from jurisdictional discovery deadlines, which was denied by the court, However, court said it would not enforce the deadline until the parties could "better understand the situation in Switzerland." But the parties ended up filing a joint notice of impasse for the jurisdictional discovery.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas B. Smith granted, in part, the plaintiffs' motion to compel in part and concluded Nedela should make himself available for deposition within 30 days. The plaintiffs, motion to compel for interrogatories was denied since Nedela had already responded.

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