Mayflower Transit, LLC et al v. Campbell et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs Mayflower Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving & Storage Co., Inc.'s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff Mayflower Transit, LLC is entitled to sum mary judgment against defendant T.J. Campbell as to Count II of the complaint. The motion is denied in all other respects. [Doc. 16] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs Mayflower Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving & Storage Co., Inc.'s motio n to compel is DENIED without prejudice. [Doc. 24] IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that on or before March 5, 2012, plaintiffs Mayflower Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving & Storage Co., Inc. shall file a memorandum with the Court, notifying the Court whether plaintiffs intend to proceed to trial on the remaining claims. An appropriate Partial Judgment will accompany this Memorandum and Order. (Response to Court due by 3/5/2012.) Signed by Honorable Charles A. Shaw on 2/29/2012. (NCL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MAYFLOWER TRANSIT, LLC, et al.,
T.J. CAMPBELL, et al.,
No. 4:11-CV-808 CAS
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Pending before the Court is a motion for summary judgment filed by plaintiffs Mayflower
Transit, LLC (“Mayflower”) and Dodge Moving & Storage Co., Inc. (“Dodge”). Defendant T.J.
Campbell, who is proceeding pro se, opposed the motion and filed a one-page response. Defendant
Rita Case, who is also proceeding pro se, failed to file a response and the time to do so has expired.
For the following reasons, the Court will grant summary judgment to Mayflower against defendant
Plaintiffs Mayflower and Dodge filed a complaint for interpleader and enforcement of
possessory carrier and warehouse liens against defendants Campbell and Case. According to the
complaint, defendant Campbell entered in a contract with Mayflower to transport household goods
from Iowa to Illinois. Before the shipment reached its final destination, however, Mayflower was
notified by Campbell that he was unable to secure a residence for delivery. Therefore, under the
terms of the contract, the shipment was placed in storage at Dodge’s warehouse facility in the St.
Louis area. Sometime thereafter, Mayflower received notice that defendant Case had an adverse
claim of ownership to some or all of the household goods included in the shipment. Mayflower and
Dodge continued to hold the goods at the warehouse facility, and they filed the above-captioned
cause of action.
Plaintiffs filed a two-count complaint against defendants Campbell and Case. In Count I,
for interpleader, plaintiffs allege they are innocent stakeholders with regard to the subject shipment
and claim no interest in the property, but they seek to obtain an appropriate order from the Court
allowing them to sell the household goods in order to satisfy their carrier and warehousemen’s liens.
In Count II, a claim for carrier and warehousemen’s liens, plaintiffs allege that pursuant to 49 U.S.C.
§ 80109 and the provisions of the contract, they each have a lien on the goods for the unpaid
transportation and storage costs and other charges for services and expenses.
In their motion for summary judgment, plaintiffs do not ask the Court to take control of the
property and decide ownership and rights. Rather they argue that the Court should find that they
were entitled to hold the goods in storage and file an interpleader action pursuant to 49 U.S.C.
§ 80110. They argue that under the contract and applicable law they are entitled to recover their
tariffs and charges for transportation and storage and they have liens against the property under 49
U.S.C. § 80109. For relief, plaintiff ask the Court to enter summary judge in their favor against both
defendants in the amount of $11,634.49, plus $16.54 a day for storage costs from October 5, 20011,
and “if [d]efendants do not pay [p]laintiffs the amount owed, then [p]laintiffs should be allowed to
immediately sell the goods being held in storage so as to satisfy their liens out of the proceeds of the
sale.” See Doc. 18 at 2.
The standard applicable to summary judgment motions is well-settled. Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), a court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the
information before the court shows “there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The initial burden is placed on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Ia. v. Associated Elec.
Co-op., Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir. 1988) (the moving party has the burden of clearly
establishing the non-existence of any genuine issue of fact that is material to a judgment in its favor).
