United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Knoxville
UNITED SADAT TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS COMPANY LTD, Plaintiff,
ERIC WAYNE BARTON and VANQUISH WORLDWIDE, LLC, Defendants.
C. POPLIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. MCDONOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff United Sadat Transportation and
Logistics Company LTD's motion for summary judgment (Doc.
29). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's motion will
April 2016, Plaintiff and Defendants Eric Wayne Barton
(“Barton”) and Vanquish Worldwide, LLC
(“Vanquish”) entered into a settlement agreement
that resolved a separate dispute between the parties (the
“Settlement Agreement”). (Doc. 32-1, at 1.) At
the time the Settlement Agreement was reached, Barton was
also a party to a divorce proceeding in Blount County,
Tennessee, between Barton and his former spouse (the
“Divorce Proceeding”). (Id. at 2.) Under
the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Vanquish agreed to pay
Plaintiff $7, 000, 000 in exchange for dismissal of the
lawsuit. (Id. at 6.) Of that amount, $1, 800, 000
was to be paid to Plaintiff immediately. (Id.) The
remaining $5, 200, 000 was to be paid in installments of
various amounts over the next three years. (Id. at
6-8.) As security for the remaining amount, Vanquish and
Barton, respectively, executed a Promissory Note and Guaranty
Agreement along with the Settlement Agreement. (Id.)
the Promissory Note and Guaranty Agreement provided for
“Events of Default, ” whereby Plaintiff, at its
option, could accelerate the amount owed by Vanquish. (Doc.
31, at 2- 3, 7.) In addition to acceleration, upon an Event
of Default, the Promissory Note allows Plaintiff to collect
interest in the amount of 7.5% per annum, to take action to
enforce and collect on the outstanding obligation, and to
recover reasonable costs, including attorneys' fees.
(Id. at 3.) Both the Promissory Note and Guaranty
Agreement include the following as an Event of Default:
[I]f a judgment for in excess of $2, 000, 000 be entered in
court against [Barton] or any lien superior in priority to
the liens held by [Plaintiff] on the assets of [Barton] be
recorded or filed against any property securing the Note or
this Guaranty and not paid, appealed, vacated, satisfied,
withdrawn, stricken, or bonded within 60 days . . . .
(Id. at 2-3, 7.)
September 2016, the Chancery Court for Blount, County,
Tennessee (the “Chancery Court”) held a three-day
trial in the Divorce Proceeding. (Doc. 31, at 15.) On
November 16, 2016, the Chancery Court issued a memorandum and
order (the “Memorandum and Order”). (Id.
at 18-41.) In the Memorandum and Order, the Chancery Court
awarded Barton's former spouse the divorce and approved
the parties' proposed parenting plan. (Id. at
30.) In addition, the Chancery Court allocated 55% of the
$18, 812, 376.00 marital estate to Barton's former spouse
($10, 346, 806.80) and 45% to Barton ($8, 465, 569.20).
(Id. at 21, 32.) The Court also awarded Barton's
former spouse $7, 294, 570.30 as alimony in solido “in
order to adjust the distribution of the estate” to be
paid in monthly installments over a period of ten years.
(Id. at 30.) Finally, the Court awarded Barton's
former spouse $43, 571.57 in attorneys' fees.
(Id.) Defendants do not dispute that the Memorandum
and Order was not appealed within sixty days, but, instead,
argue that the Memorandum and Order was not an appealable
judgment. (See Doc. 32; Doc. 32-1, at 3.) Barton
also avers that he has timely made all alimony-in-solido
payments as provided by the Memorandum and Order. (Doc. 32-1,
filed the instant suit on April 7, 2017, alleging that the
Memorandum and Order constitutes an Event of Default under
the Promissory Note and Guaranty Agreement and seeking to
accelerate the amount owed by Vanquish. (Doc. 1.) On February
5, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment,
seeking judgment on the Promissory Note and Guaranty
Agreement in the amount outstanding, as well as interest at a
rate of 7.5% per annum, attorneys' fees, and costs of
collection and enforcement, as provided by the Promissory
Note. (Doc. 29.) As of the date of Plaintiff's motion,
neither party disputes that Vanquish had made installment
payments in accordance with the terms of the Promissory Note
and that the amount outstanding is $2, 790, 000.
(See Doc. 30, at 3; Doc. 32, at 4.) Plaintiff's
motion is now ripe for the Court's review.
STANDARD OF LAW
judgment is proper when “the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). The Court views the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party and makes all reasonable
inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Nat'l Satellite Sports,
Inc. v. Eliadis Inc., 253 F.3d 900, 907 (6th Cir. 2001).
moving party bears the burden of demonstrating that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Leary v.
Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 897 (6th Cir. 2003). The moving
party may meet this burden either by affirmatively producing
evidence establishing that there is no genuine issue of
material fact or by pointing out the absence of support in
the record for the nonmoving party's case.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. Once the movant has
discharged this burden, the nonmoving party can no longer
rest upon the allegations in the pleadings; rather, it must
point to specific facts supported by evidence in the record
demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Chao v. Hall Holding Co., Inc., 285 F.3d 415, 424
(6th Cir. 2002).
summary judgment, the Court may not weigh the evidence; its
role is limited to determining whether the record contains
sufficient evidence from which a jury could reasonably find
for the non-movant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). A mere scintilla of evidence is
not enough; the Court must determine whether a fair-minded
jury could return a verdict in favor of the non-movant based
on the record. Id. at 251-52; Lansing Dairy,