United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
KEITH WATKINS CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
SunSouth Capital, Inc. (“SunSouth”) brings this
action against Defendants Harding Enterprises, LLC
(“Harding Enterprises”) and Greggory A. Harding
(“Mr. Harding”) alleging breaches of various
heavy equipment leases. Before the court is SunSouth's
motion for summary judgment. (Doc. # 53.) For the reasons set
forth below, the motion for summary judgment is due to be
granted in part and denied in part.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
court exercises subject-matter jurisdiction over this action
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The parties do not
contest personal jurisdiction or venue.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party
must demonstrate 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). The court
views the evidence, and all reasonable inferences drawn
therefrom, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party. Jean-Baptiste v. Gutierrez, 627 F.3d 816, 820
(11th Cir. 2010).
party moving for summary judgment “always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for the motion.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). This responsibility
includes identifying the portions of the record illustrating
the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact.
Id. Alternatively, a movant who does not have a
trial burden of production can assert, without citing the
record, that the nonmoving party “cannot produce
admissible evidence to support” a material fact.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B); see also Fed. R. Civ. P.
56 advisory committee's note (“Subdivision
(c)(1)(B) recognizes that a party need not always point to
specific record materials. . . . [A] party who does not have
the trial burden of production may rely on a showing that a
party who does have the trial burden cannot produce
admissible evidence to carry its burden as to the
movant meets its burden, the burden shifts to the nonmoving
party to establish-with evidence beyond the pleadings-that a
genuine dispute material to each of its claims for relief
exists. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324. A genuine
dispute of material fact exists when the nonmoving party
produces evidence allowing a reasonable fact finder to return
a verdict in its favor. Waddell v. Valley Forge Dental
Assocs., 276 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2001).
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
case arises out of six equipment leases entered into by the
parties between January 2011 and April 2012. SunSouth leased
to Mr. Harding various pieces of heavy equipment, and Harding
Enterprises was listed as a co-lessee on two of the leases.
(Doc. # 1-1.) Mr. Harding personally guaranteed payment for
each of the leases. (Doc. # 1-3.) Under each of the six
equipment leases, Defendants defaulted in payment, prompting
SunSouth to accelerate the debts and demand payment. (Doc. #
1-4 (letters from SunSouth to Mr. Harding dated July 31, and
Aug. 26, 2015).)
November 3, 2015, SunSouth filed suit in this court, seeking
injunctive relief against Defendants to surrender the
equipment (Count I), detinue against Defendants to recover
the equipment (Count II), and a remedy for Defendants'
breaches of the equipment leases (Counts III and IV). (Doc. #
December 8, 2015, this court entered a Seizure Order
authorizing SunSouth to repossess its collateral. (Doc. #
16.) A public auction was conducted in June 2016. (Doc. #
53-1, ¶ 4.) After applying the proceeds from that sale
to Defendants' debt balance, SunSouth's detailed
calculations show that Mr. Harding still owed $436, 199.86
while Harding Enterprises owed $373, 729.58 as of April 11,
2017. (Doc. # 53-1, ¶ 5.)
April 13, 2016, Defendants' first attorney submitted a
motion to withdraw from representing Defendants, (Doc. # 23),
which was granted on April 19, 2016. (Doc. # 26.)
Defendants' second attorney filed a notice of appearance
on June 27, 2016. (Doc. # 31.)
a Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting on August 16, 2016, (Doc. #
33), SunSouth submitted its first motion for summary judgment
on September 2, 2016. (Doc. # 37.) Defendants requested (Doc.
# 42), and were granted, (Doc. # 44), relief from deadlines
that were triggered by SunSouth's motion for summary