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Hardee's Food Systems, Inc v. Shree Krishna Food

April 14, 2011

HARDEE'S FOOD SYSTEMS, INC., PLAINTIFF
v.
SHREE KRISHNA FOOD, L.L.C.; SAM PATEL; AND NATVARBHAI PATEL, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Gorman United States Magistrate Judge

E-FILED

Thursday, 14 April, 2011 10:50:36 AM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER AND OPINION

The parties have consented to have this case heard to judgment by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), and the District Judge has referred the case to me. Now before the court is the Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (#37). The motion is fully briefed, and I have carefully considered the arguments and evidence of the parties. As explained herein, the motion is GRANTED.

JURISDICTION

Plaintiff Hardee's Food Systems, Inc., is a North Carolina corporation with its principal place of business in St. Louis, Missouri. Defendant Shree Krishna Food, L.L.C., is an Illinois limited liability company with its principal place of business in Geneseo, Illinois. Its members are*fn1 Eric Fernandes, a citizen of Illinois, and Anil Patel, a citizen of Minnesota. Shree Krishna's citizenship is therefore Illinois and Minnesota. Defendants Sam Patel and Natvarbhai Patel are individuals who are each citizens of the state of Illinois. The amount sought as damages is $776,430.22.

Accordingly, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332, in that there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT GENERALLY

The purpose of summary judgment is to "pierce the pleadings and to assess the proof in order to see whether there is a genuine need for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Under Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment should be entered if and only if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Jay v. Intermet Wagner Inc., 233 F.3d 1014, 1016 (7th Cir.2000); Cox v. Acme Health Serv., 55 F.3d 1304, 1308 (7th Cir. 1995). In ruling on a summary judgment motion, the court may not weigh the evidence or resolve

issues of fact; disputed facts must be left for resolution at trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986). The court's role in deciding the motion is not to sift through the evidence, pondering the nuances and inconsistencies, and decide whom to believe. Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir.1994). The court has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial.

The court is to examine all admissible facts, viewing the entirety of the record and accepting all facts and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-movant, Erdman v. City of Ft. Atkinson, 84 F.3d 960, 961 (7th Cir. 1996); Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch. Trustees, 978 F.2d 403, 408 (7th Cir. 1992), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 844 (1993); Lohorn v. Michal, 913 F.2d 327, 331 (7th Cir. 1990); DeValk Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. V. Ford Motor Co., 811 F.2d 326, 329 (7th Cir. 1987); Bartman v. Allis Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312 (7th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 1092 (1987), and construing any doubts against the moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144 (1970); Trotter v. Anderson, 417 F.2d 1191 (7th Cir. 1969); Haefling v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 169 F.3d 494, 497 (7th Cir.1999).

Neither the moving party nor the responding party may simply rest on allegations; those allegations must be supported by significant probative evidence. First Nat'l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 290 (1968). As Fed.R.Civ.Proc. 56(e) makes clear, a party opposing summary judgment must do more than rely on the allegations contained in pleadings. Rather:

[T]he adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

The parties must identify the evidence (i.e. those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, affidavits, and documents) that will facilitate the court's assessment. Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 922 (7th Cir.1994). As the Seventh Circuit has held, "[D]istrict courts are not obliged in our adversary system to scour the record looking for factual disputes and may adopt local rules reasonably designed to streamline the resolution of summary judgment motions."Herman v. City of Chicago, 870 F.2d 400, 404 (7th Cir.1989). See also, Bell, Boyd & Lloyd v. Tapy, 896 F.2d 1101, 1103- 04 (7th Cir.1990); L.S. Heath & Son, Inc. v. AT & T Info. Sys., Inc., 9 F.3d 561, 567 (7th Cir.1993).

The Local Rules of this Court specify the form and content for all motions for summary judgment and responses and replies thereto. CDIL L.R.7.1(D). This Rule requires that a response to a motion for summary judgment include a specifically response to each numbered statement of fact contained in the motion and cite to evidence in ...


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