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Catskill Litigation Trust · 8-K · For 7/12/07 · EX-99.1

Filed On 7/16/07, 3:23pm ET   ·   Accession Number 921895-7-1552   ·   SEC File 333-112603

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  As Of                Filer                Filing    For/On/As Docs:Size              Issuer               Agent

 7/16/07  Catskill Litigation Trust         8-K:7,9     7/12/07    2:18K                                    Olshan Grund..Rosenzweig

Current Report   —   Form 8-K
Filing Table of Contents

Document/Exhibit                   Description                      Pages   Size 

 1: 8-K         Current Report                                      HTML     12K 
 2: EX-99.1     Miscellaneous Exhibit                               HTML     22K 


EX-99.1   —   Miscellaneous Exhibit

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                                                                    Exhibit 99.1

                                         07-13-07A08:39 RCVD
                                         Donna Cole
                                         Tribal Court Clerk

                          ST. REGIS MOHAWK TRIBAL COURT

MARLENE ARQUETTE, DICK PETERS,          )
BENNETTE WHITE, LOUIS GRAY, ROY         )      Case No.: 00-CI-0133GN
TARBELL, DAVID LAZORE, TROY LAZORE,     )
HENRY GIBSON, MATT DAVID, RANDY         )
CONNORS, PATTY LAZORE MANCUSO, NOEL     )
WHITE, CAROLYN TARBELL, ELLENE          )
HERNE, GLENN HILL SR., BARBARA          )
LAZORE, PHIL TARBELL, KERNEY COLE,      )      ORDER
MARY DIANNE LAZORE, RUSSELL LAZORE,     )      -----
JOANNE KING, RENA SMOKE, CHARLIE        )
TERRANCE, ERMA WHITE MOORE, LOIS        )
THOMAS, AND CAROL HERNE, On Behalf      )      Hon. Wes Williams Jr.
of Themselves and All Others            )
Similarly Situated,                     )
                                        )
  PLAINTIFFS-JUDGMENT CREDITORS,        )
                                        )
v.                                      )
                                        )
PARK PLACE ENTERTAINMENT                )
CORPORATION and CLIVE CUMMIS,           )
                                        )
   DEFENDANTS-JUDGMENT DEBTORS.         )
                                        )
----------------------------------------)

      WHEREAS,  on or about April 26, 2000,  twenty-six  enrolled members of the
St.  Regis  Mohawk  Tribe,  on behalf of  themselves  and all  others  similarly
situated  (hereinafter  collectively  "Plaintiffs"  or "the  Plaintiff  Class"),
commenced  an  action  in  this  Court   against,   among  others,   Park  Place
Entertainment  Corporation  (hereinafter  "Park  Place")and  its former  General
Counsel, Clive Cummis.

      WHEREAS,  the original  complaint was served on Defendants in May 2000. On
May 12, 2000, Defendants' counsel of record, Dennis J. Block, Esq., submitted an
application to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court Bar  Association to be admitted
to practice  before this Court.  Defendants'  attorney  agreed to submit to this
Court's jurisdiction and contempt powers and swore an oath to uphold the Tribe's
laws. On June 1, 2000, Defendants' attorney entered a

