United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. FITZWATER SENIOR JUDGE
interpleader action, the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (“FDIC”), as receiver for The Bank of
Union, El Reno, Oklahoma (“Bank of Union”), moves
the court to compel L&R Cattle, LLC
(“L&R”) to return certain funds to the court
registry. For the reasons that follow, the court grants the
case is already the subject of prior memorandum opinions and
orders. See, e.g., Jackson Nat'l Life Ins. Co. v.
Dobbins, 2018 WL 550516, at *1-3 (N.D. Tex. Jan. 25,
2018) (Fitzwater, J.). The court will therefore recount only
the background facts and procedural history that are
pertinent to this decision.
issue are the proceeds of a life insurance policy (“the
Policy”) that insured the life of decedent Larry
Dobbins (“Dobbins”). See Id. at *1.
Dobbins, during his lifetime, assigned the proceeds of the
Policy to Bank of Union as collateral for a loan. See
Id. at *2. When Dobbins died, both the FDIC (on behalf
of Bank of Union) and the Policy's beneficiary, L&R,
asserted an interest in the funds. See Id. Plaintiff
Jackson National Life Insurance Company, the insurer,
interpleaded the proceeds into the court registry pending
resolution of these competing claims. See Id. This
court ruled that the assignment to Bank of Union was invalid
and entered summary judgment in favor of L&R. See
Id. at *9. The Fifth Circuit reversed in relevant part
and rendered judgment in favor of the FDIC. See Jackson
Nat'l Life Ins. Co. v. Dobbins (Jackson
Int'l II), 761 Fed.Appx. 389, 396 (5th Cir. 2019)
time the Fifth Circuit issued its mandate, the clerk of this
court had already wired the Policy proceeds to L&R. In
response to a demand letter from the FDIC, L&R wired
most-but not all-of the proceeds to the FDIC, asserting that
it was entitled to a $76, 130.11 offset for premiums that it
paid during Dobbins' lifetime. This claim echoes an
alternative argument that L&R raised in its motion for
summary judgment. L&R did not, however, re-urge this
argument in its briefing on appeal. The FDIC now moves to
compel L&R to return its purported offset to the court
registry, so that the FDIC may collect it.
interpleader action, a district court may “make all
appropriate orders to enforce its judgment.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2361. This includes the power to compel the return of
registry funds for appropriate disposition. See, e.g.,
Muncy v. City of Dallas, 128 Fed.Appx. 404, 404 (5th
Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (denying rehearing).
parties focus their briefing on whether claim preclusion
prevents L&R from relitigating its offset argument, but
the issues are better framed in terms of the mandate rule.
mandate rule requires this court on remand to implement both
the letter and spirit of the Fifth Circuit's mandate, and
it precludes the court from disregarding the explicit
directives of the Fifth Circuit. See United States v.
Becerra, 155 F.3d 740, 753 (5th Cir. 1998),
abrogated on other grounds as recognized in United States
v. Farias, 481 F.3d 289, 291-92 (5th Cir. 2007).
“The mandate rule simply embodies the proposition that
a district court is not free to deviate from the appellate
court's mandate.” Id. (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted).
Fifth Circuit, in its mandate, did not designate any matters
for further consideration by this court; instead, it rendered
judgment in favor of the FDIC. See Jackson Int'l
II, 761 Fed.Appx. at 396. The Fifth Circuit's
opinion explains the effect of that judgment: “the FDIC
is entitled to the entire amount of proceeds.”
Id. at 395 (emphasis added). Under the mandate rule,
this court is bound by the Fifth Circuit's unambiguous
command, and must implement it. See Becerra, 155
F.3d at 753. This obligates the court to order that the FDIC
recover the sum of $76, 130.11 that L&R failed to return
to the court registry.
* * *
foregoing reasons, the court grants the FDIC's motion to
compel. L&R is hereby ordered to return the sum of $76,
130.11 to the court registry within 14 days of the date this
memorandum opinion and order is filed. The clerk is, in turn,
directed to wire that sum, plus any accrued ...