United States District Court, S.D. Florida
OPINION ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.
United States of America (the “Government”)
brings this action to recover money owed on promissory note
securing student loans borrowed by the Defendant Lesly J.
Augustin a/k/a Jean Augustin (“Augustin”). (ECF
No. 1.) Augustin answered the complaint and did not assert
any affirmative defenses. (ECF No. 7.)
before the Court is the Government's motion for summary
judgment. (the “Motion, ” ECF No. 12.) Augustin
did not respond to the Motion and her time to do so has
passed. Having considered the Motion, the record in this case
and the applicable law, the Court grants the
Motion (ECF No. 12) as follows.
Statement of Undisputed Facts
Augustin failed to respond to the Motion, the Court treats
the facts proffered by the Government as undisputed.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2) (where a party fails to properly
address another party's assertion of fact, the court may
treat that fact as undisputed in resolving a motion for
summary judgment); S.D. Fla. L.R. 56.1(b) (“All
material facts set forth in the movant's statement filed
and supported as required above will be deemed admitted
unless controverted by the opposing party's statement,
provided that the Court finds that the movant's statement
is supported by evidence in the record.”). The
following is a summary of only those undisputed facts that
are material to this opinion.
2004, Augustin executed a promissory note (the “Note,
” ECF No. 12-1 at p. 4) to secure student loans
guaranteed by the United States Department of Education (the
“Department”) in the amount of $49, 545.79 at
4.375% interest per year. (ECF Nos. 12-1, 12-2.) In the Note,
Augustin agreed to pay the Department “all sums . . .
disbursed under” the loans and understood that she
would incur additional “collection costs including but
not limited to attorney's fees and court costs” if
she “fail[ed] to make payments on this note when
due.” (ECF No. 12-1 at p. 4.) Augustin signed the Note
on September 22, 2004. (Id.) Loan funds were
disbursed on October 11, 2004. (ECF No. 12-2.)
paid down $180.64 in principal on the Note. (Id.)
The Department demanded payment and Augustin defaulted on the
note on November 18, 2006. (Id.) Since then, $2,
596.75 in unpaid interest was capitalized and added to
principal balance, as permitted under federal law.
(Id.) As of December 28, 2018, $52, 142.54 in
principal and $26, 858.37 in interest remained outstanding on
the Note. (Id.) Augustin's total debt to the
Government as of December 28, 2018 was $79, 000.91, accruing
additional interest at a rate of $6.25 per day.
13, 2019, the Government filed this lawsuit seeking to
collect amounts owed under the Note. (ECF No. 1.) Augustin
answered the complaint on June 7, 2019, and did not contest
any facts alleged in the complaint or assert any affirmative
defenses. (ECF No. 7.) Thereafter, the Government moved for
summary judgment on this case. (ECF No. 12.) Augustin did not
respond to the Motion and her time to do so has passed.
Summary Judgment Standard
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, “summary judgment
is appropriate where there ‘is no genuine issue as to
any material fact' and the moving party is
‘entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.'”
See Alabama v. North Carolina, 130 S.Ct. 2295, 2308
(2010) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a)). At the summary judgment
stage, the Court must view the evidence in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party, see Adickes v. S.H.
Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970), and it may
not weigh conflicting evidence to resolve disputed factual
issues, see Skop v. City of Atlanta, Ga., 485 F.3d
1130, 1140 (11th Cir. 2007). Yet, where the record could not
lead a rational trier of fact to find in the nonmovant's
favor, there is no genuine issue of fact for trial.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
“[o]nce the moving party has met its burden of showing
a basis for the motion, the nonmoving party is required to
‘go beyond the pleadings' and present competent
evidence designating ‘specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.'” United States
v. $183, 791.00, 391 Fed.Appx. 791, 794 (11th Cir. 2010)
(citation omitted). Thus, the nonmoving party “may not
rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleadings,
but [ ] must set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) (citation
The Government is Entitled to Summary
recover on a promissory note for a federally-insured student
loan, the U.S. government [is] required to show: (1) the
defendant signed the note; (2) the U.S. government is the
present owner and holder of the note; and (3) the note is in
default.” United States v. Romero, 562
Fed.Appx. 943, 948 (11th Cir. 2014).
there is no dispute that Augustin signed the note, (ECF No.
12-1 at p. 4); that payment under the Note is presently due
to the Government, the original Note holder, (id.;
ECF No. 12-2); and that ...