RSDC Holdings, LLC v. M.G. Mayer Yacht Services, Inc.
ORDER AND REASONS: IT IS ORDERED that RSDC's 20 MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings is DENIED. Signed by Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle on 5/24/2017.(ajn)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
RSDC HOLDINGS, LLC
M.G. MAYER YACHT SERVICES, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
NATURE OF MOTION AND RELIEF SOUGHT
Before the Court is RSDC Holdings, LLC (“RSDC”) “Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings” (Rec. Doc. 20) and M.G. Mayer Yacht
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings” (Rec. Doc. 21).
For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that RSDC’s “Motion
for Judgment on the Pleadings” is DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
RSDC member Donald Calloway obtained a vessel, the Tuna Taxi,
California. (Rec. Doc. 1). In order to transport the vessel from
the West Coast to Louisiana, the Tuna Taxi’s bridge, or the
platform containing navigation equipment, was removed. (Rec. Doc.
1). After the vessel’s arrival in Louisiana, Mr. Calloway and his
business associate, Richard Sanderson, brought the Tuna Taxi to
M.G, Mayer to have the bridge reassembled. (Rec. Doc. 1-1). The
bridge reassembly was billed to Mr. Sanderson on June 16, 2013.
(Rec. Doc. 1-2). The vessel was later released to Mr. Calloway.
(Rec. Doc. 1). Invoices show other repairs were billed to Mr.
Sanderson between December 2, 2012 and March 10, 2013. (Rec. Doc.
M.G. Mayer filed two liens with the U.S. Coast Guard National
repairs on the Tuna Taxi. (Rec. Doc. 1). RSDC filed the Complaint
seeking judgment that the Tuna Taxi is not subject to two liens
filed by M.G. Mayer. (Rec. Doc. 1). M.G. Mayer then filed its
Amended Answer and Counterclaim alleging that it had entered into
a contract with RSDC for repairs on the Tuna Taxi and it rightfully
asserted liens from that work.
(Rec. Doc. 16).
III. FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS
Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
party to move for judgment on the pleadings after the pleadings
are closed but early enough so as not to delay trial. The standard
for deciding a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is the same as that for a motion to
Litigation, 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, this
Court must accept all well-pleaded facts as true and view them in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Baker v.
Putnal, 75 F.3d 190, 196 (5th Cir. 1996). “To survive a motion to
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
A claim is facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. “Factual allegations must be enough to
raise a right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even
if doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007) (internal citations omitted). However, “[a] pleading that
offers ‘labels and conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
The instant matter is not appropriate for judgment on the
pleadings. First of all, M.G. Mayer timely filed an Amended Answer
and Counterclaim which creates a factual dispute with RSDC’s
complaint, such as Mr.
Sanderson’s authority to procure repairs
inappropriate because “a plaintiff is not entitled to judgment on
the pleadings when the answer raises issues of fact that, if
Seventh-Day Adventists v. Seventh-Day Adventist Congregational
Church, 887 F.2d 228, 230 (9th Cir. 1989). In its answer M.G. Mayer
asserts several affirmative defenses that would defeat recovery if
affirmative defense of breach of contract (Rec. Doc. 16). It
contends that RSDC entered into an agreement to preform repair
services to the Tuna Taxi and that after M.G. Mayer preformed such
services RSDC failed to pay them (Rec. Doc. 16). This affirmative
defense is sufficient for the Defendant to survive a Rule 12 (c)
motion. Furthermore, Rule 12(c) is “is designed to dispose of cases
where the material facts are not in dispute and a judgment on the
merits can be rendered by looking to the substance of the pleadings
Touchstone Props., Ltd., 914 F.2d 74, 76 (5th Cir. 1990). Given
the factual disputes in the pleadings of this case, judgment on
the pleadings is inappropriate.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 24th day of May, 2017.
SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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