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Watt v. Schreiber

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


November 25, 2009

MICHAEL WATT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN SCHREIBER AND JOHN SCHREIBER GROUP, INC., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Denise Cote, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

On August 19, 2009, the Court referred plaintiff's August 17 motion to enter an amended consent judgment to Magistrate Judge James C. Francis for a Report and Recommendation ("Report"). On November 6, Magistrate Judge Francis issued his Report. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), defendants timely filed objections to the Report on November 19. For the following reasons, the Report's recommendation is adopted and an amended consent judgment holding the defendants liable for $143,000 is entered.

A district court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The court must make a de novo determination of the portions of the Report to which petitioner objects. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see United States v. Oberoi, 547 F.3d 436, 453 (2d Cir. 2008) (citation omitted).

On July 11, 2000, Michael Watt ("Watt" or "plaintiff") and John Schreiber ("Schreiber") signed a loan agreement pursuant to which Mr. Watt loaned $200,000 to Schreiber's business, John Schreiber Group, Inc. (collectively with Schreiber, "defendants"). Defendants failed to meet their repayment obligations and Watt sued to recover $180,000, the amount outstanding on the loan. On March 1, 2006, a consent judgment was entered against defendants in the amount of $155,000. Pursuant to the consent judgment, defendants were required to pay the plaintiff monthly installments of $1,000 from March 1, 2006 through December 1, 2008, and to make a lump sum payment of $121,000 on or before January 1, 2009. In the event that defendants failed to make any of the payments on time, the consent judgment provided that an amended judgment would be entered by the Court upon application of the plaintiff. Attached to the consent judgment were several amended judgments, each of which called for payment by defendants of a different amount depending on how much was owed by defendants at the time of default.

Defendants failed to meet their payment obligations pursuant to the consent judgment. The Report indicates that subsequent to the entry of the consent judgment, defendants made payments totaling $10,000, leaving $145,000 outstanding. The Report therefore recommends that, per plaintiff's request, an amended consent judgment that calls for payment of $143,000 be entered. Defendants do not take issue with the Report's determination that plaintiff is entitled to an amended consent judgment. Defendants object only to the amount recommended in the Report and request that the Court hold a conference or order the parties to meet and confer to determine the proper amount for the amended consent judgment.

Defendants' objection to the amount of the amended consent judgment is without merit. While defendants state that it is their "belief that the amount of the judgment should be even less than the $143,000.00 recommended," in the Report, defendants provide no documentary evidence to support their contention. Instead, defendants merely state that they "believe that additional payments were made to Plaintiff" and request additional time to "gather and present documentary proof of additional payments." Defendants had sufficient opportunity to gather and present such documentary evidence during the proceedings before Magistrate Judge Francis and in connection with the objections that they filed in this Court. Defendants' request for additional time to gather documentary evidence of additional payments to plaintiff is therefore denied.

20091125

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