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LEASING SERV. CORP. v. PATTERSON ENTERPRISES

March 25, 1986

LEASING SERVICE CORPORATION and CREDIT ALLIANCE CORPORATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
PATTERSON ENTERPRISES, LTD., WILLIAM B. PATTERSON, JEANNE W. PATTERSON, W.B. PATTERSON, JR., and JACKIE B. PATTERSON, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WALKER

OPINION AND ORDER

WALKER, DISTRICT JUDGE.,

Introduction

 This contract action seeks to recover a deficiency arising after public auction of repossessed heavy construction equipment. The plaintiffs, Leasing Service Corporation ("LSC") and Credit Alliance Corporation ("CAC"), are New York corporations. The defendants are Patterson Enterprises Ltd. ("Patterson"), a Mississippi corporation, and the corporation's officers. The auction of the equipment was necessitated by Patterson's default on three lease agreements and a promissory note, and by the default on a personal guarantee by the co-defendant officers of Patterson.

 Presently before the Court are defendant's motion, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404, for a change of venue to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, and a motion by LSC and CAC for summary judgment in the amount of the alleged deficiency. The Court now grants Patterson's motion to transfer and declines to decide plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

 Facts

 On November 7, 1980, Patterson entered into two lease agreements with Stribling Puckett, Inc. ("Puckett") under which Patterson leased heavy construction equipment from Puckett. A third lease of similar equipment was executed by Patterson and Puckett on May 4, 1981. Each of these three leases was then assigned by Puckett to LSC.

 The terms of each of the leases were modified three times through extension agreements signed in 1982 and 1983. In addition, on December 1, 1983, Patterson executed a promissory note and security agreement mortgage on the equipment in favor of CAC. Certain officers of Patterson also signed personal guarantees on the obligations of Patterson.

 In early 1985, plaintiffs repossessed the leased equipment. At the date of default, the unpaid balance on the contracts was $628,342.72. Almost immediately after the repossession, plaintiffs exercised their rights under the agreements and arranged for an auction of the equipment. In preparation for the sale, they repaired and refurbished the machinery at a cost of $104,646.21.

 A public auction attended by two hundred bidders took place in Jackson, Mississippi on May 7, 1985. The sale gained $873,250.00. While Patterson contends that the proceeds were sufficient to cover the unpaid balance and plaintiffs' reasonable expenses, plaintiffs claim they are still owed $608,709.95 under the agreements, including liquidated damages, attorneys' fees, taxes, interest, late charges and the cost of repairs.

 Discussion

 (1) Forum-Selection Clause

 All of the leases, notes and guarantees signed by Patterson's president contain the following forum-selection clause:

 [Patterson Enterprises Ltd.] agrees to the venue and jurisdiction of any court located within the State and County of New York regarding any matter ...


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