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Hebrank v. Linmar Management, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

July 29, 2014

THOMAS C. HEBRANK, Federal Equity Receiver, Plaintiff,
v.
LINMAR MANAGEMENT, INC., a California corporation, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT (ECF NO. 14)

GONZALO P. CURIEL, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

This is an action brought by court-appointed receiver Thomas C. Hebrank ("Receiver") on behalf of First Financial Planning Corporation d/b/a Western Financial Planning Corporation ("Western"). (ECF No. 1.) The Receiver brings this action against LinMar Management, Inc. ("LinMar Management") to enforce an April 2009 promissory note executed by LinMar Management in favor of Western.

Presently before the Court is the Receiver's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, in which the Receiver asks that summary judgment be entered in his favor on his cause of action for breach of contract. (ECF No. 14, "Motion.") LinMar Management has filed an opposition to the Receiver's Motion, (ECF No. 16), and the Receiver has filed a reply, (ECF No. 17). Having considered the parties' submissions and the applicable law, and for the reasons that follow, the Court will GRANT the Receiver's Motion.

BACKGROUND

The Court appointed the Receiver as permanent receiver over Western in the main action out of which this action arises: SEC v. Schooler et al., Case No. 3:12-cv-2164-GPC-JMA (S.D. Cal.) ("SEC Action"). In the SEC Action, the Court authorized the Receiver to pursue enforcement of an April 2009 promissory note executed by LinMar Management in favor of Western.

The note evidences a loan by Western to LinMar Management in the amount of $40, 000, which amount Western transferred to LinMar Management on April 15, 2009. The promissory note provides an initial interest rate of 7.5% per year and a maturity date of April 14, 2010. In the event of a default, the note allows Western to declare the entire principal balance of the loan, plus all accrued interest, immediately due. The note further allows Western, upon default, the option of increasing the interest rate to 10% per year and adding any accrued interest to the principal balance.

It is undisputed that (1): LinMar Management borrowed $40, 000 from Western per the note; (2) LinMar Management breached the note by failing to repay any portion of the loan; (3) Western has not interfered with LinMar Management's ability to repay the loan; (4) Western has performed all its obligations under the note; and (5) the loan is due and payable.

With interest as of May 1, 2014, LinMar Management currently owes Western $59, 570.10.[1]

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate where the moving party demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett , 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). A fact is material when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Freeman v. Arpaio , 125 F.3d 732, 735 (9th Cir. 1997). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson , 477 U.S. at 248.

A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex , 477 U.S. at 323. If the moving party fails to discharge this 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 meets the initial burden, the nonmoving party cannot defeat summary judgment merely by demonstrating "that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986); see also Anderson , 477 U.S. at 252 ("The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmoving party's position is not sufficient."). Rather, the nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Celotex , 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (internal quotations omitted).

Generally, "[a] matter admitted... is conclusively established unless the court, on motion, permits the admission to be withdrawn or amended." Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b). Once facts are admitted, district courts may "properly rel[y] on them as a basis for entry of summary judgment." Layton v. Int'l ...


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