Once this burden is discharged, if the record shows that no genuine dispute exists, the burden then
shifts to the non-moving party who must set forth affirmative evidence and specific facts showing
there is a genuine dispute on a material factual issue. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
Once the burden shifts, the non-moving party may not rest on the allegations in its pleadings,
but by affidavit and other evidence he or she must set forth specific facts showing that a genuine
issue of material fact exists. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co., 207 F.3d 1026,
1029 (8th Cir. 2000). The non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 586 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is “genuine” only “if the evidence is such that
a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Herring, 207 F.3d at 1029 quoting
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A party resisting summary judgment has the burden to designate the
specific facts that create a triable question of fact. See Crossley v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 355 F.3d
1112, 1114 (8th Cir. 2004). “Self-serving, conclusory statements without support are not sufficient
to defeat summary judgment.” Armour and Co., Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2 F.3d 276, 279 (8th
In passing on a motion for summary judgment, it is not the court’s role to decide the merits.
The court should not weigh evidence or attempt to determine the truth of a matter. Rather, the court
must simply determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists. Bassett v. City of
Minneapolis, 211 F.3d 1097, 1107 (8th Cir. 2000).
III. Findings of Fact
Local Rule 4.01(E) provides, with respect to summary judgment motions:
A memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment shall have attached
a statement of uncontroverted material facts, set forth in a separately numbered
paragraph for each fact, indicating whether each fact is established by the record,
and, if so, the appropriate citations. Every memorandum in opposition shall include
a statement of material facts as to which the party contends a genuine dispute exists.
Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with specific references to portions of the
record, where available, upon which the opposing party relies. The opposing party
also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph number from movant’s listing of
facts. All matters set forth in the statement of the movant shall be deemed admitted
for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the opposing
party. E.D. Mo. L.R. 4.01(E).
In support of its motion for summary judgment, plaintiffs submitted a Statement of
Uncontroverted Material Facts with citations to the record, and attached to their memorandum in
support of summary judgment an affidavit and exhibits, including copies of the contract at issue.
Defendants, however, did not respond to plaintiffs’ statement of uncontroverted facts or provide the
Court with a statement of material facts as to which they contend a genuine dispute exists.
Accordingly, defendants have not met the requirements of Local Rule 4.01(E), and they are deemed
to have admitted all facts in plaintiffs’ statements of uncontroverted facts. Deichmann v. Boeing Co.,
36 F. Supp.2d 1166, 1168 (E.D.Mo. 1999), aff’d, 232 F.3d 907 (8th Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 531
U.S. 877. Cf. Northwest Bank & Trust Co. v. First Ill. Nat’l Bank, 354 F.3d 721, 725 (8th Cir. 2003)
(holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by applying local rules that excluded some
of the material facts offered in opposition to a motion for summary judgment).
With this in mind, Court makes the following findings:
Mayflower is a motor carrier of household goods and personal property and is engaged in
the performance of interstate carriage for hire. Dodge is a disclosed household goods agent of
Mayflower. On or about July 29, 2010, defendant Campbell entered into a contract with Mayflower.
Under the contract, Mayflower was to move certain household goods and personal property from
Des Moines, Iowa to Fairview Heights, Illinois.
Plaintiffs attached to their Statement of
Uncontroverted Facts a copy of this contract, which constitutes a Bill of Lading, Estimate/Order of
Service, Additional Service Price List and an Addendum.
The Bill of Lading, which Campbell signed, provides: “Customer acknowledges receipt of
and accepts this Bill of Lading, including all terms written and printed, stamped or typed on all
pages (front and/or back) of this form.” The front page of the Bill of Lading sets out the pricing
option Campbell selected. It provides:
Pricing Option W: This shipment is based on a Bound Estimate between the Carrier
and the Customer. The On Point Price Certainty Total amount includes the Total
Bound Charges for (1) Transportation Services which include loading service,
transportation FROM the City/State/Zip listed above TO the City/State/Zip listed
above, and unloading services…. PLUS any non-bound charges shown for
Storage-In-Transit (SIT), 3rd Party Charges and Advanced Charges. The Carrier
must relinquish possession of your shipment upon payment of 100% of the On Point
Price Certainty Total price amount even if the total charges for services exceed the
amount of the On Point Price Certainty Total price.
