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LLC v. Naples Lending Group, LC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ft. Myers Division

March 1, 2018

Fiddler's Creek, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Naples Lending Group, LC, and Daniel Carter, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PAUL A. MAGNUSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         This matter is before Court on the parties' post-trial Motions.

         BACKGROUND

         In March 2017, the Court held an eight-day bench trial on Plaintiff's claim for a breach of contract and related claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The Court determined that Plaintiff had established a breach of the parties' contract, and awarded Plaintiff damages of $2, 500, 000. (Docket No. 568.) The Court also determined that Plaintiff was due its reasonable attorney's fees and expenses under the parties' contract. (Id. at 10.)

         Now before the Court are six separate Motions. Former Defendant Daniel Carter moves for entry of judgment in his favor under Rule 54(b). (Docket No. 570.) Defendant Naples Lending Group (“NLG”) moves to alter judgment (Docket No. 571), for its attorney's fees (Docket No. 572), and to “determine prevailing party status.” (Docket No. 583.) And Plaintiff has moved for its attorney's fees (Docket No. 573)[1] and to alter the judgment to include ministerial language. (Docket No. 575.)

         DISCUSSION

         A. Carter's Motion

         In January 2017, the Court granted summary judgment in Carter's favor on Plaintiff's claims against him. (Docket No. 482.) Carter contends that the Court should enter judgment in his favor under Rule 54(b) on the three counts Plaintiff brought against him, arguing that this “will help clarify the record, including potentially for appeal.” (Carter's Mot. (Docket No. 570) at 2.)

         But Rule 54(b) applies to claims that are resolved before final judgment is entered, and requires the Court to determine that there is no just reason to delay the entry of judgment. The Court has entered judgment in this case, and thus as Plaintiff points out, all previous orders become part of that judgment. Carter may appeal-although why he would appeal a judgment in his favor is not clear-whether the final judgment spells out the entire procedural history of the case or not.

         Carter's Motion is therefore denied.

         B. NLG's Motions

         1. Motion to Alter Judgment

         NLG's Motion to amend the judgment seeks a reversal of the Court's determination that Fiddler's Creek proved that NLG breached the parties' contract, either in whole or with respect to the damages awarded. According to NLG, Fiddler's Creek did not prove that NLG caused Fiddler's Creek any damages, or more specifically, the Court erred in failing to explicitly find that NLG caused the awarded damages.

         NLG's argument is patently without merit. The Court considered the damages that flowed from the breach of contract, or put another way, the damages the breach of contract caused Fiddler's Creek. NLG may disagree with the fact that it caused damages, or with the amount of those damages, but its argument that ...


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