United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville Division
Jordan, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Second Motion
for Summary Judgment [doc. 38], Plaintiff's Brief in
Support of the Motion [doc. 39], and Defendants' Response
in Opposition [doc. 42-1], and Plaintiff's Motion for a
Hearing [doc. 47]. For the reasons herein, the Court will
deny the motions.
former student at the University of Tennessee, [Student
Enrollment History, doc. 29, at 18-19], Plaintiff Mark
Williams (“Mr. Williams”) completed an
application and promissory note to enter into the Tennessee
Student Assistance Corporation's Tennessee Consolidation
Loan Program, [Appl. & Promissory Note, doc. 29, at 6],
seeking to consolidate three of his student loans,
[id.; Jane Pennington Aff., doc. 30-1, ¶ 4]. At
the time, Defendant Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation
(“TSAC”), which is “the designated guaranty
agency for loans made under the Federal Family Education Loan
Program (“FEELP”) within the State of Tennessee,
” [Jane Pennington Aff. ¶ 3],  was the guarantor
of the consolidated loan, [id. ¶ 4;
see Appl. & Promissory Note at 6]. Mr. Williams,
however, later defaulted on the consolidated loan and TSAC
then became the holder of the loan. [Jane Pennington Aff.
¶¶ 6-7]. TSAC, through its contractor, Automated
Collection Services, Inc. (“ACSI”), attempted to
collect debts on the defaulted loan for roughly a year but
without success. [ACSI Aff., doc. 29, ¶¶ 3-6]. ACSI
maintains that it eventually mailed a letter to Mr. Williams
entitled “Notice Prior to Wage Withholding, ” in
which it notified him of its intent to garnish his wages.
[Id. ¶¶ 5-10]. According to ACSI, this
letter contained instructions about how Mr. Williams could
not only avoid garnishment but also request a hearing to
object to it. [Id. ¶ 10]. ACSI, however,
attests that Mr. Williams did not request a hearing “in
the manner proscribed by” the letter, [id.
¶ 11], so it proceeded to garnish Mr. Williams'
wages, [id. ¶ 12].
response, Mr. Williams, a pro se plaintiff, brought this
action against TSAC and Russ Deaton
(“Defendants”) in his official capacity, claiming
they deprived him of his constitutional rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 by garnishing his wages (Count I) and by
committing a constructive conversion of his interest in the
promissory note (Count II). [Compl., doc. 1, at 8-10]. The
Court has dismissed Count I to the extent that Mr. Williams
pursues monetary damages and has dismissed Count II in its
entirety. [Order, doc. 15, at 1-2]. Count I remains pending
to the extent that he seeks injunctive relief.
[Id.]. He now moves for summary judgment for a
second time, [Pl.'s Mot. for Summ. J. at 1-2], the Court
having denied his first attempt at summary judgment, [Order,
doc. 57, at 1].
judgment is appropriate when the moving party shows, or
“point[s] out to the district court, ”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986),
that the record-the admissions, affidavits, answers to
interrogatories, declarations, depositions, or other
materials-is without a genuine issue of material fact and
that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c). The moving party has the
initial burden of identifying the basis for summary judgment
and the portions of the record that lack genuine issues of
material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The moving
party discharges that burden by showing “an absence of
evidence to support the nonmoving party's” claim or
defense, id. at 325, at which point the nonmoving
party, to withstand summary judgment, must identify facts in
the record that create a genuine issue of material fact,
id. at 324.
just any factual dispute will defeat a motion for summary
judgment-the requirement is “that there be no
genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A fact is “material” if it may affect the
outcome of the case under the applicable substantive law,
id., and an issue is “genuine” if the
evidence is “such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. In
short, the inquiry is whether the record contains evidence
that “presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to the jury or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law.” Id. at
251-52. When ruling on a motion for summary judgment, a court
must view the facts and draw all reasonable inferences in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007). “[T]he
judge's function is not himself to weigh the evidence and
determine the truth of the matter but to determine whether
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 249.
Court begins by noting that Mr. Williams renews a pair of
arguments that it previously rejected when it denied his
first Motion for Summary Judgment [doc. 22]- namely that
Defendants have not produced a “wet-ink” copy of
the promissory note or proof of compliance with 5 U.S.C.
§ 556(d). [Pl.'s Br. at 6-7]. Having already
addressed these exact arguments in detail, [see Mem.
Op., doc. 56, at 6-8], the Court will not revisit them here.
Mr. Williams, however, also raises a pair of new arguments,
contending that the record lacks evidence showing that
Defendants received a default claim from a lender under 34
C.F.R. § 682.406(a)(5) or paid a default claim to a
lender under 34 C.F.R. § 682.406(a)(9). [Pl.'s Br.
§ 682.406(a)(5), when a lender files a default claim on
a student loan within ninety days of the default, a guaranty
agency may pay the default claim and receive a reinsurance
payment from the federal government. Contrary to Mr.
Williams' assertion, the record does in fact contain
evidence showing that TSAC received a default claim from Mr.
Williams' lender within ninety days of Mr. Williams'
default. [Default Claim Docs., doc. 30-1, 5-27; see
Jane Pennington Aff. ¶ 6]. Mr. Williams is therefore not
entitled to summary judgment.
§ 682.406(a)(9), a guaranty agency's right to a
reinsurance payment is contingent, in part, on the guaranty
agency's payment of a lender's default claim.
Contrary to Mr. Williams' assertion, the record does in
fact contain evidence showing that TSAC paid a default claim
to Mr. Williams' lender. [See Claim Paid Summ.,