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United States v. Derrick B. Tartt

May 16, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole


Mr. Tartt has defaulted on two Department of Education student loans. The United States has sued to recover what he owes, which is more than $775,000. Mr. Tartt's response has been to obfuscate his indebtedness with the following counterclaim:

. . . the defendant agrees there is indebtedness. The indebtedness is to the defendant and demand [sic] judgment against the United States of America for the follows [sic]:

a. For plaintiff's conspiracy to deny benefits of employment, torture, discrimination, violations of the constitution, fraudulent representation, bias judiciary to cause loss of liberty, property and monetary gains, judgment in the amount of not less than $50,000,000 but not greater than $100,000,000.

b. Any additional reliefs [sic] the court deem [sic] appropriate against Defendant the United States of America, the conspirator against the Plaintiff, its own citizen. (Dkt. # 8). The government has moved for summary judgment on its claim and moved to dismiss Mr. Tartt's counterclaim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.




Summary Judgment Under Local Rule 56.1 As always, the facts underlying this summary judgment proceeding are drawn from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 submissions. "For litigants appearing in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement is a critical, and required, component of a litigant's response to a motion for summary judgment." Sojka v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., 686 F.3d 394, --, (7th Cir. 2012). The party opposing summary judgment must respond to the movant's statement of proposed material facts, and that response must contain both "a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement," Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B), and a separate statement "consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment," Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C); Sojka, 686 F.3d at -; Ciomber v. Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643 (7th Cir. 2008). Each response, and each asserted fact, must be supported with a reference to the record. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B); Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009); F.T.C. v. Bay Area Business Council, Inc., 423 F.3d 627, 633 (7th Cir. 2005).

The district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with the rule. Shaffer v. American Medical Ass'n, 662 F.3d 439, 442 (7th Cir. 2011); Benuzzi v. Board of Educ. of City of Chicago, 647 F.3d 652, 654 (7th Cir. 2011). Responses and facts that are not set out and appropriately supported in an opponent's Rule 56.1 response will not be considered, see Shaffer, 662 F.3d at 442 (court need not consider any fact not contained in the parties' Rule 56.1 statements); Bay Area Business Council., 423 F.3d at 633 (court properly disregarded affidavits not referenced in 56.1 submission). and the movant's version of the facts -- if compliant with the rule -- will be deemed admitted.

Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C); Rao v. BP Products North America, Inc., 589 F.3d 389, 393 (7th Cir. 2009); Montano v. City of Chicago, 535 F.3d 558, 569 (7th Cir. 2008); Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632. Mr. Tartt disputes a few of the government's facts, but he has not cited a single piece of evidence to support his contentions. As such, all the government's facts are deemed admitted to the extent they are supported by the record.


Facts The record includes copies of two promissory notes Mr. Tartt executed evincing the loans at issue. One is dated July 23, 1997, and is in the amount of $325,125.56. (the "1997 Loan"). (Plaintiff's Local Rule 56.1 Statement ("Pl.St."), ¶¶ 5-6 (Ex. A)). The other is dated April 30, 1995, and is in the amount of $45, 863.61. (The "1995 Loan"). (Pl.St., ¶ 9 (Ex. C)). In his answer to the United States' complaint, Mr. Tartt agreed that he executed the two notes. (Dkt. # 8, Count I, ¶ 3; Mr. Tartt's Response ("Def.Rsp."), ¶ 5). Mr. Tartt disagrees that the copies in the record are true and correct copies of the notes, but offers no support for his position. (Def.Rsp., ¶¶ 6, 9).

The record also includes sworn Certificates of Indebtedness from the Department of Education as to the amounts paid, interest accrued, and amount owed as a result. (Pl.St., ¶¶ 7, 10 (Exs. B, D)). As for the 1997 Loan, the total due as of April 15, 2011, was $678,503.22, and $57.75 in interest has accrued daily thereafter. (Pl.St., ¶ 7 (Ex. B)). Mr. Tartt disagrees that this is accurate but, again, offers no support for his stance. (Def.Rsp., ¶ 7). The other certificate refers to a note dated April 30, 1999, rather that 1995 as the year on the note reads. (Pl.St., ¶ 7 (Ex. B)). This certificate states that the total due under the April 30, 1999 Loan, as of April 15, 2011, was $77,022.12 and that $5.01 in interest has accrued daily ...

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