Page 3 of the Bill of Lading provides:
1. The Total Bound Charges amount is based on the estimated (Bound) weight and
estimated (Bound) services listed up to the quantities shown on the Estimate as
included in this Bound amount … The Total Bound Charges amount does not include
charges for any items added to the shipment as indicated in the Table of
Measurements (Cube Sheet) and/or additional services that are requested or are
necessary to accomplish delivery. Storage in Transit (“SIT”) charges will be based
on the actual weight and the actual number of days in SIT. In the event SIT services
provided are in excess of the estimated amount, the cost of these services will be in
addition to the amount stated. …
The Total Bound Charges listed on the Bill of Lading is $3,678.36, and it is the same as the “On
Point Price Certainty Total” listed on the Bill of Lading.
Page 4 of the Bill of Lading sets out the “CONTRACT TERMS and CONDITIONS of
UNIFORM HOUSEHOLD GOODS BILL of LADING.”
Section 8 of the Contract Terms provides:
Section 8: (a) … or if the Carrier is unable to deliver the shipment for any reason
other than the fault of Carrier, then Carrier may cause the shipment to be stored in
a warehouse at the cost of Customer and subject to a lien for all accrued tariff or
contract rate schedule charges and other lawful charges. Storage may be, at Carrier’s
option, in any location that provides reasonable protection against loss or damage.
Carrier shall promptly attempt to provide notice by U.S. mail as provided on the face
of the Bill of Lading, if so indicated, to the Customer or the party designated on the
Bill of Lading to receive notice, if any. (b) If Carrier does not receive disposition
instructions within fifteen (15) days from the mailing of notice or if Customer fails
or refuses to pay lawfully applicable charges, then Carrier, at its sole option, may
offer the shipment for public sale in any manner authorized by law. The amount of
sale will be applied toward payment of lawful charges applicable to the shipment and
other expense incurred in the public sale. The owner will be responsible for the
balance of the charges not covered by the sale of the goods. If there is a balance
remaining after all charges and expenses are paid, such balance will be paid to the
owner of the property sold hereunder, upon claim and proof of ownership….
The Estimate/Order for Services document defines the term “Storage” in pertinent part, as
STORAGE – If you cannot accept delivery at destination and your shipment must
be placed into an agent’s warehouse for storage-in-transit, the following charges will
FIRST DAY STORAGE-IN-TRANSIT - This charge is for the
preparation of the storage vaults, receiving the shipment into storage,
and preparation of storage documentation. This charge is applied on
a per hundredweight basis, based on the actual weight of the
EACH ADDITIONAL DAY STORAGE-IN-TRANSIT – The charge
is for each additional day after the first day. The charge is applied on
a per hundredweight basis, per day, based on the actual weight of the
shipment. The Storage-In-Transit period cannot exceed 180 days,
after which time the rules and rates of the warehouse will apply.
DELIVERY OUT OF STORAGE-IN-TRANSIT (DRAYAGE) - This
charge is for delivering your belongings from the storage warehouse
to your residence. This charge is based on the actual weight of the
shipment and the location where the service is provided.
In accordance with the contract, Mayflower, via a disclosed household goods agent, loaded and
commenced transportation of the subject shipment under the Bill of Lading. On August 6, 2010,
after the shipment had been loaded and transported from Iowa to Missouri, but before the shipment
had reached its final destination in Illinois, Campbell notified Mayflower that he had been unable
to secure a residence for delivery of the shipment. Campbell instructed Mayflower not to deliver
the shipment to the address in Fairview Heights, Illinois. He provided, however, no alternative
delivery address. Pursuant to the notice and instruction from Campbell, and under the terms of the
contract, the shipment was placed in storage-in-transit (“SIT”) at Dodge’s warehouse facility in St.
In November 2010, while the shipment was in SIT, Mayflower received notice of an adverse
claim of ownership from Case. Defendant Case alleged that some or all of the household goods
included in the shipment belonged to her. Case requested that Mayflower hold the shipment while
she and Campbell tried to resolve the dispute between them. Since receiving Case’s notice,
Mayflower has kept the goods at the Dodge’s warehouse facility. As of October 5, 2011, the
estimated interstate transportation charges, SIT charges, and SIT valuation charges due and owing
to Plaintiffs totaled $11,663.49. The goods have remained in Dodge’s warehouse facility and
continued to accrue storage charges at the rate of $16.54 per day. As of the date of this
Memorandum and Order, this amounts to an additional $2,431.38, for a total amount due and owing
of $14,094.97. Campbell has not paid any of the outstanding amount owed, and no one else has paid
Mayflower and Dodge filed this statutory interpleader action pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 80110.
