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Hawthorn Bank v. F.A.L. Investments, LLC

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Second Division

September 16, 2014

HAWTHORN BANK AND HAWTHORN REAL ESTATE, LLC., Respondents,
v.
F.A.L. INVESTMENTS, LLC, (SUCCESSOR TO GREEN AND SAMSON, LLC), JERRY GREEN, MELODY GREEN, RICHARD L. SAMSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE RICHARD L. SAMSON REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST U/AD AND JANET SAMSON, Appellants

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri. The Honorable Patricia S. Joyce, Judge.

Michael Berry, Jefferson City, MO, Counsel for Appellants.

Marshall Wilson, Jefferson City, MO, Co-Counsel for Appellants.

James Gallaher, III, Jefferson City, MO, Counsel for Respondents.

Jason Call, Jefferson City, MO, Co-Counsel for Respondents.

Before: Victor C. Howard, P.J., James Edward Welsh, and Anthony Rex Gabbert, JJ. All concur.

OPINION

Page 62

James Edward Welsh, Judge

Appellants Jerry and Melody Green and F.A.L. Investments, LLC, appeal the circuit court's judgment in favor of Hawthorn Bank and Hawthorn Real Estate, LLC (collectively, " Hawthorn" ) on Hawthorn's petition for declaratory judgment. Finding no error in the circuit court's judgment, we affirm.

Background

The circumstances underlying this lawsuit began in 2008 when Jerry Green and Richard Samson[1] each held a fifty-percent interest in Green and Samson, LLC, a real estate development company. The company's sole asset consisted of seventy-eight acres of undeveloped property along Highway 179 in Cole County (the " Highway 179 Property" ).

A deed of trust on the Highway 179 Property secured four promissory notes owed to Hawthorn Bank[2] by Green and Samson, LLC, and Hazel Hills Development (also jointly owned by Green and Samson). Those four notes, totaling $1.78 million, each had a maturity date of November 30, 2008. In late 2008, Green began to negotiate with Hawthorn about an agreement to extend the maturity date of those notes.

During this time, Samson was experiencing financial difficulties with his own

Page 63

business, FAB Building Center, Inc. (" FAB" ). Among other things, FAB owed Hawthorn $2,211,450 (the " FAB Debt" ) on seven notes that were past due and in collection status. Concerned about the effect that Samson's financial difficulties might have on their jointly held companies, Green thought it " imperative" that ...


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