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Branch Banking and Trust Co. v. Jones/Windmill, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

August 5, 2014

JONES/WINDMILL, LLC, et al., Defendant(s).


JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court are cross motions for summary judgment (docs. # 68, 70) by the plaintiff and the collective defendants. Both sides have responded (docs. # 79, 80) and replied (docs. # 88, 89).

Also before the court is plaintiff's motion for a hearing. (Doc. # 69).

Finally before the court is defendants' motion to certify questions of law. (Doc. # 93). Plaintiff has responded (doc. # 94) and defendants have replied (doc. # 95).

I. Background

Plaintiff Branch Banking is the successor in interest to non-party Colonial Bank by acquisition of assets from the FDIC as receiver for the bank.

Branch Banking's claims arise out of a January 18, 2006, [1] promissory note secured by a deed of trust executed by defendant Jones/Windmill, LLC ("Jones/Windmill"). The note secured a loan from Colonial Bank in the original principal amount of $1, 100.000. The deed of trust encumbered certain real property located in Clark County, Nevada ("the property"). The individual and corporate defendants executed guaranties, promising to repay the present and future indebtedness of Jones/Windmill. Those guarantors are defendants Yoel Iny, individually and as trustee of the Y&T Iny Family Trust; Noam Schwartz, individually and as trustee of the Noam Schwartz Trust; and D.M.S.I., LLC.

On August 14, 2009, Colonial Bank was closed and the FDIC was named as receiver. That same day, the FDIC assigned all of its rights, title, and interest in, to, and under the loan documents to Branch Banking.

On August 3, 2011, Branch Banking served a demand letter upon Jones/Windmill and the individual guarantors. Jones/Windmill and the guarantors failed to pay the balance due by the demanded date of August 31, 2011.

On February 29, 2012, a trustee's sale was held, and the property was sold to Branch Banking for a credit bid in the amount of $296, 000 in partial satisfaction of the note. According to Branch Banking, the principal balance remaining under the note is $1, 099, 917.66, with accrued interest at the time of filing in the amount of $28, 724.32, for a total of $1, 128, 641.98. The amended complaint asserts claims for breach of guaranty, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and seeks a deficiency judgment. (Doc. # 6).

II. Legal Standard

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A principal purpose of summary judgment is "to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986).

In determining summary judgment, a court applies a burden-shifting analysis. "When the party moving for summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact on each issue material to its case." C.A.R. Transp. Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted).

In contrast, when the nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways: (1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to establish an element essential to that party's case on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323-24. If the moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).

If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that "the claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' ...

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