- Hotel 71 Mezz Lender, LLC v. The National Retirement Fund, No. 14-2034, --- WL --- (7th Cir. Feb. 6, 2015)
- The Court reversed and remanded a sua sponte grant of summary judgment against a party that also unsuccessfully moved for summary judgment. The Court found that, absent a record "clear beyond dispute" on the facts at hand, an insufficient motion for summary judgment failed to provide grounds for a grant of summary judgment against its moving party unless the movant received notice that the court planned to consider granting summary judgment against it and received an opportunity to present evidence to demonstrate the existence of a material dispute of fact. The Court also found that a movant's decision not to move for summary judgment against all parties to a case did not comprise a waiver of its rights to seek relief against the other parties at a later time because Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 permits partial summary judgment, including summary judgment on fewer than all parties and claims.
- Procedural context:
- Appeal from decision of the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois not only denying summary judgment to moving party, but also granting summary judgment to non-moving party on the dispositive issue despite lack of request therefor; grant of summary judgment reviewed de novo.
- The National Retirement Fund ("NRF") sought to hold Hotel 71 Mezz Lender ("Mezz Lender") and its principal liable for a debtor's pension fund withdrawal liability because it acquired the debtor in a prepetition UCC Article 9 foreclosure, brought in a restructuring specialist to manage the debtor, and participated in the Chapter 11 plan process. Mezz Lender and its principal sought a declaratory judgment from the District Court that the confirmed Chapter 11 plan released them from withdrawal liability, while NRF counterclaimed for a determination of withdrawal liability due. Mezz Lender sought summary judgment on the plan release issue, while NRF sought summary judgment on its counterclaim against Mezz Lender -- but not on its counterclaims against Mezz Lender's principal or certain John Does and only on grounds that Mezz Lender and the debtor comprised entities under common control as required for withdrawal liability. The District Court's ruling, when issued, found that NRF had waived its counterclaims against Mezz Lender's principal and the John Does by failing to move for summary judgment against them and denied NRF's motion for summary judgment. The District Court also granted summary judgment in favor of Mezz Lender on whether Mezz Lender comprised a "trade or business" as required for withdrawal liability, despite the fact that Mezz Lender had not requested summary judgment on that issue.
- Rovner, Bauer, Tinder
Thelma McCoy v. USA
Summarizing by Craig Geno
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