Meller v. Meller Management, LLC et al
ORDER granting on statute of limitations grounds 52 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Community First Trust Company, granting on statute of limitations grounds 30 First MOTION for Summary Judgment, denying as moot 83 Objection to Pre-Trial D isclosure Sheet filed by Meller Management, LLC, Sally W. Meller, L.P., denying as moot 82 Objection to Pre-Trial Disclosure Sheet filed by Stephen A. Meller, denying as moot 84 Objection to Pre-Trial Disclosure Sheet filed by Community First Trust Company. The Jury Trial set to begin Monday, June 13, 2011, was canceled following that hearing on June 10, 2011. Each party is to bear its own fees and costs. Signed by Honorable Robert T. Dawson on June 13, 2011. (dmc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
HOT SPRINGS DIVISION
STEPHEN A. MELLER, INDIVIDUALLY;
AS TRUSTEE OF STEPHEN A. MELLER
TRUST; AND AS TRUSTEE OF STEPHEN
A. MELLER DESCENDANTS SEPARATE TRUST
Civ. No. 10-6018
MELLER MANAGEMENT, LLC;
SALLY W. MELLER, L.P.; AND
COMMUNITY FIRST TRUST COMPANY
Before the Court are Separate Defendants Meller Management,
LLC (“MM, LLC”) and Sally W. Meller, L.P.’s (“SWM, LP”) Motion
for Summary Judgment (Docs. 30-32) and the parties’ responses
and replies (Docs. 40-42 & 44); Separate Defendant Community
First Trust Company’s (“Community”) Motion for Summary Judgment
responses and replies (Docs. 57-58 & 68)1; Plaintiff’s Objections
To Defendants’ Pre-Trial Disclosure Sheet and Motion in Limine
(Doc. 82); Separate Defendants MM, LLC and SWM, LP’s Objections
to Plaintiff’s Pre-Trial Disclosure Sheet and Motion in Limine
In a Memorandum Opinion Order (Doc. 85) dated June 8, 2011, the Court ruled
on the arguments in the parties’ motions, and deferred ruling on the issue of
Plaintiff Stephen A. Meller’s competency and equitable tolling until this
matter’s pre-trial hearing.
Montin v. Estate of Dale Johnson, 636 F.3d 409
(8th Cir. 2011); Phillips v. Sugrue, 800 F.Supp. 789 (8th Cir. 1992).
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A hearing was conducted on Friday, June 10, 2011, and the
equitable tolling pursuant to section 16-56-116(a).
Plaintiff’s claims falling outside the limitations period are
barred by section 16-56-105 of the Arkansas code.
800 F.Supp. 789, 791 (holding when a person by reason of injury
sustained is incapable of managing his personal affairs, that
individual may be regarded as incompetent so as to warrant a
tolling of limitations); see also Adams v. Arthur, 333 Ark. 53,
63 (1998)(holding once it is clear that the action is barred by
plaintiff to provide by a preponderance of the evidence that the
statute of limitations was in fact tolled).
The Court reviewed medical records, exhibits, and testimony
Although the Court is cognizant that the types of
The Court compiled twenty exhibits received in connection with the parties’
motions, including attachment 12 of Document 76 (Doc. 76-12) that was jointly
proffered by the parties as the Court’s Exhibit number 20.
Plaintiff submitted to the Court one exhibit, Defendant MM, LLC and SWM, LP
submitted two exhibits, and Defendant Community submitted eleven exhibits.
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interpreted liberally, the evidence before the Court does not
suggest Plaintiff’s conditions and circumstances were of such a
degree that rendered him unable to manage his personal affairs.4
See Phillips, 800 F.Supp. at 791.
The Plaintiff has a long
history of emotional and physical problems, but he now seems to
be better and in a position to take care of both his personal
attention, care or concern by family members that one would
expect, he was nonetheless competent during all relevant time
periods to raise questions concerning the business activities
and dealings of those family members.
Based on this finding,
Plaintiff’s claims that remained following the Court’s previous
rulings (Doc. 85).
Accordingly, Defendants MM, LLC, SWM, LP,
and Community’s Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs. 30 & 52) are
Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim, as agreed upon by the
parties on the record is Plaintiff’s action for dissolution and
accounting of SWM, LP.
The Court previously denied Plaintiff’s
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. 37) seeking this same
In view of the Plaintiff’s activities during the time periods he claims to
be incapacitated, which include but are not limited to, his multiple
contracts and/or attempts to contract, ownership and operation of vehicles,
and correspondences involving sophisticated matters, the Court finds
Plaintiff to have had the capabilities to manage his personal affairs.
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remedy pursuant to section 4-47-802 of the Arkansas Code.
Court having previously declined to exercise its discretion to
order the dissolution of the SWM, LP will dismiss Plaintiff’s
prejudice as to Plaintiff’s right to file it in state court.
Accordingly, Defendants MM, LLC, SWM, LP, and Community’s
Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs. 30 & 52) are GRANTED on
remained following the Court’s Memorandum Opinion Order (Doc.
dissolution and winding of the SWM, LP is
PREJUDICE to Plaintiff’s right to file it in state Court.
Plaintiff’s Objections to Defendants’ Pre-Trial Disclosure
(Doc. 83) is DENIED as moot.
Separate Defendant Community’s
Objections to Plaintiff’s Pre-trial Disclosure Sheet and Motion
in Limine (Doc. 84) is DENIED as moot.
The Jury Trial set to begin Monday, June 13, 2011, was
canceled following that hearing on June 10, 2011.
to bear its own fees and costs.
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Each party is
IT IS ORDERED this 13th day of June, 2011.
/s/ Robert T. Dawson________
Honorable Robert T. Dawson
United States District Judge
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