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Marques v. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
286 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2002)


Marques and others (plaintiffs) sued the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (the bank), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the shareholders of the federal reserve bank (defendants). The plaintiffs sought almost $100 billion on behalf of their principals, who held $25 billion in clearly fake bearer bonds issued by the bank in exchange for 1,665 metric tons of gold in 1934. The bank’s lawyer indicated the Department of Justice had decided not to take action, as “no one could possibly be deceived by such obvious nonsense.” The plaintiffs moved for voluntary dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 41(a)(1). The bank filed a FRCP 12(b)(6) motion the same day. The 12(b)(6) motion was accompanied by supporting materials, but the motion was not converted to a summary judgment motion until later. It is unclear whether the plaintiffs’ motion for voluntary dismissal or the bank’s 12(b)(6) motion was filed first. The plaintiffs claimed that the bank admitted in court that the dismissal was filed first, but the transcript was not part of the record on appeal. The district judge did not decide which document was filed first and instead concluded it did not matter, as the documents were filed the same day. The district court denied the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss, and the plaintiffs appealed.

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Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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