Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Savin Hill et al
District Judge Leo T. Sorokin: ORDER entered denying 417 Plaintiff's Motion for Equitable Relief, Civil Contempt and Sanctions against the Defendants, Savin Hill Family Chiropractic, Inc., Logan Chiropractic, Inc., Kenneth Ramos, Tony Ramos and Brandy Soto. The Court will hold the Rule 16 Scheduling Conference on February 9, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. The Motions to Dismiss remain pending before Magistrate Judge Dein. (Montes, Mariliz)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
SAVIN HILL FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC, )
INC., et al.,
METROPOLITAN PROPERTY AND
CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY
and THE COMMERCE INSURANCE
Civil No. 15-12939-LTS
ORDER ON MOTION FOR CONTEMPT (DOC. NO. 417)
January 20, 2017
Plaintiffs moved for equitable relief, civil contempt, and sanctions against Defendants for
selling equipment to a third party, removing funds from a clinic bank account, and revoking
assignments of benefits that Defendants had obtained from patients and reassigning the rights to
pursue claims for nonpayment of medical bills back to patients. The Motion is DENIED.
The party moving for a finding of civil contempt bears the burden to “establish (1) that
the alleged contemnor had notice that he was within the order’s ambit; (2) that the order was
clear and unambiguous; (3) that the alleged contemnor had the ability to comply; and (4) that the
order was indeed violated.” United States v. Saccoccia, 433 F.3d 19, 27 (1st Cir. 2005)
(quotation marks and citations omitted). Plaintiffs’ showing does not meet that threshold.
As to the medical equipment, Plaintiffs fail to cite any portion of the Court’s orders that
even reaches this equipment. The first of the Court’s orders stated that “Metropolitan seeks real
estate and trustee process attachments.” Doc. No. 32 at 1. Real estate attachments and trustee
process on bank accounts plainly to do not encompass tangible personal property such as the
medical equipment. Certainly, the motion for attachment did also refer to “goods, effects, and/or
credits” of the Defendants, Doc. No. 18 at 1, and the Court’s orders did allow the Plaintiffs’
motion as to the Defendants at issue here, Doc. Nos. 32, 66 & 79. However, the Court recalls no
discussion at the time of the hearing regarding attachments on anything other than real estate or
bank accounts, the Court’s Order plainly described the motion as seeking to reach only real
property and bank accounts and Plaintiffs’ motion papers fail to cite, to address, or to argue that
the “goods” language of the motion became part of an unambiguous order entitling them to the
imposition of contempt. Accordingly, the Motion is DENIED as to the sale of the medical
In its argument that the Court should impose sanctions because of the empty Hanscom
FCU bank account, Plaintiffs have provided nothing suggesting that the account was drained in
an attempt to dodge the Court’s attachment order. As Defendants point out, “Plaintiffs do not
account for the likelihood that those funds would have dissipated in the normal course of
business during the past year.” Doc. No. 430 at 8. The Motion is DENIED as to the Hanscom
Defendants obtained revocations of the “irrevocable” assignments of benefits forms
signed by claimants and reassigned their rights to payment to the Glassman Defendants.
Plaintiffs claim that this action violated the Court’s order. Again, Plaintiffs rely on conclusory
statements that are insufficient to establish a basis for contempt. They have not pointed to any
terms of the Court’s orders prohibiting that action. The Motion is DENIED as to the assignments
Plaintiffs also seek sanctions for bad faith conduct due to the allegedly fraudulent
transfers of the assignments. As Plaintiffs acknowledge, a separate suit under Mass. Gen. Laws
ch. 109A is required to obtain relief for a fraudulent transfer. Plaintiffs states the “the Court
should find all revocations and reassignments in favor of the Glassman Defendants’ clients
voidable fraudulent transfers, and award sanctions for the Participating Defendants’ bad faith
conduct in fraudulently transferring assets in order to facilitate the filing the [sic] PIP Actions
purportedly on behalf of Metropolitan, Commerce, and other insurance carriers’ claimants.” Doc.
No. 418 at 18. Essentially, Plaintiffs are asking the Court to find a violation of Chapter 109A
(even though this is not the proper action for a Chapter 109A claim) and then find that violation
to be bad faith conduct sufficient for sanctions. The Court will leave the analysis of any Chapter
109A claim to a future litigation that properly raises the issue. In this case, Plaintiffs have not
stated a sufficient basis for a finding of bad faith. The Motion for Sanctions is DENIED.
The Court will hold the Rule 16 scheduling conference on February 9, 2017, at 3:30 p.m.
The Motions to Dismiss remain pending before Magistrate Judge Dein.
/s/ Leo T. Sorokin
Leo T. Sorokin
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?