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personal appearance on their behalf by filing a motion to dismiss the class action complaint, invoking this Court's jurisdiction and seeking a dismissal on the merits, in addition to contending that this Court was "an invalid judicial forum") without authority and power to act. Shortly thereafter, and before Plaintiffs had time to respond to Defendants' motion to dismiss, Defendants abandoned their defense of the action and, on June 2, 2000, filed an action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York seeking to enjoin this Court's proceedings. On September 18, 2000, the United States District Court dismissed Defendants' action, holding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether this Court was a valid tribal forum. The United States District Court further concluded that the underlying dispute in the Tribal Court litigation appeared to be "of the type where jurisdiction in a Tribal Court would generally be proper." Thereafter, on September 30, 2000, an Amended Complaint was filed in the Tribal Court action, adding Defendants Paul Thompson, Hilda Smoke, and Alma Ransom as named Defendants against whom declaratory relief was sought. As a result of the filing of the Amended Complaint, this Court subsequently dismissed Defendants' motion to dismiss. WHEREAS, Defendants thereafter wholly abandoned their defense of the class action, failing to answer the Amended Complaint and failing to appear at the ensuing hearing on Plaintiffs' motion for an entry of default. WHEREAS, by order dated January 31, 2001, this Court issued an entry of default against Defendants. WHEREAS, by order dated March 8, 2001, this Court determined that the "applicable law for the suit regarding the maintenance of a class action" is CPLR article 9 and that "St. Regis Mohawk Tribal law will govern all other issues." WHEREAS, by order dated March 16, 2001, this Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification and defined the class as all enrolled members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. WHEREAS, by order dated March 20, 2001, and upon Defendants' continued neglect to defend the class action, this Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for a default judgment against Defendants; declared the management contract entered into between Park Place and Defendants Ransom, Smoke and Thompson to be null and void; ordered Defendants Park Place and Clive Cummis to pay Plaintiffs $1.782 billion in actual damages; ordered Defendants Park Place and Clive Cummis to pay Plaintiffs' costs and disbursements; and ordered Defendants Park Place and Clive Cummis to pay punitive damages in the amount of $5 million (hereinafter the "Default Judgment Order"). WHEREAS, due and proper notice of each step of the above proceedings was given to the defendants in this action; WHEREAS, Defendants Park Place and Clive Cummis failed to file a timely appeal of the Default Judgment Order to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court of Appeals. WHEREAS, in or about January 2004, Park Place changed its name to Caesars Entertainment, Inc. ("Caesars"). 2
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WHEREAS, in or about July 2004, Caesars, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. ("Harrah's"), and Harrah's Operating Company, Inc. ("Harrah's Operating"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harrah's, entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger, providing for the merger of Caesars into Harrah's Operating, which would be the surviving corporation. WHEREAS, on June 13, 2005, the merger agreement was consummated and Caesars merged with and into Harrah's Operating. As a consequence of the merger, Harrah's Operating has assumed all of the rights and obligations of Park Place and Caesars, including any debts Park Place and Caesars owe to judgment creditors. WHEREAS, on June 21, 2007, following a hearing, this Court approved the joint application of the Plaintiff Class and the Catskill Litigation Trust for assignment of the Default Judgment Order to the Catskill Litigation Trust in exchange for a fifty percent beneficial interest in the Catskill Litigation Trust. WHEREAS, on June 21, 2007, pursuant to a Stipulation filed with this Court by counsel for the Plaintiff Class and the Catskill Litigation Trust, the caption of this proceeding was amended by redacting the names of Alma Ransom, Hilda Smoke, and Paul Thompson, against whom no monetary relief was granted in the Default Judgment Order. WHEREAS, by Notice of Motion filed with this Court on June 22, 2007, the Litigation Trustees of the Catskill Litigation Trust, as assignees of the Default Judgment Order, moved this Court for an order (1) amending the caption of the Default Judgment Order by substituting "Harrah's Operating Company, Inc." for "Park Place Entertainment Corporation" as the first-named Defendant/Judgment Debtor and (2) declaring that the applicable law regarding the calculation of interest on the Default Judgment Order is New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) sections 5003 and 5004. WHEREAS, on June 22, 2007, a copy of the Notice of Motion and supporting Affidavit of Dennis C. Vacco were served on Dennis J. Block, Esq., as counsel of record for Defendants Park Place Entertainment Corporation and Clive Cummis, by certified mail, return receipt requested. WHEREAS, on June 25, 2007, a copy of the Notice of Motion and supporting Affidavit of Dennis C. Vacco were served on Harrah's Operating Company care of William Buffalo, Esq., one of Harrah's Assistant Corporate Counsel via overnight delivery service. WHEREAS, on June 25, 2007, personal service was effected on Harrah's Operating Company by delivery a copy of the Notice of Motion and supporting Affidavit of Dennis C. Vacco to Harrah's Operating Company's registered agent for service of process at 80 State Street, Albany, New York. WHEREAS, on June 26, 2007, personal service was effected on Harrah's Operating Company by delivering a copy of Notice of Motion to the process agent of the corporation, Mary Drummond, at 2711 Centerville Rd., Wilmington, Delaware. 3
