United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Pacific Premier Bank's (Pacific)
Motion for Summary Judgment. Doc. 17. For the reasons that
follow, the Court GRANTS the Motion.
a breach-of-guaranty case. In December 2012, Pacific loaned
former Defendant Group Midland Hotels, LLC (GMH)
$2, 440, 000 pursuant to a business loan agreement (Loan
Agreement). Doc. 19, App. in Supp., 6. Pursuant to the
accompanying note (Note), GMH was required to pay Pacific
$15, 724.30 on the first day of every month. Id. at
14. The loan's entire balance would become due in 2038,
after twenty-five years' of monthly payments.
Id. at 15. The Note states that failing to timely
make a monthly payment would result in default. Id.
In connection with the Note and Loan Agreement, Defendant
Chetna Hira (Hira), GMH's Managing Member, executed an
unconditional guaranty (Guaranty), by which Hira
“unconditionally guarantee[d] payment to [Pacific] of
all amounts owing under the Note.” Id. at 17.
GMH stopped making payments in 2015. Id. at 3. And
despite several demands by Pacific, id. at 20-25,
neither GMH or Hira has made a payment since, id. at
February 2017, Pacific filed suit against GMH and Hira to
collect the entire balance of the loan. Doc. 1, Compl. Just
days later, GMH filed a voluntary petition for relief under
Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United
States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas,
Midland Division (17-70021-tmd), which triggered an automatic
stay in this case as to GMH only. Doc. 6. Pursuant to the
Lift Stay Order entered in GMH's bankruptcy case, GMH
paid Pacific $1, 200, 000 from the sale or refinance of
certain property owned by GMH (Property Proceeds). Doc. 26,
Suppl. Doc., 2-3. The Property Proceeds were applied to the
principal balance of the loan. Id. at 2; see
also Doc. 29, Resp., 3. Pacific seeks from Hira the
amount still due under the loan, plus interest, fees, and
attorney's fees and costs. Doc. 17, Mot. for Summ. J., 1.
Pacific asserts in its Motion that Hira breached the Guaranty
by failing to make GMH's monthly payments under the Note.
Id. Chetna contends in her Response that the Court
should not grant Pacific's Motion for Summary Judgment
because there is a genuine issue of material of fact
regarding how the Property Proceeds were applied to the
balance of the loan. Doc. 29, Resp., 1. Pacific's Motion
is fully briefed and ripe for consideration.
judgment is appropriate “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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute “is ‘genuine'
if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return
a verdict for the non-moving party.” Burrell v. Dr.
Pepper/Seven Up Bottling Grp., 482 F.3d 408, 411 (5th
Cir. 2007). And a fact “is ‘material' if its
resolution could affect the outcome of the action.”
burden is on the movant to prove that no genuine issue of
material fact exists. Provident Life & Accident Ins.
Co. v. Goel, 274 F.3d 984, 991 (5th Cir. 2001). Usually,
this requires the movant to identify “those portions of
the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, which
it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (internal quotation marks omitted). If
the non-movant ultimately bears the burden of proof at trial,
however, the movant may satisfy its burden just by pointing
to the absence of evidence supporting the non-movant's
case. Id. at 322-23.
movant meets its burden, then the burden shifts to the
non-movant to “show with significant probative evidence
that there exists a genuine issue of material fact.”
Hamilton v. Segue Software Inc., 232 F.3d 473, 477
(5th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks omitted).
“[M]etaphysical doubt as to material facts, ”
“conclusory allegations, ” “unsubstantiated
assertions, ” or a mere “scintilla of
evidence” will not do. Little v. Liquid Air
Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (per curiam).
Rather, “the non-movant must go beyond the pleadings
and present specific facts indicating a genuine issue for
trial.” Bluebonnet Hotel Ventures, L.L.C. v. Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A., 754 F.3d 272, 276 (5th Cir. 2014).
determining whether a genuine issue exists, the Court views
the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-movant.
Munoz v. Orr, 200 F.3d 291, 302 (5th Cir. 2000). But
the Court need not “sift through the record in search
of evidence to support a party's opposition to summary
judgment.” Ragas v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co.,
136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998). Rather, the non-movant
must “identify specific evidence in the record”
and “articulate the precise manner in which that
evidence supports [its] claim.” Id. If it
cannot do so, then the Court must grant summary judgment.
Little, 37 F.3d at 1076. “As to materiality,
the substantive law will identify which facts are material.
Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the
suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry
of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or
unnecessary will not be counted.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).