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John Deere Financial, f.s.b. v. Bio-Mass Renewable Technologies, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 29, 2017

John Deere Financial, f.s.b., f/k/a FPC Financial, f.s.b., Plaintiff,
v.
Bio-Mass Renewable Technologies, Inc., Jeff Buresh, and Jeffrey and Holly Littrell, Defendants.

          Matthew C. Berger, Esq., Michael S. Dove, Esq., and Rick J. Halbur, Esq., Gislason & Hunter LLP, counsel for Plaintiff.

          Jeffrey Littrell, pro se, and Holly Littrell, pro se, Defendants. [1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DONOVAN W. FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff John Deere Financial, f.s.b.'s (“John Deere”) Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. No. 76.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants the motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On January 15, 2008, Defendant Bio-Mass Renewable Technologies (“BRT”) entered into an agreement with John Deere to become an authorized merchant of John Deere. Defendants Jeffrey Littrell and Jeff Buresh were part-owners of BRT. In addition, Jeffrey and Holly Littrell separately opened farm-plan accounts with John Deere. The farm-plan accounts allowed the Littrells to purchase inventory on credit. Under the Farm Plan Agreement for the Littrells' farm-plan accounts, the Littrells each agreed to pay “all amounts charged by the use of the Account, plus Finance Charges.” (Doc. No. 114 ¶ 3, Ex. A (the “Farm Plan Agreements”).)[2] The Littrells accepted the terms of the Farm Plan Agreements by any authorized use of the accounts. (Id.)

         In April and May 2013, the Littrells purchased almost $450, 000 worth of inventory through BRT with their farm-plan accounts. (Doc. No. 19-1.) The Littrells never paid those charges. (Doc. No. 79 (“Dunek Aff.”) ¶ 4.) John Deere alleges that the Littrells are liable for $511, 150.11, which represents the unpaid invoices, plus additional accrued interest, fees and charges through November 17, 2014. (Id. ¶ 2.)

         On January 7, 2015, John Deere filed suit against BRT, the Littrells, and Jeff Buresh. As relevant here, John Deere brought a claim for breach of contract against the Littrells for their unpaid accounts. John Deere now moves for summary judgment against the Littrells.

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         Summary 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). Courts must view the evidence, and the inferences that may be reasonably drawn from the evidence, in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Weitz Co., LLC v. Lloyd's of London, 574 F.3d 885, 892 (8th Cir. 2009). However, “[s]ummary judgment procedure is properly regarded not as a disfavored procedural shortcut, but rather as an integral part of the Federal Rules as a whole, which are designed ‘to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.'” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 1).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Enter. Bank v. Magna Bank, 92 F.3d 743, 747 (8th Cir. 1996). The nonmoving party must demonstrate the existence of specific facts in the record that create a genuine issue for trial. Krenik v. Cty. of Le Sueur, 47 F.3d 953, 957 (8th Cir. 1995). A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment “may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986).

         II. John Deere is Entitled ...


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