United States of America v. Brown
ORDER granting 10 plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Plaintiff to submit judgment by 1/17/17) (Signed by District Judge George Caram Steeh. (MBea)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CASE NO. 16-CV-12426
HON. GEORGE CARAM STEEH
RANDALL W. BROWN,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. 10)
This is an action to recover on two student loans that defendant
Randall W. Brown obtained in 1984 totaling $9,100. Now before the court
is the government’s motion for summary judgment. Pro se defendant has
not responded to the motion and the time period for doing so has expired.
For the reasons set forth below, the government’s motion shall be granted.
A. Factual and Procedural Background
In 1984, defendant obtained two Health Education Assistance Loans
totaling $9,100. Defendant was granted deferments from July 1985 to July
1988. Thereafter, defendant made payments on the loans until he
defaulted in 2010. After defendant’s default, the Department of Health and
Human Services (“HHS”) paid the insurance claim filed by Student Loan
Marketing Association and received assignment of the notes. From 2011
to 2015, HHS attempted to work out a payment plan with the defendant to
no avail. The government then filed this lawsuit seeking to collect the
$4,167.26 remaining on the loans, as well as court costs in the amount of
$350.00. Defendant did not file an Answer to the Complaint, but sent a
letter to the court stating that he had made significant payments towards
the loans, and cited to a recent case filed by the ACLU and National
Consumer Law Center in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, possibly to suggest that racial bias exists in the collection
of student loans.
In that letter, defendant also requests the names and addresses of all
creditors. The creditor in this case is the United States of America, the
plaintiff in this case. Due to the pendency of this lawsuit, defendant is on
notice of the name and address of all creditors.
B. Legal Standard
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) empowers the court to render
summary judgment "forthwith 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." Redding v. St.
Edward, 241 F.3d 530, 532 (6th Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court has
affirmed the court's use of summary judgment as an integral part of the fair
and efficient administration of justice. The procedure is not a disfavored
procedural shortcut. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986);
see also Cox v. Kentucky Dep’t of Transp., 53 F.3d 146, 149 (6th Cir.
Summary judgment is proper because there is no genuine issue of
material fact. To recover on a promissory note, the government must first
make a prima facie showing that (1) the defendant signed it, (2) the
government is the present owner or holder, and (3) the note is in default.
United States. v. Petroff-Kline, 557 F.3d 285, 290 (6th Cir. 2009). Plaintiff
may establish these elements by producing a copy of the promissory note,
and a certificate of indebtedness signed by a loan analyst under penalty of
perjury. Id. Once plaintiff establishes its prima facie case, the burden
shifts to the defendant to show the nonexistence, extinguishment or
variance in payment of the obligation. Id.
The government has met its burden here. The government has
submitted copies of the promissory notes signed by defendant, (Doc. 10,
Ex. A), a certificate of indebtedness signed under penalty of perjury by the
acting chief of the debt referral section of HHS, (Doc. 10, Ex. B), and an
affidavit by an accountant with HHS attesting to defendant’s indebtedness
in the amount of $4,167.26, plus interest, to the United States. (Doc. 10,
Ex. C). Defendant has not responded to the motion for summary judgment.
The court has considered, however, his letter to the court in response to
the filing of the Complaint, and finds it deficient to overcome defendant’s
Accordingly, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 10) is
GRANTED. Judgment shall enter in the amount of $4,167.26, plus interest
from the date of the filing of the Complaint until the date of Judgment, plus
court costs in the amount of $350.00, together with post judgment interest
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1961(a). The government is to submit a proposed
Judgment with interests and costs calculated up to the present date on or
before January 17, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 6, 2017
s/George Caram Steeh
GEORGE CARAM STEEH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
Copies of this Order were served upon attorneys of record on
January 6, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail and also
on Randall W. Brown, 175 Coyote Run, Holly, MI 48442.
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