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Stabilis Fund II, LLC v. Hopkins Land Company LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

May 22, 2014

STABILIS FUND II, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
HOPKINS LAND COMPANY LLC, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JOHN A. GIBNEY, Jr., District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on the plaintiffs largely identical Motions for Summary Judgment, filed separately on April 18, 2014, in each of the two cases making up this consolidated matter. (Dk. Nos. 9, 14.)

As previously noted in this Court's Order consolidating the two related actions - Stabilis Fund II, LLC v. Hopkins Land Co., LLC, et al. (No. 3:13-cv-799-JAG) and Stabilis Fund II, LLC v. Jackson Pointe, LLC, et al. (No. 3:13-cv-800-JAG) - these actions share a common nucleus of fact, assert the same claims, and employ the same counsel. The plaintiff's motions differ only in the amount of the deficiency balance alleged on each loan.

The defense positions in each action are identical; they do not deny, in either instance, that they defaulted on the underlying loans and guaranties at issue. Having conceded liability, the defendants oppose the motions for summary judgment only on the issue of liquidated damages, arguing that the plaintiffs assertion of the outstanding balance on each loan does not meet the standard of proof required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.

The Court will GRANT the motions in part, and DENY the motions in part.

The Court will GRANT the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, in both actions, on the matter of liability. Because a material dispute of fact exists on the issue of liquidated damages, the Court will DENY the motions for summary judgment on the matter of damages.

I. Material Facts

A. Defendants Hopkins Land Company, LLC & Robert E. Owens

In March 2009, the plaintiff's predecessor in interest made a $5, 625, 000 loan to Hopkins Land Company, LLC. Defendant Robert E. Owens subsequently executed a Guaranty backing that loan. The loan was further secured by a deed of trust in real property, the "Dutch Village Apartments" in Richmond, Virginia.

In March 2012, the plaintiff acquired the loan interest. The defendants subsequently defaulted on their loan obligations. The plaintiff appointed substitute trustees, and on September 18, 2012, those trustees executed a foreclosure sale of the Dutch Village Apartments. The foreclosure sale's net proceeds amounted to $3, 157, 928.35. Applying that amount against the declared outstanding balance of the loan left a deficiency balance of $3, 233, 646.73.

B. Defendants Jackson Pointe, LLC, East End Properties, LLC, and Robert E. Owens

In January 2006, the plaintiff's predecessor in interest made a $5, 000, 000 loan to the defendants Jackson Pointe, LLC and East End Properties, LLC. Defendant Robert Owens subsequently executed a guaranty backing that loan, which the defendants further backed with a deed of trust in 813-815 Wales Drive, a plot of real property located in Henrico County, Virginia. The defendants later entered into a loan modification agreement with the plaintiff's predecessor in interest in December of 2007, whereby the loan amount was increased to $7, 875, 390. Robert E. Owens again executed a guaranty on this revised amount, and the defendants backed the new loan amount with a deed of trust encumbering both the Wales Drive property in Henrico County and, additionally, 1005-1007 Nine Mile Road, a parcel of real property located in Henrico County, Virginia.

The plaintiff acquired its interest in this loan in May 2010. Again, the defendants subsequently defaulted. The plaintiff appointed substitute trustees, who executed a foreclosure sale on the two properties described above on September 18, 2012. The net proceeds of that foreclosure sale amounted to $3, 478, 183.40. Applied against the declared outstanding balance of the ...


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