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Hancock Bank, A Mississippi Banking Corporation v. Boyd Brothers

December 22, 2011

HANCOCK BANK, A MISSISSIPPI BANKING CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOYD BROTHERS, INC., A FLORIDA CORPORATION; JAMES A. BOYD, SR.; NANCY G. BOYD; JAMES A. BOYD, JR.; AND CECELIA R. BOYD, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Smoak United States District Judge

CONSOLIDATED

ORDER

Before me are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Final Judgment (Doc. 63) and Defendants' Response in Opposition (Doc. 82).

Standard of Review

Summary judgment is appropriate when "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 (c). In other words, the basic issue before the court is "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2512 (1986). The moving party has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue as to any material fact, and in deciding whether the movant has met this burden, the court must view the movant's evidence and all factual inferences arising from it in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970); Fitzpatrick v. City of Atlanta, 2 F.3d 1112, 1115 (11th Cir. 1993). Thus, if reasonable minds could differ on the inferences arising from undisputed facts, then a court should deny summary judgment. Miranda v. B & B Cash Grocery Store, Inc., 975 F.2d 1518, 1534 (11th Cir. 1992) (citing Mercantile Bank & Trust v. Fidelity & Deposit Co., 750 F.2d 838, 841 (11th Cir. 1985)). However, a mere 'scintilla' of evidence supporting the nonmoving party's position will not suffice; there must be enough of a showing that the jury could reasonably find for that party. Walker v. Darby, 911 F.2d 1573, 1577 (11th Cir. 1990) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251).

Analysis

Plaintiff's Claims

Plaintiff and Defendant Boyd Brothers, Inc. are parties to at least six separate loan agreements. Defendant Boyd Brothers, Inc. is in bankruptcy and a stay has been entered as to that defendant. (See Doc. 74). The individual defendants personally guaranteed these loans. Plaintiff claims that the loans are in default, and the personal guaranties have not been satisfied. For clarity, each of the loans will be discussed in turn.

I . LOAN 1 (5:11-cv-94)

The first loan involves the promissory note in the initial principal amount of $250,000 that Defendant Boyd Brothers Inc. executed and delivered on May 10, 2007. (Doc. 1, Exhibit 1). This loan was renewed on two occasions. (Doc. 1, Exhibits 2 & 3). Along with the second renewal, the individual defendants executed guaranty agreements. (Doc. 1, Exhibits 4, 5, 6, & 7). Defendant Boyd Brothers Inc. executed a third loan renewal. (Doc. 1, Exhibit 10). Plaintiff claims that this loan is in default and that the guaranties are not satisfied.

The individual defendants contend that summary judgment is inappropriate for several reasons. First, they assert that Mr. Jade Stanford's declaration is inadmissible. (Doc. 82, p.3). Mr. Stanford is a Plaintiff's vice president, and his declaration and review of the loan documents is admissible. (See Doc. 65). What is not within Mr. Stanford's personal knowledge is covered by the business record's exception. Fed. R. Evid. 803(6).

Next, Defendants also contend that the named defendant Cecelia R. Boyd is an improper party. The loan documents refer to Cecilia R. Boyd. The named defendant reflects a clear misspelling and can be corrected upon motion. Ms. Boyd, regardless of the spelling of her first name, has appeared.

Defendants also contend that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act ("ECOA") bars recovery from the female individual defendants. (Doc. 82, p. 6-7). The ECOA makes it unlawful for lenders to discriminate against applicants based on gender or marital status.

15 U.S.C. § 1691(a)(1). Defendants have cited an Alaska Supreme Court case to argue that the ECOA makes unlawful guaranty agreements unenforceable. See Still v. Cunningham, 94 P.3d 1104 (Alaska 2004). However, Defendants have not met their burden in establishing a prima face case of credit discrimination. Mays v. Buckeye Rural Elec. Coop., Inc., 277 F.3d 873, 876 (6th Cir. 2002); Mercado-Garcia v. Ponce Fed. Bank, 979 F.2d 890, 893 (1st Cir. 1992); Nicholson v. Johanns, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS ...


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