United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
FRANK P.GERACI JR. Chief Judge, JR United States District
United States of America brings this action against Defendant
Eric Strader to collect on a student loan that he allegedly
took out in 1977 and/or 1978. ECF No. 1. On October 13, 2015,
the United States moved for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 12,
13), to which the Defendant responded (ECF No. 15), and the
government filed a reply (ECF No. 16).
Court heard oral argument on June 16, 2016, and issued an
oral decision from the bench that denied the United
States' summary judgment motion without prejudice to
refiling. See ECF No. 17.
explained from the bench, the Court denied the summary
judgment motion for two primary reasons. First, there were
several issues in the case that were unclear to the Court
from reading the government's submissions. Counsel for
the United States did not disagree with this assessment, and
in fact told the Court that “the history [of the case]
is a little dim;” “the documentation from the
1977 loan is missing;” and “there were perhaps
two notes, one lost.” The Court mentioned some of the
other unclear issues, which included not having sufficient
information regarding the breakdown of the amounts of the
loans and any payments, not knowing exactly what the loans
were, and not knowing how certain figures, including
interest, were calculated.
the Court noted that the Statement of Material Facts
submitted with the summary judgment motion was not proper.
Specifically, the Court told counsel for the United States
that “the Statement of Material Facts you filed really
just goes through the procedural history here, it doesn't
spell out what needs to be spelled out in a Statement of
Material Facts, including the loans, the date of the loans,
whether or not there have been any payments or offsets, so
I'll give you an opportunity to refile this.”
government had over two months to correct these errors and
re-file their summary judgment motion, yet inexplicably, the
United States did nothing to correct their statement of
material facts, ignoring the Court's directions from the
June 16, 2016 appearance. Indeed, the Statement of Material
Facts dated August 24, 2016 that accompanies the re-filed
summary judgment motion is identical to the Statement of
Material Facts dated October 8, 2015 that was filed with the
original summary judgment motion, and which the Court
specifically noted was deficient. Cf. ECF Nos. 13-2,
those Statements of Material Facts only recite the following
as being material facts not in dispute:
1. This action was commenced on 4/24/2015, by the filing of
the original Complaint in the office of the Clerk of this
2. The Summons and Complaint has been served on the
3. Defendant, Eric Strader (hereinafter “Debtor”)
served an Answer on or about 6/27/15.
4. This is an action to collect on a defaulted student loan.
5. For the reasons set forth in the Memorandum or Law in
Support of the United States Motion for Judgment(sic), the
Plaintiff is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, as the
Answer filed is not sufficient to bar summary judgment.
ECF Nos. 13-2, 20-4.
Local Rules of the Western District of New York provide that
a party moving for summary judgment must submit a
“Statement of Facts” which requires the moving
party to include with its motion for summary judgment a
“separate, short, and concise statement of the material
facts to which the moving party contends there is no genuine
issue to be tried.” See W.D.N.Y. Loc. R. Civ.
P. 56(a)(3). The Local Rules also provide that “[e]ach
statement of material fact by a movant or opponent must be
followed by citation to evidence which would be admissible,
as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e), ”
with citations identifying “with specificity” the
relevant page or paragraph of the cited authority. See