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Gideon v. Myers

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

April 25, 2018

C.J. GIDEON, JR. and CECILE GIDEON, Plaintiffs,
v.
J. THOMAS MYERS, II and KATHERINE S. MYERS, Defendants.

          Campbell Judge

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JEFFERY S. FRENSLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction and Background

         This matter is before the Court upon a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Plaintiffs, C.J. and Cecile Gideon. Docket No. 15. The Gideons have also filed a Statement of Undisputed Material Facts and a Supporting Memorandum of Law. Docket Nos. 15-1, 15-2. The Defendants, J. Thomas and Katherine S. Myers, have filed a Response. Docket No. 16.

         In this contract dispute, Plaintiffs allege that they loaned $150, 000.00 to Defendants in July 2016, and that Defendants failed to repay the balance of the principal plus interest as required by the Note associated with the loan, despite Plaintiffs granting an extension of the original maturity date from February 1, 2017 to April 24, 2017. Docket No. 15-2, p. 1. Defendants maintain that the Parties subsequently entered into a superseding agreement that nullifies the original Note, and thus a genuine dispute exists as to a material fact, rendering summary judgment inappropriate. Docket No. 16, p. 2.

         II. Law and Analysis

         A. Motions for Summary Judgment

         Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), summary judgment is appropriate only “if 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.” The party bringing the motion has the burden of informing the Court of the basis for its motion and identifying portions of the record that demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute of material facts. Rodgers v. Banks, 344 F.3d 587, 595 (6th Cir. 2003). The moving party may satisfy this burden by presenting affirmative evidence that negates an element of the nonmoving party's claim or by demonstrating an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Id. A dispute is “genuine” only if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505 (1986).

         In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court must review all the evidence, facts, and inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Electric Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348 (1986); Van Gorder v. Grand Trunk Western Railroad, Inc., 509 F.3d 265, 268 (6th Cir. 2007). The Court does not weigh the evidence, judge the credibility of witnesses, or determine the truth of the matter. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 249. The Court determines whether sufficient evidence has been presented to make the issue of fact a proper jury question. Id. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmoving party's position will be insufficient to allow the nonmoving party's claims to survive summary judgment; rather, the nonmoving party must convince the Court that there is sufficient evidence for a juror to return a verdict in its favor. Id.

         Generally, the Court should liberally construe pro se pleadings, holding them to less stringent standards than those drafted by lawyers. See Williams v. Curtin, 631 F.3d 380, 383 (6th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted) (addressing the issue of pro se complaints). Nevertheless, pro se litigants are not exempt from the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989).

         B. Local Rules 56.01(c) and (g)

         With respect to motions for summary judgment, Local Rules 56.01(c) and (g) state, in relevant part:

c. Response to Statement of Facts. Any party opposing the motion for summary judgment must respond to each fact set forth by the movant by either (i) agreeing that the fact is undisputed; (ii) agreeing that the fact is undisputed for the purpose of ruling on the motion for summary judgment only; or (iii) demonstrating that the fact is disputed. Each disputed fact must be supported by a citation to the record . . . .
g. Failure to Respond. Failure to respond to a moving party's statement of material facts, or a non-moving party's statement of additional facts, within the time periods provided by these Rules shall indicate that the asserted facts are not disputed for the purposes of summary judgment.

         Defendants have failed to respond to Plaintiffs' Statement of Undisputed Material Facts or to file their own Statement of Undisputed Material Facts. Pursuant to Local Rule 56.01(g), Defendants' failure to respond indicates “that the asserted facts are not disputed for the purposes of summary judgment.” Accordingly, there are no genuine issues as to any material fact, and all that remains to be determined is whether Plaintiffs are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

         C. Undisp ...


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