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WHEREAS, by order dated June 29, 2007, this Court scheduled a hearing for July 9, 2007 at 9:00 AM on the Catskill Litigation Trust's motion to (1) amend the caption of the Default Judgment Order by substituting "Harrah's Operating Company, Inc." for "Park Place Entertainment Corporation" as the first-named Defendant/Judgment Debtor and (2) determine the law applicable to the calculation of interest on the Default Judgment Order. The scheduling order directed that any pleadings addressing the motion be filed with the Court on or before 5:00 PM on July 8, 2007. WHEREAS, on July 2, 2007, a copy of the scheduling order was served via overnight delivery service on Harrah's Operating Company, care of William Buffalo, Esq., as well as on Dennis J. Block, Esq., counsel of record for the named Defendants. WHEREAS, on July 3, 2007, courtesy copies of the Notice of Motion, supporting Affidavit of Dennis C. Vacco and this Court's scheduling order were sent to Clive Cummis via overnight delivery service. WHEREAS, neither this Court nor the moving party received any pleadings from the Defendants/Judgment Debtors at any time prior to the commencement of the scheduled hearing. Furthermore, the Defendants/Judgment Debtors failed to contact the Court as directed in the aforementioned Order of June 29, 2007 to obtain the teleconference information. WHEREAS, the attorney representing the Plaintiffs advised the Court that on July 6, 2007, he provided the teleconference information to Mr. Block via email and included a telephone number to which a facsimile transmission of any responding papers could be sent by 5:00 PM on July 8, 2007. WHEREAS, on July 9, 2007, this Court held a telephonic hearing on the pending motion to (1) amend the caption of the Default Judgment Order by substituting "Harrah's Operating Company, Inc." for "Park Place Entertainment Corporation" as the first-named Defendant/Judgment Debtor and (2) determine the law applicable to the calculation of interest on the Default Judgment Order. Harrah's Operating Company, Clive Cummis, attorney Buffalo and attorney Block all failed to participate in the hearing or otherwise submit any papers in opposition to the pending motion. WHEREAS, this Court possesses inherent authority to amend the caption of the Default Judgment Order to reflect that Harrah's Operating Company, as the successor in interest through merger to Park Place Entertainment Corporation, is now a judgment debtor. WHEREAS, the rate of interest earned on unpaid money judgments under Tribal law has never previously been determined by this Court and there is nothing in the United States Constitution or federal Indian law that deals with the rate of interest earned on money judgments issued by Tribal Courts. Further, no unwritten law, custom or tradition of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe has been presented to this court as guidance on this issue. 4
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WHEREAS, this Court may, in the absence of any applicable written Tribal law and in the exercise of its discretion, apply New York State law as Tribal law for the purpose of determining the interest earned on the Default Judgment Order. NOW, THEREFORE, based upon the facts adduced at the hearing, the papers submitted in support of the motion, and the proceedings heretofore had herein, it is hereby ORDERED, that the caption of the Default Judgment Order is amended to substitute "Harrah's Operating Company, Inc." for "Park Place Entertainment Corporation" as a named Defendant/Judgment Debtor; and it is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECLARED, that sections 5003 and 5004 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules shall be applied as Tribal law for the purpose of calculating interest on the Default Judgment Order. Pursuant to CPLR 5004, interest on the Default Judgment Order shall be calculated from the date of entry of the Default Judgment Order at the annual rate of nine percent. The annual interest on the $1,787,000,000 Default Judgment Order is $160,830,000. Interest will continue to accrue until the Default Judgment Order is satisfied. As measured from the March 20, 2001 date of entry until July 9, 2007, total accrued interest on the Default Judgment Order is $1,013,889,945.54. DONE AND DATED this 12th day of July 2007. By: /s/ Wes Williams Jr. ---------------------------------------------- Wes Williams Jr. Chief Tribal Court Judge St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court

Dates Referenced Herein   and   Documents Incorporated By Reference

Referenced-On Page
This 8-K Filing   Date First   Last      Other Filings
4/26/001
5/12/001
6/1/001
6/2/002
9/18/002
9/30/002
1/31/012
3/8/012
3/16/012
3/20/0125
6/13/053
6/21/0738-K
6/22/0738-K
6/25/073
6/26/073
6/29/074
7/2/074
7/3/074
7/6/074
7/8/074
7/9/0745
For The Period Ended7/12/07
Filed On / Filed As Of7/16/07
 
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