Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Harvey Fertilizer and Gas Co. v. Strickland Farms of Green SEA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

September 25, 2019

HARVEY FERTILIZER AND GAS CO., Plaintiff,
v.
STRICKLAND FARMS OF GREEN SEA, INC., TERRY WAYNE STRICKLAND, and CHARLENE ELLIOTT STRICKLAND, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This is an action for breach of contract under North Carolina state law and for attorney fees pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 6-21.2. The Court has jurisdiction over this matter under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         Pending before the Court are two motions by Plaintiff Harvey Fertilizer and Gas Company (Harvey): 1) a motion for summary judgment, and 2) a motion for sanctions for failure to appear at mediation. Having carefully considered the motions, the responses, the record, and the applicable law, it is the judgment of the Court Harvey’s motion for summary judgment will be granted and its motion for sanctions will be denied.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On December 5, 2013, Defendants Strickland Farms of Green Sea, Inc. (Strickland Farms), Terry Wayne Strickland (Mr. Strickland), and Charlene Elliott Strickland (Ms. Strickland) (collectively, Defendants) entered into a Credit Application and Credit Agreement (Credit Agreement) with Harvey for the purchase of certain agricultural goods. Complaint ¶14. Around a year and a half later, with Defendants in default on the original Credit Agreement, Defendants executed a Promissory Note on July 1, 2015, (Promissory Note) for the $377, 247.93 owed plus 10% per annum interest on the principal balance due December 31, 2015. Promissory Note at 1.

         Concurrently, Defendants signed a Security Agreement with Harvey on July 1, 2015, (Security Agreement), creating a security interest on certain property owned by Defendants related to the Promissory Note. Security Agreement at 1. When Defendants failed to pay the amount owed Harvey by the December 31, 2015, deadline, the parties executed a Modification Agreement dated February 9, 2016, (Modification Agreement) continuing the terms of the Promissory Note, but extending the maturity date to December 31, 2016. Modification Agreement. All three agreements are governed by North Carolina law. Promissory Note at 3; Security Agreement at 4; Modification Agreement at 3. Defendants failed to make payment by the December 31, 2016, deadline.

         After Harvey filed its initial complaint, it filed its motion for summary judgment. Defendants thereafter filed their response, and Harvey filed its reply.

         Harvey also filed a motion for sanctions, to which Defendants responded. The Court subsequently issued an order staying the case pending resolution of the bankruptcy filings by Defendants, which it lifted after Harvey informed it the bankruptcy court had dismissed Defendants’ cases.

         The Court, having been briefed on the relevant issues, is prepared to adjudicate Harvey’s two motions on the merits.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Summary Judgment

         Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that summary judgment “shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” The moving party bears this initial burden of informing the Court of the basis for its motions, and identifying those portions of the record “which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The Court reviews the record by drawing all inferences most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).

         “Once the moving party carries its burden, the adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party’s pleadings, but the adverse party’s response . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The adverse party must show more than “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. If an adverse party completely fails to make an offer of proof concerning an essential element of that party’s case on which that party will bear the burden of proof, then all other facts are necessarily rendered immaterial and the moving party is entitled to summary judgment. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322–23. Hence, the granting of summary judgment involves a three-tier analysis.

         First, the Court determines whether a genuine issue actually exists so as to necessitate a trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). An issue is genuine “if the evidence is such that a reasonable [trier of fact] could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Second, the Court must ascertain whether that genuine issue pertains to material facts. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The substantial law of the case identifies the material facts, that is, those facts that potentially affect the outcome of the suit. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Third, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.