Section 80110 details a common carrier’s duty to deliver goods. Under the statute, a common
carrier must deliver goods covered by a bill of lading, unless the common carrier establishes there
is an “excuse provided by law.” 49 U.S.C. § 80110 (a). Also, under the statute, “[i]f a person other
than the consignee or the person in possession of a bill of lading claims title to or possession of
goods and the common carrier knows of the claim, the carrier is not required to deliver the goods
to any claimant until the carrier has had a reasonable time to decide the validity of the adverse claim
or to bring a civil action to require all claimants to interplead.” § 80110 (d). The statute further
If at least 2 persons claim title to or possession of the goods, the common
bring a civil action to interplead all known claimants to the
require those claimants to interplead as a defense in an action
brought against the carrier for nondelivery.
49 U.S.C. § 80110(e).
An interpleader allows a plaintiff stakeholder to sue all those parties who are or might assert
claims to a common fund or property held by the stakeholder, and lets the claimants litigate who is
entitled to the funds or property. Dakota Livestock Co. v. Keim, 552 F.2d 1302, 1306 (8th Cir.
1977). Interpleader suits are designed to protect stakeholders not only from multiple liability, but
from multiple suits. Id.
In this case, it is clear that Mayflower had a legal excuse for non-delivery of the goods at
question – there was no place to deliver the goods. Defendant Campbell instructed Mayflower not
to deliver the goods to the original destination, and he did not provide an alternative address.
Mayflower was also on notice that defendant Case had an adverse claim to the goods. In order to
avoid multiple liability, Mayflower chose to hold the goods and file an interpleader action, as
Mayflower was entitled to do under the statute.
The difficulty in this case, however, is that it has not been established to the Court’s
satisfaction who has title to the goods Mayflower and Dodge are holding in storage. It is undisputed
that Mayflower entered into a contract with defendant Campbell to deliver household goods from
Iowa to Illinois. Whether defendant Campbell was the rightful owner of these goods when he
surrendered the goods for shipping is not established. Mayflower received notice that Case had an
adverse claim, but this was only notice of a possible adverse claim. Mayflower does not know who
is the rightful owner of any or all of the goods, which is why it filed an interpleader action in the first
place. But plaintiffs have not asked the Court to determine who has ownership of the goods, rather
they request that the Court find plaintiffs have liens on the goods in question. Based on the record
before it, the Court cannot determine ownership of the goods in question. There is nothing in the
record to indicate what is the basis of defendant Case’s claim to the goods, and defendants Campbell
and Case, who are both proceeding pro se have been no help in this regard. They each filed one
sentence answers to the complaint, and they have not responded to discovery requests.
The Court finds, however, that it need not decide who is the rightful owner of the goods in
question in order to decide plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The undisputed facts establish
Mayflower is entitled to be paid. Pursuant to the contract and applicable law, Mayflower is entitled
to recover its transportation and storage costs, and it has a lien on Campbell’s property. A bill of
lading, which Campbell executed, is the basic contract between the shipper/consignor and the
carrier, and its terms and conditions bind the parties. Orscheln Brothers Truck Lines, Inc. v.
Ferguson Mfg., Inc., 793 S.W.2d 525 (Mo. Ct. App. W.D. 1990). It is a “time-honored rule that
[when a carrier is not paid for lawful charges], no ‘act or omission of the carrier (except the running
of the statute of limitations) [will] estop or preclude it from enforcing payment of the full amount
by a person liable therefore.’” Southern Pac. Transp. v. Commercial Metals Co., 456 U.S. 336, 352
(1982) (citing Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Central Iron Co., 265 U.S. 59, 65 (1924)). Unless
the bill of lading provides to the contrary, the consignor remains primarily liable for the freight
charges. Southern Pacific, 456 U.S. at 343. See also Yazoo & M.V.R. Co. v. Picher Lead Co., 190
S.W. 387, 388 (Mo. App. 1917). Furthermore, Mayflower, as the common carrier, has a lien
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 80109.1
Under the bill of lading and other documents, defendant Campbell agreed to pay Mayflower
interstate transportation charges. In addition, Campbell agreed that if he could not accept delivery,
and his shipment had to be placed into storage, he would pay Mayflower for storage charges. As
of the date of this Memorandum and Order, the estimated interstate transportation charges, SIT
A common carrier issuing a negotiable bill of lading has a lien on the goods covered by the bill
for-(1) charges for storage, transportation, and delivery (including demurrage and
terminal charges), and expenses necessary to preserve the goods or incidental to
transporting the goods after the date of the bill; and
(2) other charges for which the bill expressly specifies a lien is claimed to the extent
the charges are allowed by law and the agreement between the consignor and carrier.
