United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
case involves defaulted tow truck loans. Over the course of
several years, Plaintiff Santander Bank, N.A., f/k/a
Sovereign Bank, N.A., (“Santander”) lent
Defendant Moody Leasing Co., LLC (“Moody
Leasing”), the purchase money for nine tow trucks and
carrier bodies. Defendants Ardella M. Moody and the Estate of
Dannie Moody (collectively the “Moodys”), and ABC
Specialty, Inc. (“ABC”), personally guaranteed
the loans' repayment and designated the trucks and bodies
as collateral. Santander alleges that Defendants defaulted,
and it demanded that they relinquish the collateral.
Defendants refused. Santander then filed the instant
five-count lawsuit, alleging a replevin claim against all
Defendants (Count I) and a breach of contract claim against
each individual (Counts II-V). After discovering that the
Moodys entered into an agreement to transfer ownership of ABC
and the collateral to Elwood and Bryan Rahn (collectively,
the “Rahns”), Santander filed an Amended
Complaint including conversion claims against ABC and the
Rahns (Counts VI-VII).
before the Court is Santander's Motion to Dismiss
Remaining Counts and Enter Final Judgment. Because Santander
has satisfied the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 41(a)(2), the motion is GRANTED and the remaining
counts are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
following facts are gleaned from Plaintiff Santander's
Amended Complaint (Doc. 47), its attached documents, and
attachments to the instant motion (Doc. 72). On February 14,
2011, Santander, a Delaware-based bank, entered into a loan
agreement with Moody Leasing, a two-member heavy-duty
equipment leasing LLC based in Jackson County, Missouri. The
agreement provided that Santander would finance the purchase
of a tow truck and accompanying equipment in exchange for
Moody Leasing making monthly loan payments. To secure
payment, Santander obtained a first priority purchase-money
security interest in the truck and carrier body. At the same
time, the Moodys and ABC personally guaranteed repayment. The
loan agreement also entitled Santander, upon default, to
immediately repossess the collateral.
March 9, 2011, to February 14, 2014, Santander and Moody
Leasing entered into eight additional schedules under the
original loan agreement. The terms of these schedules
mirrored the initial loan terms: Moody Leasing received the
purchase money for the truck and equipment, while Santander
received a security interest in the same and monthly
payments. Ultimately, Santander financed the purchase of nine
tow trucks and bodies in this manner.
Leasing defaulted on this loan sometime after the last
schedule, and the guarantors have refused to pay. Santander
then exercised the loan agreement's acceleration
provision, but Defendants still refused to pay. Santander
demanded the collateral's return, but Defendants refused.
The Rahns since bought ABC and leased the collateral from
litigation ensued. The Court entered default judgment against
Moody Leasing (Doc. 89) and granted Santander's motion
for partial summary judgment against Ardella Moody and the
Estate of Dannie Moody (Doc. 88), disposing of counts II,
III, and IV.
and Defendants ABC, Elwood Rahn, and Bryan Rahn have
submitted their Settlement Agreement to the Court (Doc. 72 at
5-10). ABC and the Rahns have agreed to purchase one of the
trucks from Plaintiff and relinquish possession of the
remaining collateral in exchange for being dismissed from
this litigation (see id.). Santander now seeks to
dismiss the remaining counts-Counts I, V, VI, and VII-under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2). Santander and
Defendants ABC, Elwood Rahn, and Bryan Rahn have stipulated
to the dismissal of these counts. Defendants Moody Leasing,
Ardella Moody, and the Estate of Dannie Moody (collectively,
the “Moody Defendants”) refuse to stipulate to
dismissal, and the only remaining claim which relates to
these defendants is Count I.
41(a) applies to the voluntary dismissal of actions.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a). Once an answer or motion for summary
judgment has been filed, the action may be dismissed only by
joint stipulation of all the parties who have
appeared or by court order. Id. at
(a)(1)(A), (a)(2) (emphasis added). “A decision whether
to allow a party to voluntarily dismiss a case rests upon the
sound discretion of the court.” Hamm v.
Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharm., Inc., 187 F.3d 941, 950 (8th
Cir. 1999). “In exercising that discretion, a court
should consider factors such as  whether the party has
presented a proper explanation for its desire to dismiss, 
whether a dismissal would result in a waste of judicial time
and effort, and  whether a dismissal will prejudice the
defendants.” Id. (internal citations omitted).
“Likewise, a party is not permitted to dismiss merely
to escape an adverse decision nor to seek a more favorable
the only remaining claim relating to the defendants that
oppose this motion-the Moody Defendants-is Count I, the Court
begins by dismissing Counts V, VI, and VII with prejudice.
The Court now turns to Count I.
the Court considers whether Santander has presented a proper
explanation for its desire to dismiss this matter. Count I
prays for “the issuance of an Order of Replevin
requiring the defendants to deliver the Collateral . . . to
the United States Marshal . . . .” (Doc. 47 ¶ 67).
The collateral for which replevin was sought has been
returned or purchased by the Rahns (see Doc. 72),
and no relief under Count I is sought from the Moody