The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Gorman United States Magistrate Judge
Tuesday, 14 June, 2011 10:48:32 AM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
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 Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment (#49). The motion is fully briefed, and I have carefully considered the arguments and evidence submitted by the parties. As explained herein, the motion is granted.
Plaintiff LPP Mortgage Ltd. is a limited partnership organized under Texas law, with its principal place of business in Texas. Its sole general partner is Property Acceptance Corporation, which is a corporation incorporated under the laws of Texas and having its principle place of business in Texas. The sole limited partner of LPP is Beal Nevada Corporation, incorporated under the laws of Nevada with its principle place of business in Nevada.
Defendant Hartzell Glidden Tucker & Hartzell is a general partnership organized under the laws of Illinois and having its principle place of business in Illinois. Its partners - Franklin M. Hartzell, John R. Glidden, Stanley L. Tucker, and Defendant Thomas F. Hartzell - are each citizens of Illinois.
The amount in controversy is alleged to exceed $75,000.
The parties being of diverse citizenship and the amount in controversy being in excess of the statutory minimum, this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this dispute pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1332.
A substantial part of the events giving rise to this action occurred in Hancock, Illinois, a county within the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division. Venue is therefore proper in this Court.
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.
In August of 2000, LPP Mortgage Ltd. ("LPP")*fn1 purchased a bundle of mortgages and promissory notes from the Small Business Administration ("SBA"). Included was a promissory note (the "Note") secured by a mortgage (the "Mortgage") on real property located in Nauvoo, Illinois. The Note was in default, and in January of 2001, LPP retained the law firm of Hartzell, Glidden, Tucker & Hartzell to foreclose the Mortgage. A partner in that law firm, Thomas Hartzell, was primarily responsible for representation of LPP in the foreclosure action. Unless otherwise required by context, the law firm and Thomas Hartzell will be referred to cumulatively as "Hartzell" in this Opinion.
On behalf of LPP, Hartzell filed a complaint of foreclosure on the Mortgage and Note in the Circuit Court of Hancock County Illinois, LPP Mortgage v. John Condren, et al, Case No. 01-CH-23. The complaint alleged, inter alia, that the Mortgage had been assigned to LPP by the ...