The Delaware Chancery Court exercised its discretion to dismiss a judicial dissolution proceeding in deference to a prior pending action in New Jersey, the latter of which involved issues that “overlap[ped] substantially” with the Delaware action. The petitioner requested a judicial dissolution of his company, which the respondent moved to stay or dismiss on the ground that a similar action was pending in New Jersey Superior Court. Under Delaware’s first-filed rule, a court may exercise its discretion to stay a second-filed action in favor of a first-filed action; however, when the second-filed action is a summary proceeding like a judicial dissolution action, the Chancery Court often allows the second-filed action to proceed, given the Chancery Court’s “strong interest in resolving issues concerning the internal affairs of a Delaware corporation promptly and efficiently.” Here, however, the Chancery Court determined that the substantial overlap between the dissolution action before it and the first-filed New Jersey action, the progression of the case in New Jersey, and the petitioner’s filing of another action in the Southern District of California on a set of separate issues indicated that the interests of efficiency would be better served by dismissing the dissolution action without prejudice and allowing the New Jersey action to proceed.
McElroy v. Schornstein, Civil Action No. 67233-CS (Delaware Chancery Court, June 20, 2012).