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Case incorrectly dismissed after judgment was obtained

Where this case was previously remanded because the trial court’s judgment listed one plaintiff twice and omitted another plaintiff, the trial court correctly dismissed the twice-named plaintiff (because it did not obtain a certificate  of authority or registration before entry of judgment) but erred when it did not enter judgment on the verdict for the omitted plaintiff (which had a certificate) and dismissed the case instead.

Name confusion

“Two entities filed suit in this case against Yacoub Sidya: a parent company, Tulynet FZ, LLC (‘Tulynet’), which was previously known as World Telecom Xchange Carrier FZ, LLC, and a subsidiary with a name that is confusingly similar to Tulynet’s former name, World Telecom Exchange Communications, LLC. In our order reversing and vacating the judgment below, we concluded that the parent company, Tulynet, ‘did not obtain either a certificate of authority or a certificate of registration from the State Corporation Commission … prior to the entry of the judgment, and that it needed to do so,’ as required by Code §§ 13.l-758(A) and 13.1-1057(A). …

“As to the subsidiary company, named in the complaint as World Telecom Exchange Communications, LLC, we observed that the post-verdict judgment order listed ‘Tulynet FZ, LLC’ and ‘World Telecom Xchange Carrier, FZ, LLC’ which constituted ‘the present and former names for the parent company, respectively.’ In other words, the order listed one plaintiff twice instead of both of the separate plaintiffs. The order did not name World Telecom.”

The order was reversed and vacated. The remand instructions directed the circuit court to dismiss Tulynet’s claims against Sidya and “to bring to closure all remaining matters not addressed in the vacated judgment order.”

The circuit court dismissed Tulynet’s claims as directed but declined to enter judgment for World Telecom and dismissed the case instead. World Telecom appealed.

Another remand

The circuit court’s ruling was in error. “[N]othing nothing in the text of our July 20, 2017 order called for dismissal of the case successfully brought to verdict by one of the plaintiffs, World Telecom. The dismissal of a parent company from the litigation for failure to obtain a certificate from the SCC did not alter the fact that a separate legal entity, a subsidiary, which had obtained a certificate from the SCC, had also obtained a verdict against Sidya. …

“Second, contrary to Sidya’s contention, the law of the case doctrine does not support Sidya. Our July 20 order vacated the judgment order and our order directed the trial court ‘to bring to closure all remaining matters not addressed in the vacated judgment order.’ As federal courts have recognized, the law of the case doctrine has no applicability to a vacated judgment. …

“World Telecom correctly argues that the effect of our order was to ‘wipe[] the slate clean on remand to just after the jury rendered its verdict in favor of [World Telecom] and Tuly[n]et, allowing the parties and trial court to begin anew regarding post-verdict motions and entry of judgment.’”

Remanded for further proceedings.

World Telecom Exchange Communications v. Sidya. Record No. 180901 (Order) July 18, 2019. (Appeal from Fairfax Circuit Court) Virginia Whitner Hoptman, James Steward Kurz for Appellant, Ellen Deborah Marcus, Sheila Mary Costin for Appellee. VLW 019-6-052, 4 pp.