49 U.S.C. § 80109.
charges, SIT valuation charges, and other storage charges due and owing to Mayflower totals
$14,094.97. The Court will grant Mayflower summary judgment against defendant Campbell in the
amount of $14,094.97.
This does not decide, however, all the issues raised in the summary judgment motion.
Plaintiffs ask that the Court enter judgment against defense Case as well. Defendant Case, however,
was not a party to the contract. Plaintiffs cite nothing in the record nor have they provided legal
authority to support imposing liability against defendant Case. Consequently, plaintiffs’ motion for
summary judgment as to defendant Case will be denied.
Furthermore, the Court finds plaintiff Dodge is not entitled to summary judgment. It is
undisputed that Dodge was a disclosed agent of Mayflower, but Dodge was not a party to the
contract with Campbell. Plaintiffs cite no legal authority in support of their argument that Dodge
has a lien on the property that is separate and apart from Mayflower’s lien under the bill of lading,
nor have they pointed to any facts in the record to support Dodge’s claim. The Court has examined
the bill of lading and other documents that comprise the contract, and no where in these documents
does it provide that Dodge would have an enforceable lien or claim against Campbell for storage
charges.2 In addition, 49 U.S.C. § 80109, to which plaintiffs cite in support of their motion,
addresses common carrier liens under bills of lading. This section does not address warehouse liens
and whether a disclosed agent is entitled to a lien in addition to the lien of the common carrier.
Based on the record before it and the authority provided, the Court cannot grant summary judgment
in Dodge’s favor.
The Court does note that the copies of the bill of lading and other documents plaintiffs provided
the Court in support of their motion for summary judgment are poor copies, and some of the
language in the bill of lading was illegible.
Plaintiffs also ask that if defendants cannot immediately pay the amount owed, then the
Court should allow them to sell or otherwise dispose of the property so as to satisfy their lien out
of the proceeds of the sale. The Court cannot grant this request because plaintiffs have not provided
the Court with the necessary information and authority to order such a sale. Mayflower will have
a judgment against defendant Campbell. In the event Mayflower believes a sale is necessary to
collect its judgment, it may follow appropriate post-judgment procedures to effect such a sale.
The Court also notes there is a pending motion to compel against defendants Campell and
Case. Plaintiffs, however, did not comply with the undersigned’s requirements and file a notice of
hearing to set the dispute on the Court’s monthly discovery docket. Pursuant to the Court’s
requirements, the Court will deny the motion without prejudice, as the motion has been on file for
more than forty-five days. A copy of the Court’s requirements can be found at
In conclusion, there is an April 9, 2012 trial date in this matter. Judgment will be entered
in Mayflower’s favor against defendant Campbell, but there remains outstanding claims. The Court
will order plaintiffs to file a memorandum with the Court by March 5, 2012, notifying the Court
whether plaintiffs will proceed to trial on the remaining claims.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs Mayflower Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving
& Storage Co., Inc.’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
Plaintiff Mayflower Transit, LLC is entitled to summary judgment against defendant T.J. Campbell
as to Count II of the complaint. The motion is denied in all other respects. [Doc. 16]
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs Mayflower Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving
& Storage Co., Inc.’s motion to compel is DENIED without prejudice. [Doc. 24]
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that on or before March 5, 2012, plaintiffs Mayflower
Transit, LLC and Dodge Moving & Storage Co., Inc. shall file a memorandum with the Court,
notifying the Court whether plaintiffs intend to proceed to trial on the remaining claims.
An appropriate Partial Judgment will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
CHARLES A. SHAW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 29th
day of February, 2012.
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