RBC Bank (USA) v. Holliday et al
ORDER granting 15 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Callie V. S. Granade on 7/17/2012. (mab)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
RBC BANK (USA),
WALTER K. HOLLIDAY and
REBECCA S. HOLLIDAY,
CASE NO. 1:11-cv-00621-CG-B
This matter is before the court on the motion for summary judgment of the
plaintiff, PNC Bank, N.A. (“PNC”), which is the successor to RBC Bank (USA)
(“RBC”), which is the assignee of Regions Bank, which itself is the successor-bymerger to AmSouth Bank (“AmSouth”) (collectively, the “Plaintiff”). (Doc. 15). For
the reasons stated below, the Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED.
On May 1, 2006, the defendants, Walter and Rebecca Holliday (the
“Hollidays” or the “defendants”) opened a $200,000 line of credit with AmSouth by
signing a “Credit Agreement and Disclosure” (the “Credit Agreement”). (Doc. 15 at
2-3). Among other provisions, the Credit Agreement stated that, in the event of a
default, the Plaintiff would be entitled to recover all attorney’s fees, legal expenses,
and court costs subject to any legal limits. (Doc. 1 at 3, ¶ 11).
On November 3, 2011, RBC filed suit against the Hollidays for breach of
contract, alleging that it owned the indebtedness covered by the Credit Agreement
because AmSouth’s successor-by-merger, Regions Bank, had assigned the Credit
Agreement to RBC. (Doc. 1 at 3). RBC further alleged that the Hollidays defaulted
under the terms of the Credit Agreement by failing to make payment when due, and
alleged that the outstanding amount of principal was $138,205.67. Id. at 3-4.
The Hollidays filed an answer on November 22, 2011, in which they denied
that they had received sufficient notice and denied the amount due as stated in
RBC’s complaint. (Doc. 7 at 2). Subsequently, however, the Hollidays admitted in
their written interrogatories that (1) AmSouth advanced funds to them under the
Credit Agreement; (2) that they made at least one or more payments to AmSouth
pursuant the Credit Agreement; (3) that they subsequently failed to make payment
when due under the Credit Agreement; (4) that they have not paid all amounts
owing under the Credit Agreement; (5) that the Plaintiff has made a demand upon
them for payment of their outstanding balance; and (6) that the total due to the
Plaintiff under the Credit Agreement is $138,205.67. (Doc. 15, p. 34).
The Plaintiff later filed its motion for summary judgment, asserting that
PNC is the successor to RBC and asserting further there is no genuine dispute of
material fact in the case. See Doc. 15. Attached to the Plaintiff’s motion was the
sworn affidavit of Plaintiff’s counsel, Brent W. Dorner, an attorney in the Mobile
law firm of Burr & Forman LLP. Id. at 43-50. Dorner’s affidavit recited the
applicable billing rates and the number of hours billed to the Plaintiff by each
person working on this matter, and provided a brief explanation of each person’s
legal experience. Dorner represented to the court that the Plaintiff’s attorney’s fees
and expenses amount to $7,813.70. Id. at 49.
In their response to the Plaintiff’s motion, the Hollidays state that they “have
concluded the Plaintiffs have presented a prima facie case of breach of contract to
which the Defendants can present no viable legal defense … [t]hrough the discovery
process Plaintiffs have presented the Defendants with clear and convincing
evidence that the notice provisions contained in the contract [i.e., the Credit
Agreement] were properly followed and the amounts stated in the Complaint are
accurate.” (Doc. 17 at 1).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary judgment shall
be granted: “if 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 moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” The trial court’s function is not “to weigh the evidence and
determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether there is a genuine issue
for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).
Once the movant satisfies his initial burden under Rule 56(c), the non-moving
party "must make a sufficient showing to establish the existence of each essential
element to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof
at trial." Howard v. BP Oil Company, 32 F.3d 520, 524 (11th Cir. 1994)(citing
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986)). Otherwise stated, the non3
movant must “demonstrate that there is indeed a material issue of fact that
precludes summary judgment.” See Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608
(11th Cir. 1991). The non-moving party “may not rest on the mere allegations or
denials of the [non-moving] party’s pleading, but .... must set forth specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e) “A mere
‘scintilla’ of evidence supporting the [non-moving] party’s position will not suffice;
there must be enough of a showing that the jury could reasonably find for that
party.” Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577 (11th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted).
“Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for
the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 at 587 (1986) (internal quotation and
The defendants having conceded the Plaintiff’s summary judgment motion,
see Doc. 17 at 2 (“Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment is due to be granted”),
the court, after review of the pleadings, finds that it is due to be, and hereby is,
DONE and ORDERED this 17th day of July 2012.
/s/ Callie V. S. Granade
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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